By KIMBERLY HEFLING
Rick Santorum has spent 12 years in the Senate — and millions of dollars on TV ads for a third term. Yet a lot of Pennsylvania voters just plain don't like him.
Polls show Santorum's approval rating is in the 30s, just about what it was a year ago. Roughly the same number of voters view him unfavorably as favorably.
President George W. Bush and Republicans have taken a battering over Iraq, but it's not because voters believe Democrats have a clear strategy for ending the conflict and bringing American soldiers home.
"There's no doubt about it: Hastert has to go," a GOP political campaign operative said late Wednesday as the House Ethics Committee prepared to meet today to investigate former Repubican Rep. Mark Foley's incredibly bizzare behavior towards young male pages along with Hastert's failure to take action.
Kirk Fordham, chief of staff to National Republican Congressional Committee head Rep. Thomas Reynolds and a former top aide to Foley, resigned Wednesday and told reporters he had warned Hastert's office about Foley's inappropriate behavior three years ago but that the Speaker did nothing.
Like Foley, Fordham is gay, as are a number of top Republican staff members in the House, Senate and national GOP committees. Investigators for the House Ethics Committee want to know if gays in the House conspired to protect Foley.
"We're talking tip of the iceberg here," one House Ethics Committee staffer tells Capitol Hill Blue. "This thing will just keep getting worse."
Committee investigators are also focusing on the actions, or inaction, of Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer who some say may have stonewalled any investigation of Foley.
For Republicans, already struggling to hold on to control of the House and Senate, the scandal could not have come at a worse time. New polls show support for Democrats increasing as problems mount for the GOP.
The Bush administration can continue its warrantless surveillance program while it appeals a judge's ruling that the program is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
By THOMAS HARGROVE
The Catholic diocese in south Florida where former Rep. Mark Foley lived nearly 40 years ago when he said a clergyman sexually abused him, has one of the nation's worst records of sexual misconduct by priests and bishops.
By ANDREW TAYLOR and LARA JAKES JORDAN
The Justice Department ordered House officials to "preserve all records" related to disgraced Rep. Mark Foley's electronic correspondence with teenagers, intensifying an investigation into a scandal rocking Republicans five weeks before midterm elections.
The development came as a congressional aide who counseled Foley to resign last week submitted his own resignation Wednesday. "I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation," Kirk Fordham said in a statement.
Call it some good old fashion karma coming round. When it comes to homosexuality, the hypocrisy of the GOP has been waiting in the closet, just waiting to come out and bring the party down.