Long before Mark Beck-Heyman ever came to this town in 1995 to work as a congressional page, Congress had revamped the program in hopes of preventing the sort of sex scandals that had disgraced two congressmen more than a decade earlier.
Regardless, the former resident of San Diego’s North Park neighborhood learned almost from day one that there was one person to be careful of: Rep. Mark Foley.
â€œWhen I got there, I was warned about Foley from former pages and cloakroom Republican staffers,â€ said Beck-Heyman, who attended a Catholic high school at the time and was nominated for the page program by Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, who then lived in Imperial Beach. â€œThe warning was to watch out for him.â€
Beck-Heyman, who was 17 when he arrived in Washington in the summer of 1995, said it appeared to be common knowledge among Capitol Hill staffers that Foley was known for inappropriate advances toward the youths who come from across the nation to serve in the congressional page program.
Beck-Heyman said an outgoing page and an adult staffer in the GOP cloakroom â€“ a place just off the House floor restricted to lawmakers â€“ warned him to be careful of Foley, a freshman lawmaker who had arrived that January.
He said Foley once asked him out for ice cream. â€œHe was friendly to me,â€ said Beck-Heyman, who is now studying for a doctorate in psychology at George Washington University. â€œHe knew my name and he invited me out for ice cream, but I didn’t go. Looking back on it, it was uncomfortable, but it was also kind of cool that a congressman paid attention to a page.â€
He provided The Washington Post with a handwritten letter that Foley had sent him after the page left Washington to return home to California, suggesting that they get together during the Republican National Convention in San Diego in 1996.
Suggested Republican response:
“This happened during the morally lax Clinton Administration where, ‘if it feels good do it’ was not only a way of life, but was encouraged. And if Bill Clinton hadn’t been so busy setting the tone by encouraging everyone to have deviant sex just like he was, this, along with the attack on 9/11/2001, never would have happened. Oh, and Michael Moore is fat.”
If John Hinderaker or or Rush Limbaugh use any part of the above, I want royalties.