Foleygate: The usual suspects

By THOMAS HARGROVE

Here is a cast of characters and memorable quotations in the rapidly expanding scandal around former Rep. Mark Foley, including other members of Congress and staffers caught in the fallout.


Mark Foley — Six-term Republican congressman for Florida’s 16th District who resigned Friday after news reporters confronted him with sexually explicit Internet instant messaging transcripts with a former House page. Foley, 52, released a statement that he is "deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida." Foley returned home and entered an alcohol treatment program, according to his lawyer.

"My Favorite Young Stud" — How Foley reportedly described a 16-year-old former House page in sexually explicit Internet instant messages in 2003. According to a 51-minute exchange, the former page played lacrosse, took Advanced Placement English at his high school, had recently broken up with a girl friend, did not mind talking about homosexual sex, but demurred "not tonight" when invited to participate in gay sex.

"Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick" — How another former House page reportedly described a series of e-mail exchanges in 2005 from Foley, who asked how old the teenager was and what he wanted for his birthday. Although the messages were not sexual, Foley also requested that the teen provide a personal photograph. "This freaked me out," the youth complained.

Kirk Fordham — chief-of-staff to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds. Fordham previously worked as Foley’s chief of staff for 10 years and, reportedly, advised his former boss in recent days on how to proceed during the scandal.

Rodney Alexander — a Republican congressman from Louisiana who received a complaint in 2005 from a former House page unhappy with a series of e-mails from Foley asking, among other things, for a photograph of the teenager. Alexander’s staff contacted House Speaker Dennis Hastert, asking that Foley stop contact with the youth.

John Shimkus — Republican congressman from Illinois who oversees the House page system. Shimkus met with Foley last year after the Louisiana youth complained about e-mails. Foley said he only wanted to "mentor" the teen, but Shimkus ordered Foley to cease all contact with the youth. Foley agreed.

Tom Reynolds — Republican congressman from New York and chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee. Reynolds said he personally raised concerns about Foley’s e-mails during a meeting in February or March of this year with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and later disputed Hastert’s claims that the speaker only learned of the issue last week.

David Roth — the West Palm Beach, Fla., attorney representing Foley who went on national television Monday night to say that Foley is "absolutely, positively not a pedophile" but rather wrote the e-mails "under the influence of alcohol." He said his client "has never, ever had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor."

Dennis Hastert — Speaker of the House who is refusing early calls for his resignation in the scandal. "The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation," proclaimed The Washington Times said in an editorial titled "Resign, Mr. Speaker." "I’m not going to do that," Hastert said Tuesday.

8 Responses to "Foleygate: The usual suspects"

  1. Joan  October 4, 2006 at 4:16 pm
  2. Bill Jonke  October 4, 2006 at 5:23 pm
  3. Madison Guy  October 4, 2006 at 7:54 pm
  4. David Rosenberg  October 4, 2006 at 9:46 pm
  5. Joan  October 4, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    This is like dealing with a bunch of children with attention deficit disorder! Like the ADD child, these guys are never reponsible for their own actions. It’s always someone else’s fault. In an effort to find someone to blame for his own behavior, Foley has managed to insult a number of groups (those REALLY molested by clergy, abused children, homosexuals, and alcoholics). Who’s next? His former Congressional peers are just as quickly scrambling for cover to deny they were aware of the ongoings. I’m just waiting for one of them to declare, in true Fugitive style, “It wasn’t me! It was the one armed man!”

  6. Bill Jonke  October 4, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    My astonishment lies in the fact that these Republicans have, and continue to have, a severe case of temporary amnesia.

    Then, when it “comes to them,” it’s somebody else’s fault.

    I have to say that I’m getting a bit annoyed at the “I don’t recall” syndrome that’s permeated our current administration.

  7. Madison Guy  October 4, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Sometimes nothing tells a story as well as a single, powerful photograph. I don’t know why the national media didn’t pick this up, but they should have. In case you missed it:

    BW photograph of a truly shameless moment. There’s a deep sadness here — layers upon layers upon layers of meaning in this iconic Buffalo News photo that perfectly sums up and symbolizes the whole damn Foleygate scandal, which has rapidly moved beyond the “merely” sleazy, salacious and corrupt. Now it’s an utterly surreal, blame-shifting mass abdication of all personal responsibility.

    Take another look at the children. Then look at the man (Rep. Reynolds) at the microphone. See the face of a party leadership that uses children to score “family values” points but doesn’t give a damn. At all.

  8. David Rosenberg  October 4, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Kirk Fordham disgusts me. He worked Ten years with Foley, surely he must have seen this once in those years. The first time he should have acted, talk to foley, tell someone, something other then staying quiet.
    Hastert, if he doesn’t resign, charges of aiding a felon should be brought against him. Foley is a Pedophile, which is against the law.
    What could be most troubling, are there any more Foley’s lurcking in Congress or the Senate?

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