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Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley complained to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush two years ago that the White House snubbed him during presidential visits to the state, according to e-mails obtained by the Palm Beach Post.
In e-mails the newspaper excerpted on its Web site (http://www.palmbeachpost.com) on Thursday, Foley asked the governor to intervene on his behalf with his brother, President George W. Bush.
“Have I done something to offend the White House? … I am always getting the shaft,” Foley wrote to Gov. Bush on September 29, 2004.
The Republican former congressman said in that message he had not been allowed to accompany the president on post-hurricane visits to Foley’s district in Florida, although other local lawmakers had been invited.
“I can’t quite figure what I have done, but this is a continuing pattern of slights. … I have constantly put the president in the best possible light,” Foley wrote to the governor.
The governor responded, “I will try to help. I know it is nothing you have done.”
Foley, who is gay, resigned from Congress on September 29 amid revelations that he sent sexually explicit messages to young male congressional aides, a scandal that threatens Republicans’ control of Congress.
The newspaper said Gov. Bush and Foley exchanged about 100 electronic messages since 1999, and that it obtained copies from the governor’s office in a public records request.
It said the messages showed a friendly relationship with the governor and mostly concerned hurricanes, legislation and appointments.
After Foley’s resignation, Gov. Bush described Foley’s messages to the congressional aides as “disgusting” and said he was angered by Foley’s breach of public trust.