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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More not getting it


Shays: Page Scandal Isn't Chappaquiddick

RSS Feeds From ABC 7 Wednesday October 11, 2006 11:48am

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Republican Rep. Christopher Shays defended the House speaker's handling of a congressional page scandal, saying no one died like at Chappaquiddick in 1969 when Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy was involved. "I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water, and then have a press conference the next day," the embattled Connecticut congressman told The Hartford Courant in remarks published Wednesday.

"Dennis Hastert didn't kill anybody," he added.

Shays' comments recalled the Chappaquiddick incident, when Kennedy's car ran off a Massachusetts bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy did not immediately report the tragedy, and later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.

Last week, Kennedy campaigned for Democrat Diane Farrell, who is locked in a bitter fight with Shays that could help determine whether Democrats recapture the House after 12 years of GOP control.

"This is symptomatic of Chris losing his composure in a tight race," Farrell said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press Wednesday. "Chris just seems to be lashing out in anger."

Farrell said the scandal, which polls show could hurt the GOP's bid to hang onto control, has affected her because her 19-year-old daughter Margaret was a Senate page when she was 16.

"My first reaction to this whole scandal had nothing to do with politics," she said. "It was as a parent who had a child participating in the program."

Well, many people would argue what he did was similiar, if not worse. Why? Because he let a child sex predator hunt children on his watch and did not do anything to stop him. Child sexual abuse has lifelong consequences. One of the things Hastert turned his back on?

Foley Cruising in His BMW; Another Dorm Visit in 2000

October 11, 2006 11:33 AM

Rhonda Schwartz Reports:

A staff supervisor at the dorm for congressional pages intervened when former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) tried to pay the teens a nighttime visit in the summer of 2000, ABC News has learned.

The pages were having an informal "mixer" party in their dorm at the Tip O'Neil building behind the Capitol, according to a former page who was 17 at the time.

"It was a beautiful summer evening, and I recall Mr. Foley arriving in his blue Series 3 BMW convertible about 9:30 at night," the former page said. "Several of us saw him and went outside to chat."

A page program supervisor came out to warn the pages "not to go far because they weren't signed out" and shooed them back inside, he recalled.

The page supervisor was one of the adult staffers who worked for the House Clerk's office, which oversees the page program. It is not known if any formal report was filed regarding Foley's surprise visit.

The former page, who spoke to ABC News on the condition he not be identified, said he then began receiving instant messages and e-mails from Foley which became sexually explicit immediately following his 18th birthday.

He said he has not retained any of the messages or e-mails.

"I would turn on my instant messenger, and he would be online at all hours of the day or night. The talk would quickly turn sexual," he said. He says Foley requested that he send photos of himself performing sexual acts.

This comes down to accountability and the GOP's refusal to admit it. Chappaquidick was in 1969, and was an accident. Hastert turned his back on a child sex predator and his enablers. Jim Kolbe is trying to say he was handling this, but if he was so close to the pages, wouldn't he have heard of Foley's continuing exploits? He did sit on the page board in 2000. And he never heard of Foley popping up at the dorm? I'd bet most of the members and staff couldn't find the place with a map, much less show up there to hang out, drunk.

The GOP is desperate to change the subject, but they can't, because everyone knows what this is about. Men raping children and others turning their backs.

A lot of this should have been stopped on propriety issues long ago. Alone time with pages, letting them use your home, offering them your home, all reeks of impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Billy Graham has a rule: he never meets with a female staffer alone. Why? Because people could misconstrue it.

It's one thing to listen to pages, help them with work issues, but if anyone who's ever worked in a politician's office knows, face time with the boss is rare. Staffers, a different story, they handle everything. Any time a politician is interacting with pages, you have to ask why. In Foley's case, it was clear that he was crossing all kinds of lines with them. And to be honest, Kolbe's actions in terms of Foley are truly disturbing. Mr. Friend of Pages complained in 2000 and let it lie? Why?

If he cared that much about kids, he would have been all over Foley and the leadership to cut this shit out. Because it was wildly inappropriate. And as a member of the page board, he had
the status, and more importantly, the duty to do it.

Chris Shays shouldn't be so stupid. If Hastert turned his back on a child sex predator, we're talking about a lot of victims, not just one, no matter how tragic that may be. Foley was indiscriminate in his behavior, so much so, that people noticed it years ago.

New Gingrich and Tom DeLay also have to answer for their inaction as well. What were they were doing while Foley was staggering around, leering at pages?

Do they think people will push this aside for lower taxes? It's really simple: you can't vote Roger Mahoney into jail, but you can vote the Republicans out of office, and for the exact same reason, aiding and abetting child sexual predators.

posted by Steve @ 1:26:00 PM

1:26:00 PM

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