By now you’ve all heard about Republican Congressman Mark Foley’s creepy emails to under-aged pages asking them to measure their penis size and other such ill-advised topics for someone who built his political career on protecting children from online predators such as… well… such as himself apparently. I didn’t write anything about it because there’s really not a whole lot to say other than, “BAD REPUBLICAN! BAD! BAD!” Foley has already resigned his position in shame and hopefully will get some help so there’s not much more that needs to be said.
Or at least there wasn’t until I read this morning that House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, who has repeatedly denied knowing anything about Foley’s naughty emails prior to last week, may have actually known about it for the past year:
Hastert did not dispute the claims of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), and his office confirmed that some of Hastert’s top aides knew last year that Foley had been ordered to cease contact with the boy and to treat all pages respectfully.
Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, became the second senior House Republican to say that Hastert has known of Foley’s contacts for months, prompting Democratic attacks about the GOP leadership’s inaction. Foley abruptly resigned his seat Friday.
Only after Reynolds’s definitive statement did Hastert concede yesterday that he may have been notified of some of the questionable activities of Foley, 52, who had co-chaired the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. Hastert said, however, that he knew nothing of the sexually explicit instant messages that became public Friday when ABC News and other news outlets reported them. The messages apparently were exchanged with youths other than the 16-year-old.
Hastert’s aides learned in the fall of 2005 only of e-mail exchanges that House officials eventually deemed “over-friendly” with the Louisiana teenager, the speaker’s office said yesterday in a lengthy statement. “While the Speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation” with Reynolds, the statement said, “he has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynolds’s recollection that he reported to him on the problem and its resolution.”
Thus prompting my question on whether Hastert is a Catholic ‘cause he seems to be acting like the Pope in that maybe-if-we-ignore-it-it’ll-go-away line of thinking. It makes one wonder if Hastert would’ve resorted to moving Foley around to different congressional districts if he had the power to do so in hopes he’d find pages ugly enough not to attract Foley’s attention. At the very least Hastert could’ve done something to remove Foley from his position on the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. Another shining example of Republican hypocrisy in action.