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Congressional Pages: ‘Kids gone wild’

By Doug Thompson
December 8, 2007

Sex among young Congressional pages has become so rampant that two youngsters were recently sent home for engaging in oral sex in front of, and with encouragement from, other pages.

Lax oversight of the underage charges who serve as “gofers” on Capitol Hill has led to resignations by two members of the Congressional board that oversees the program and claims that pages are routinely engage in sex acts with each other and committing crimes.

So far, four pages have been sent home for “inappropriate sexual conduct” and shoplifting but sources on Capitol Hill says the system is out of control and some concerned parents have dubbed the system “kids gone wild.”

Congressional pages are high school juniors, usually 17, who serve as errand runners for members of Congress. While working in Congress, they live in a dorm on Capitol Hill and attend school at the Library of Congress.

CNN reported Friday that two pages were dismissed after they engaged in oral sex in a public area of the Congressional Page dorm on Capitol Hill.

A page who observed the incident tells Capitol Hill Blue that a young female page gave a “blow job” to a young male page while other pages observed and encouraged the act. Other pages compete to see who can have sex in the most dangerous public places. Some pages claim they have engaged in sexual activity in the House Chamber and in rooms of the U.S. Capitol.

“Shoplifting Clubs” have also emerged in the Page System with scores tallied by the quantity and value of items stolen from Washington-area stores.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a member of the board that oversees the page system, resigned and, in her resignation letter, said parents have called the system “kids gone wild.”

“This year has already seen four pages dismissed from the program; dismissals for serious criminal acts and for inappropriate sexual indiscretions between the students,” Brown-Waite said in her letter.

A second member of the board, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, also resigned, saying information of the growing page scandal was withheld from members of Congress by the Clerk of the House, Lorraine Miller.

“Members of this board cannot productively tackle problems that may occur with our pages when questionable incidents are held from members of the Page Board. There have been numerous occurrences this year in which board members have not received timely information, and it is my belief that to move forward we must start fresh with a truly open dialogue,” Caputo said in a prepared statement released Friday.

Capito and Brown-Waite, both Republicans, blame the Democratic leadership of the House for what they say is a failure to learn from the Mark Foley scandal of 2006.

Foley, a Florida Republican, resigned in disgrace after revelations of several incidents of inappropriate behavior with male pages. Foley later claimed he was molested as a child by a Catholic priest. Evidence showed Republican leaders of Congress knew of Foley’s problems and looked the other way. The scandal was considered a contributing factor to the GOP loss of control of Congress in the 2006 midterm election.

At the time, then-Speaker Dennis Hastert promised an overhaul of the Page system and new oversight and control but both Capito and Brown-Waite say nothing has really changed.

“Apparently Democrats didn’t learn from the Mark Foley incident that pages need better supervision,” Brown-Waite told CNN. “Apparently they haven’t learned anything. Nancy Pelosi is a mother and a grandmother. She should be embarrassed.”

Democratic Speaker Pelosi defended the Clerk’s action, saying dismissal of the pages shows a “zero tolerance” toward misbehavior.

In a statement released by her office, Pelosi said:

“The House Page Board must undertake an immediate and thorough review of the adequacy of the supervision and security at the page dorm. As a mother and a grandmother, nothing is more important to me than the safety and security of our House pages.”

But sources within the page system say the problem goes far beyond the four pages sent home for misconduct.

Sex scandals involving pages is nothing new on Capitol Hill but past blowups have involved Members of Congress. Besides Foley, two House Members were censured in 1983 for admitting sex with 17-year-old pages. Rep. Daniel Crane, a Republican from Illinois, apologized to his colleagues for having sex with a young female page and lost his bid for re-election in 1984. Rep. Gerry Studds, a Democrat from Massachusetts, defiantly told the House Chamber that he considered his sexual acts with a young male page to be “nobody’s business” and won several re-elections before retiring from Congress in 1997.

14 Responses to Congressional Pages: ‘Kids gone wild’

  1. barak

    December 10, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Just one question:
    Where do I get an application?

  2. FormerPage99

    December 10, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Prior to today I had never heard of this website. Inferring from its name, capital hill blue, I am going to assume that it isn’t that serious, but the allegation in this article are. The writer clearly did a poor job of research, claiming that most high school juniors are 17 (wrong, 16) and failing to discern between House and Senate Pages, but with the serious talk of getting rid of the Page program which has been swirling for the last several years, I would like to clarify. First: these problems are not taking place in the Senate Page program (where only thirty pages reside, compared to 60-70 in the House). Second: these problems can be fixed with a better set of leadership and oversight; there is no need to do away with the system. There are a lot of Senate and House Pages that love this opportunity and make the most of it. Every former Page will tell you that it was the opportunity of a life time to get paid and work in the capitol of the United States. Not every House Page is running rampant having oral sex. I know several current house pages as well as former and this isn’t happening like its being made to seem in this article. Clearly changes need to be made, but poor writing like this aren’t helping the program.

  3. Uncle Raisin

    December 12, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    It doesn’t stretch credulity to believe that there are goings-on among the pages as described in this article. After all, we’re talking about 17 year olds in a post modern and post Christian era, who’s morals are guided by a secular ethic that changes as fast as the fads from year to year. Do we even know what “is” is yet?

    Uncle Raisin
    http://www.UncleRaisin.com
    “Raisin” the Standard Against Injustice

  4. page08

    July 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I was a House Page for the Spring 2008 session and I have to tell you that to see us labled as “kids gone wild” really breaks my heart more than you know… the actions of several of my collegues should not reflect on all of us, most of us come from really good families who over our 17yrs. of exsitence have taught us morals and the correct way to act and manners and never in a thousand years would I have gone and commited what my collegues have done and so I think to title all of us as “kids gone wild” is a very unfair title. We work really hard and do our best to keep our noses clean so please respect the 58 other pages who did nothing and do not label us as “kids gone wild”.

  5. Sandra Price

    December 8, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I’m not the least surprised at this commentary. Has anyone bothered to watch the music videos, game videos, television show and commercials and of course the internet in the last couple of years?

    I went to sleep with the television on and woke up so some of the most suggestive dialog on the “Animal Channel.” Is there no place in the home, television, schools or playgrounds where our kids are not loaded down with sex?

    Come on parents! Stand up and get your kids back in sports and academic organizations and teach them some modesty and values! Church has done nothing to repair what the parents have allowed in their own homes and I would bet that these pages all come from religious homes.

    Are we too afraid of our kids to remove the televisions from the home during their training years? Are we too lazy to attend school board meetings?

    We are innundated with the crimes and lack of ethics in our government and if I hear one more Evangelical speak on morality, I may puke.

  6. Bill Jonke

    December 8, 2007 at 10:14 am

    This is appalling. It also makes a strong statement on parenting skills, or the obvious lack of them, across the board, even enough to to affect the page system.

    The “boys will be boys” attitude appears to lately include free sex whenever, with whomever, wherever, you want, and even considering the most cavalier and frivolous attitudes these days, it’s a horrible image problem, not to mention the more serious moral and social problem, one of many that apparently our increasingly crappy Democratic controlled Congress cannot afford to ignore. Turnip Pelosi, get on the stick!

  7. Jenifer D.

    December 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Well, boys and girls,

    ever wonder why our electeds roll over so easily to whatever Shrub and Phallus demand? How much do you want to bet these hacks have video of these ‘pages’ servicing the electeds in question? Anything is a means to an end here.

    Remember old J. Edgar? He had dirt on EVERYBODY high-profile; politicos and celebs in general.

    The electeds in question, including those who had the decency to resign, have alot to lose when they challenge the neocon king and his court, so to speak.

    I’m guessing being in possession of a spine isn’t a prerequisite to run for public office anymore; as long as one has a fat wallet, no principles, lots of posers on the old payroll, and an appetite for destruction, they can get elected to whatever office they want. Shameful behavior on any level.

  8. CheckerboardStrangler

    December 8, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    The pages have had excellent teachers in Slut 101, both in the House and Senate chambers, at home, on the streets and on television.
    It wouldn’t be as big a deal and we wouldn’t be seeing this kind of collapse if some BALANCE were applied, some equal time given to positive values and genteel behavior…but

    SURPRISE!

    There ain’t any balance to be had!
    Not in the Dems, not in the GOP, not in the Congress, not anywhere in society, not even in the churches.
    There are NO role models that are even remotely available to set good examples. Even the places where one expects to find these good examples, where “good moral values” are preached from on high, are perhaps the biggest cesspools of depravity.

    Is it any wonder that, in a city so deeply charged with conflicting political voltage and faux-spiritual current, that we are witnessing a short-circuit in the ranks of our youngest, best and brightest?

    They’ve had the best teachers money and influence can buy.

    I actually look forward to the meltdown in the coming years when this generation takes its place as our newest legislators, lobbyists and policywriters.
    Should make an excellent backdrop for the impending doom.

    All we need now is a new Emperor Nero and Vice President Caligula.

  9. A

    December 8, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I would like to add, as a recent former page, that many of the assertions in this article may be false or exaggerated regarding the behavior of pages. During my time in D.C., none of my fellow pages competed over “who can have sex in the most dangerous public places” or who could steal the most pricey items. Even the thought of sexual activity in the House Chamber would have been considered immature and almost sacrilegious (and in practice, given all the supervision and CSPAN cameras, IMPOSSIBLE). With few exceptions, my page peers were upright, honest, and dedicated to their work. I would be very surprised if this class of pages had such a different attitude from that of my own class. The actions of the individual pages should not be used to make generalizations about pages, their parents, or the program.

  10. KayInMaine

    December 8, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    You don’t suppose the Pages have learned this behavior from the Republics after years of having them in charge? Seems like it. Of course, I bet Ginny watched those surveillance tapes for months before reporting anything! LOL What a pervert.

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  11. Sandra Price

    December 9, 2007 at 7:23 am

    I have felt for years that the basic Christian agenda is simply a sexual one. It is based on breeding, not quality. Our government is now loaded with these over-sexed Christians and it is just coming to the surface. There is a level of child abuse in many Christian religions and now has surfaced in our own federal government.

    What do these fools want; an Amendment to keep their hands off of our kids and stop this interaction of the pages? I know of the movement to amend the Constitution using the prohibitions that we have been threatened with since 2000.

    Checkerboard, you scored a perfect 10 on your comments.

  12. rolltide1101

    December 10, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Several comments:

    First off, I served as a SENATE Page, and I, along with all involved with the Senate Page Program, would appreciate it if you would make a distinction between the two. They are COMPLETELY SEPARATE PROGRAMS. The Senate Page Program is strict and structured and not involved in these issues.

    CONGRESSIONAL pages have not existed for quite some time; there are only House Pages, those you are referring to, and Senate pages, something completely different.

    As another correction, pages ARE paid.

    Check your facts, ma’am.

  13. FormerPage99

    December 10, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Amen. I would have to assume that this article has taken some liberties, involving the House Pages, but as a former Senate Page, I can say that none of this and I mean, not a single part of this applies for Senate Pages.

  14. Steve Horn

    December 10, 2007 at 11:02 am

    It would seem that these youngsters are learning their behavior from “the best” – members of congress. After all – if you’re not stealing or engaging in inappropriate behavior, what kind of government official are you?

    These kids are well on their way to being our next crop of “leaders”.

    Imagine – at one point members of congress poked fun at Carter for confessing that he “sinned in his mind” –