CommunityPam's House Blend

More GOP family values: Foley aide tried to cut a deal with ABC's Ross

[UPDATE: Conservatives are calling on Hastert to resign.]

Good thing ABC’s Brian Ross, who broke the Foleygate story wide open, didn’t take Foley’s former chief of staff up on an offer to get an “exclusive” on Foley stepping down if he withheld the more damning evidence of the former Congressman’s predatory behavior.

Howard Kurtz:

On Friday afternoon, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to cut a deal with ABC’s Brian Ross.

The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley’s former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.

“I said we’re not making any deals,” Ross recalls. He says the Internet made the story possible, because on Thursday he posted a story on his ABC Web page, the Blotter, after obtaining one milder e-mail that Foley had sent a 16-year-old page, asking for a picture. Within two hours, former pages had e-mailed Ross and provided the salacious messages.


And just when you don’t think it can get any sleazier, Foley’s expert pickup lines for pages are emerging. (ABC Blotter):

In addition to explicit sexual language, former Congressman Mark Foley’s Internet messages also include repeated efforts to get the underage recipient to rendezvous with him at night.

I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you,” Foley said in one message obtained by ABC News.


And out of the gate at the White House, our spokesbot and racism expert Tony Snow gives us the best that they can do on Foley and damage control — attempt to convince America that everyone’s just making a big deal out of “naughty emails.” Right. (Raw Story, which has video).

“Yeah, look, I hate to tell you but it’s not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. There have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty emails.”

So he’d be kosher with any of his children having a sexually charged IM session with someone like Mark “totally stiff wood” Foley?


BTW, Denny Hastert has scrubbed his web site of the “Keep Kids Safe in Cyberspace” event that was up a couple of days ago.

Before the scrub:

Think Progress has the scrubbed version and more.


WND’s Farah: Republicans can’t govern

I guess it’s time for the GOP to take down its big tent and pack it in if Joseph Farah’s column is any indication of what’s going on out there in wingnut land.

I have concluded Republicans are unworthy of retaining control of the federal government.

…It’s not just what one unfit congressman did. It is how his colleagues, mindful only of defending their own positions of power, reacted.

Hastert’s office said aides referred the matter to the proper authorities last fall but they were only told the messages were “over-friendly.” In other words, they did no investigating because they didn’t want to know the truth. An election was coming, and Republicans were hoping to hold their slim majority in a tough contest this year.

…Let me also remind you that it is the sworn duty of the House to clean its own house. It should not have been a matter of simply turning over information to the “proper authorities.” The Congress of the United States is the proper authority to determine whether any member is unfit to hold office.

…[Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.] has said he learned about the e-mail exchange in late 2005 and took immediate action to investigate. He said Foley told him it was an innocent exchange.Shamus said he warned Foley not to have any more contact with the teenager and to respect other pages.

That was it? That was the result of his investigation? Did he ask to see the e-mail messages? Why did he accept Foley’s explanation at face value? Again, the answer is clear. No Republican wanted to jeopardize Foley’s seat – which is exactly what they did by not kicking him out of the House in 2005.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding