More Foley

Chicago Trib:

A former House page said Sunday that in 2003 he saw sexually suggestive e-mails that Rep. Mark Foley had sent to another former page.

Patrick McDonald, 21, now a senior at Ohio State University, said he eventually learned of "three or four" pages from his 2001-2002 class who were sent such messages.

McDonald said he remembered saying at a 2003 page reunion, "If this gets out, it will destroy him."
Frankly, it’s amazing that Foley managed to keep it up undetected until now. Or not, actually—because it seems like he had help.

The Trib ends its story with this: “The relationship between Foley and pages in the class of 2001 and 2002 was so close that he stood up on the floor of the House to commend the young men and women for their service.”

And kickingdonkey at MyDD pulled out the transcript of that occasion:

Mr. SHIMKUS: I thank my colleague. Now someone who spends a lot of time with you also, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Foley), would like to say a thank you.

Mr. FOLEY: I warn all of you not to cry in front of me, please, so I can get through this very important day with you without shedding tears as well....

And, of course, Melanie, and finally John [redacted]. John was the highest bidder on lunch with Mark Foley. Maybe you all do not know this story, but John had paid considerable sums to dine with me. I had offered to take the winning bidder to lunch in the Members' dining room. Then I heard how much John [redacted] paid. And I said, “John, there is no way in the world after you committed so much money to have lunch with me that I would dare take you downstairs to eat in the Members' dining room.” I said, “Where do you want to go?” He says, without reservation, “Morton's.” I said, “Morton's? Like in Morton's Steakhouse?” He said, “Oh, would that be too much?” I said, “Oh, no, we'll go.” I said, “Call your mother, get permission, make sure she notifies the Clerk and we will go to Morton's.” And so we proceeded to cruise down in my BMW to Morton's.
“Mr. Shimkus” is Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) who runs the Page Board. If Republican pages were being warned in 2001 “to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley” by a supervisor in the House Clerk’s office, how on earth did Shimkus not know what was going on with Foley? If he didn’t, someone was protecting Foley from him. If he did, he clearly felt no obligation to protect pages from Foley, since he obviously let him “spend a lot of time” with them. In either case, there was a serious breakdown in oversight that needs to be explained.

And Tony Snow dismisses the whole mess as “simply naughty emails.” Hastert continues to try to distance himself from responsibility by saying he only learned of the more graphic IM conversations from the media, and “certain Members of Congress were only made aware of a 2005 e-mail exchange between Foley and a House page that was characterized as ‘over-friendly’ and not of a sexual nature.”

Let’s talk about that “characterization” for a minute. The emails included questions like “what stuff do you like to do?” and also included a request for a picture. Call me crazy, but when a 52-year-old is sending emails like that to a 16-year-old, they’re more than just “over-friendly,” and anyone with two brain cells still knocking together ought to be able to figure that out. Just because Foley didn’t include pictures of his dick doesn’t mean the emails weren’t “of a sexual nature.” Sexual overtures are not always sexually graphic.

And I think it’s worth pointing out again and again that these were sent from Foley’s personal email account. If he was just being friendly, as these assholes keep claiming, why didn’t he send his missives from his Congressional email? That the GOP leadership couldn’t put two and two together is either indicative of monumental stupidity, or, more likely, their deliberate unwillingness to come up with four.

Meanwhile, Foley has checked himself into rehab, saying he needs “immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems.”

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