Former Page Jim Kolbe Knew of Mark Foley's Emails in 2000
Openly gay Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe knew about Mark Foley's online indiscretions in 2000 and confronted him directly, Kolbe's press secretary Korenna Cline announced yesterday. Up till now, it was thought that Republican leaders only knew of the emails last fall: "A source with direct knowledge of Kolbe's involvement said the messages shared with Kolbe were sexually explicit, and he read the contents to The Washington Post under the condition that they not be reprinted. But Cline denied the source's characterization, saying only that the messages had made the former page feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she said, 'corrective action' was taken. Cline said she has not yet determined whether that action went beyond Kolbe's confrontation with Foley." Kolbe, who came out in 1996 after his vote in favor of DOMA, served as a congressional page himself (pictured at left) for Senator Barry Goldwater in the late 50's.
A former congressional page told the LA Times that he and Mark Foley had a sexual encounter when the page was 21, after he had left the page program. Foley's actions during the page program, however, were consistent with stories from other pages. The page contacted by the LA Times described how he and the other pages gossiped about Foley's "over-friendly behavior" and had a name for him:
"They nicknamed him 'Triple F,' for 'Florida Fag Foley.' One evening, four of the boys made an unannounced visit to Foley's home. 'We knocked on his door and he let us in. Nothing happened, but he was very friendly,' the former page said. Foley's flirtations made the young man feel important at a time when he was struggling with his emerging sexuality. 'It seemed cool that he was taking an interest,' he said. 'I knew he was gay, and he was attracted to me.'"
"Foley's IMs to the page reveal that Foley sexually assessed the pages in the program at the time: "In the messages, Maf54 described how years earlier, he had looked to see whether the former page had an erection in his tight white pants while the then-teenager was working near the congressman. Maf54 also speculated about the sexual attributes of other males in the same page class, including the observation that one young man was 'well hung.'"
Focus on the Family's James Dobson believes (or really wants to believe) that Matt Drudge's now widely-discredited report that the page IMs were a prank are true: "As it turns out, Mr. Foley has had illicit sex with no one that we know of, and the whole thing turned out to be what some people are now saying was a -- sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages."
NYT: Foley Case upsets Balance of Gay Republicans. "Since Representative Foley, Republican of Florida, resigned after it was revealed he had sent sexually explicit electronic messages to male pages, gay Republicans in Washington have been under what one describes as 'siege and suspicion.' Some conservative groups blamed the “gay lifestyle” and the gathering force of the “gay agenda” for the scandal. Others equated homosexuality with pedophilia, a link that has long outraged gay men and lesbians. Conservative blogs and Web sites pointed out that gay staff members played principal roles in investigating the Foley case, suggesting that the party was betrayed by gay men trying to hide misconduct by one of their own. In the meantime, a group of gay activists, angered by what they see as hypocrisy by gay Republicans, have begun circulating a document known as The List, a roster of gay Congressional staff members and their Republican bosses."
Members of Congress playing spin the bottle as a remedy for trouble: "Drunken foibles in Washington used to be overlooked, with embarrassing floor speeches edited out of the official record, says Gary Jacobson, professor of political science at the University of California. Yet in a confessional age, where alcoholism is seen as a disease, not a defect of character, blaming drink 'has become the standard operating procedure'.
The Background on FoleyGate
Pat Buchanan on that "Flamer" Foley [tr]
Barney Frank: "Gay GOP Like Secret Jews" [tr]
Hastert Asked "To Intervene" on Foley Three Years Ago [tr]
Mark Foley's Indiscretions Began in '95, as did Cover-Up [tr]
Foley is Gay, Says Attorney; Was Molested by Clergyman as Teenager [tr]
The Talk: Foley, Jon Stewart, Hastert, Bay Buchanan [tr]
Mark Foley Scandal Updates [tr]
Investigations Begin into Cover-up Surrounding Mark Foley: Republican Leaders Knew of Misdeeds for Five Years, Did Nothing [tr]
Political Page Turner: Rep. Mark Foley Resigns Seat Over Inappropriate Emails [tr]
Male Page and Rep Mark Foley in Troubling Email Exchange [tr]