A rafting trip
Wow, pages. Are you sure they're teenagers?
Rep. Kolbe visited Grand Canyon with pages
Park Service workers accompanied group during 1996 trip
EXCLUSIVELY ON MSNBC.COM
By Jim Popkin and Aram Roston
Updated: 10:05 p.m. ET Oct 10, 2006
Why these two pages?
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) took two male pages with him on a three-day camping trip in 1996, former congressional pages and National Park Service officials tell NBC News. The pages, who were 17 at the time, went rafting and camping with Kolbe in the Grand Canyon over the July 4th holiday that year.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Kolbe confirms the overnight trip but says that the pages did not travel alone with Kolbe. The congressman's sister was on the trip, along with office staffers and several Park Service employees, says Kolbe spokeswoman Korenna Cline. Gary Cummins, the deputy superintendent of Grand Canyon in 1996, tells NBC News that he also was on the trip with Congressman Kolbe. He confirms that two young men were on the trip with Kolbe, as part of a larger group.
Kolbe's spokeswoman says the pages paid their own way on the trip. She adds that Kolbe was on the House Interior Committee at the time, and was visiting the Grand Canyon to study Park Service operations and to perform "fire reconnaissance."
At best, it's the appearance of favoritism, and we know what the worst is.
You have Kolbe on the page board in 1999, you have him going to Foley in 2000 and having it end there. You have Kolbe offering his house to pages.
It may all be innocent.
But it smells.
When most Congressmen barely notice pages, Kolbe is including them into his inner circle. I am not saying he had sex with them, but it's seriously odd to have ONE trip, with two pages. If it was a normal summer thing, ok, but any time a Congressman singles out pages for special favors, you have to ask hard questions.
It seems a wildly inappropriate level of intimacy for teenagers to have with adult staff and their Congressman.
posted by Steve @ 2:07:00 AM