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Hastert, Kolbe Continue to Spin Foley Scandal:
Republican Leaders Contradict Earlier Statements

House Speaker Dennis Hastert held a press conference in front of a graveyard yesterday, attempting to deflect blame for the congressional page scandal that has thrown the Republican Party into turmoil. Hastert denied that he knew anything about the inappropriate emails before last Friday and that the indiscretions between Foley and the pages did not happen while pages were in Washington.

Said Hastert: "I didn't think anybody at any time in my office did anything wrong. I found out about these revelations last Friday, that is the first information I had about it."

Unfortunately for Hastert, Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff to House Republican campaign committee chair Thomas Reynolds and former aide to Mark Foley came forward last week and said that he had asked Hastert's office "to intervene" after revelations of Foley's inappropriate behavior became known sometime between 2001 and 2003.

So, who are we to believe, Fordham or a House Speaker backed into a corner? Said Fordham last week: "I have no congressman and no office to protect."

"The problem we have to do today is, you know, this didn't happen under our wa--, while pages were in Washington," said Hastert. "It happened after these people left, in my understanding, left the page program, at least the ones we're dealing with now, left the program and they were contacted after they left the program."

Unfortunately for Hastert, we know that pages were warned about Foley as early as 2001.

Can Hastert continue to spread these falsehoods and get away with it?

Listen to the Speaker (left) offer this piece of advice to a youth program for aspiring politicians:

"Another important thing is—especially in politics—is trust. I mean, if people don't trust ya, if you don't develop that trust and that type of relationship, that you're a person they can trust, that your word is your bond...y'know, that is so important. Y'know, a lot of people say, 'Well, politicians, they'll tell you anything.' Well, y'know, politicians that tell people anything don't last very long."

This video is part of a series of interviews featuring Republican congressman collected by blogger Matthew Rettenmund, done for the web program Streaming Futures, produced by youth for youth. The interviews are meant to offer "free career advice from industry leaders." Check the videos of Hastert and congressman Jim Kolbe out here.

Speaking of openly gay Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe, a man who is growing closer to the page scandal the more we learn, he issued a statement yesterday that directly contradicted the statement given by his spokesperson Korenna Cline on Sunday.

KolbeYesterday, Kolbe said, according to the Washington Post, that "he did not see the messages 'and was not told they were sexually explicit.' On Monday, the same paper had reported on a press conference by Kolbe's spokesperson Cline, who said that Kolbe knew about Mark Foley's indiscretions and had contacted him directly.

Huh? What are we to believe here?

CNN confirmed yesterday that Kolbe was a member of the page board when he first learned of Foley's inappropriate emails.

Another interesting piece of information that dropped yesterday, via AmericaBlog, is that Kolbe and Foley were both in contact with the same page, Jordan Edmund, who sent the original Foley emails. Edmund was close enough to Kolbe, in fact, to make use of his Washington home while Kolbe was out of town.

More on this as it comes in...

You may have missed...
Foley Scandal Continues to Stir Gay Republican Pot [tr]
Mark Foley: The Early Years [tr]
Former Page Jim Kolbe Knew of Mark Foley's Emails in 2000 [tr]
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]

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Comments

  1. Maybe attention should be focused elsewhere... all of the major news outlets have grown totally exhausted of this topic... as well they should be.

    Posted by: michael | Oct 11, 2006 9:40:18 AM


  2. ...and the plot thickens!

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 11, 2006 9:42:56 AM


  3. It's really important that Hastert steps down. He is in charge and it happened on his watch. Sucks, but true.

    So tired of D.C. folk getting away with shit that anyone in corporate america would be nailed to a cross for.

    Is there some type of petition to fire his ass out there?

    Posted by: Steven | Oct 11, 2006 10:03:42 AM


  4. death by a thousand cuts

    As soon as you think they have at least staunched the flow of blood, they cut themselves up again.

    I am still floored over haster's graveyard press conference. Seriously, these guys have no clue about symbolism.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 11, 2006 10:09:32 AM


  5. Are there ANY mainstream news media outlets covering the contradictory statements that are coming from these douche bags on a DAILY basis?

    I seldom watch MSM media because they tend to be mouthpieces for whoever pays their checks.

    Michael, I'm sure you would love for this story, and Iraq, and the economy, and Katrina, and torture, and the suspension of habeas corpus, and John Abramoff, and ALL the other Republican failures and scandals to just go away already so that we can have ALL TERROR, ALL THE TIME fear mongering from Rove and the media from now until election day.

    Sorry buddy, it ain’t gonna happen. :)

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 11, 2006 10:22:04 AM


  6. Republicunts can't control the damage from Foleygate, so just watch as the threat level is elevated to "Orange" again, and we are suddenly cautioned to by duct tape and build bomb shelters.

    Posted by: Crixi Van Cheek | Oct 11, 2006 10:28:38 AM


  7. Oops, that should read "buy duct tape". Its just so rude of me to forget "u".

    Posted by: Crixi Van Cheek | Oct 11, 2006 10:30:17 AM


  8. A sex scandal involving Kolbe too would be very bad for gays in DC.

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 11, 2006 11:47:42 AM


  9. I have a question, that maybe some of you out there who are following this story closely for me can answer.

    First, lets agree there are two types of Foley messages:

    Type A: The "creepy" but relatively innocuous messages. Basically, the one's where Foley acts overly friendly to the pages, but not overtly sexual. Those that look incriminating ONLY when viewed in full hindsight. Asking for a photo, or their birthday wish...creepy yes, but enough to publically level pedophilia accustions with?

    Type B: The overtly sexual messages. Masterbation tips, penis size inquiries, internet sex. You get the picture.

    Now here's my question: Is there any proof out there Hastert, Kolbe, or any other Republican saw a ****Type B**** Foley message before last Friday?

    Because you know, if all the debate above is when politicians knew of explainable Type A messages...isn't all that debate ESSENTIALLY IRRELEVANT???? If a Type A message is not enough to level reputation-destroying accusations to authorities...why do we care when they knew of it???? And hence, who cares that there are timing inconsistancies over an IRRELEVANT DETAIL???

    So, I repeat, when, as far as you know, did they know of the Type B Foley messages? You know, the actually RELEVANT messages? Was it sooner than last Friday...or not?

    And if not...is this not all in fact a tempest in a teapot?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 11, 2006 11:56:35 AM


  10. I see your point.

    But what about if the Leaders knew about Foley doing these "overly friendly" emails over a period of years to several/many Pages.

    Also what if they were told by the Pages about them and the Pages themselves expressed discomfort at just the "overly friendly" emails.

    I guess apart from all of that...why is a 50 y/o US congressman being so "cute" with Pages???

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 11, 2006 12:29:58 PM


  11. Pomp

    I would say if all they had seen was type a, then yes maybe just maybe this all might just be a tempest in a tea pot

    BUT

    type A + interns supposed warnings to leadership at least back to 2003+ pages being warned to beware back to 1995+ the possible (the guards would have kept records) drunken night trying to get into the page dorm thing = A lot more than repub leadership felling/knowing type a messages were just "over friendly" without type b having to bee seen at all to make that assumption

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 11, 2006 12:32:05 PM


  12. Pompy, As is often the case, you miss the point. The issue is not pedophilia but rather abuse of power. The creepy messages (and even more tellingly, the sexually explicit IMs) were sent by a principal to a subordinate to whom is owed a fiduciary duty. This consitutes evidence of prohibited sexual harassment. That is what is being investigated, along with the apparent cover-up and resultant finger-pointing. (Yes, we have had this discussion before but you continue to fail to learn.) That is why the age of the subordinate is irrelevant. (N.b. [nota bene; note well], Unusual captializations do not strengthen your argument. Instead, they betray your faulty logic and analysis.) It matters not (for purposes of sexual harrasment, cf. pedophilia) whether there was physical sexual contact. Therefore, the age of consent is immaterial (not legally relevant). In this regard, that is why Monica could be sexually harassed by Clinton even though she was "of age" (I believe 23 at the time) and also why consent is not a blanket defense in both instances (Clinton/Monica and Foley/pages). This is no tempest in a teapot because there is prima facie evidence of criminal and civil wrongdoing on the part of Foley (for the sexual harassment) and the House Republicans (for the cover-up or failure to act). On a more practical level, this is all about election politics. Several prominent members of the self-proclaimed Moral Values Party are being hung on their own petards in the public square. One hopes that the voters will realize this and toss out the hypocrits. Unfortuantely, closeted gays appear to be increasingly likely to suffer collateral political damage by being tarred with the brush of moral failings, whether allegedly sexual obsession or protecting their closeted bretheren. You are welcome for the on-going lessons in legal analysis, grammar, and rhetoric.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 11, 2006 12:34:54 PM


  13. Rudy

    I don't think Pomp misses the point at all

    I think Pomp is playing "Devil's Advocate". I base that on remembering Pomp's reactions for days......about how wrong this was and how the leadership messed up.

    Oh, and Hiffingtonpost.com reports that the staff members are testifying today about the whole Drunken Foley barging into the page dorm escapade.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 11, 2006 12:43:13 PM


  14. OK, so you guys are saying a bunch of Type A warnings can equal a Type B...OK I'll buy that, but does anyone here kept track of all the different Type A messages?

    I can only recall one of these Type A's myself...the one to that Loiusiana page who was a Katrina victim, asking for a photo, what he wanted for his birthday, etc.

    Besides that one...what were the other Type A's?

    And a side note to Rudy...you are off on a tangent, but I just have to point out...arn't you forgetting Foley only messaged FORMER pages? Hence no principal/subordinate thing going on? Hence inappropriate age is the ONLY relevant problem with the messages?

    Maybe thats why I fail to learn as you do. I base my opinions on correct facts while you base yours on incorrect ones.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 11, 2006 1:01:35 PM


  15. Pompy, Wrong again. The principal/subordinate relationship does not necessarily end with the termination of the "employment", particularly if it is an example of an on-going patttern of conduct. More importantly, there are no such things as "correct facts" much less "incorrect facts". A fact exists, if it is proven through evidence. What you may mean is whether a fact is 'material' or 'immaterial' to the issue being adjudged. That is what you consistently confuse. As for Jimbo, you have correctly identified Pompy's problem although you draw the wrong conclusion. Pompy is reacting rather than analyzing. Reacting is fine as a basis for individual opinion (see, e.g., my discussion of the hoped-for political results) but analysis is required for criminal or civil culpability. I continue to draw these distinctions to suggest how the investigation will proceed and to suggest likely legal (and policy)outcomes. Rant if you so choose. Bluster if you must. Do not, however, confuse such activities with analysis.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 11, 2006 1:57:10 PM


  16. Rudy: work on your spelling, punctuation, typing skills, oxymorons, misperceptions and misinterpretations, then we'll discuss your "on-going lessons in legal analysis, grammar, and rhetoric." E.g., "ongoing" is not hyphenated. E.g., it's "NB" or "N.B." not "N.b." E.g., "faulty logic," while a common expression, is an oxymoron. "Logic" is an absolute. It either is present or it isn't. It isn't like a "faulty toaster," or, in your case, faulty thinking. E.g., "The principal/subordinate relationship does not necessarily end with the termination of the "employment", [NB, unless you're British, in which case we will forgive your poor education, the comma should have been inside the closing quotations marks] is ludicrous. For instance, if one encounters a house boy who worked for one 30 years before and one makes a pass at him, can he sue for sexual harassment? Given that you have tirelessly demonstrated that you are a perfect example of the insufferable, anal retentive sciolist, we can only humbly suggest that, if you do find yourself at another yard sale, instead of looking for another dictionary or legal lexicon, you might search for a book on manners.

    Posted by: JP | Oct 11, 2006 3:19:01 PM


  17. If you think that a former employee is defined as a current subordinate and not a former subordinate than your analytical skills don't seem very impressive to me.

    Just admit it, you made an embarrasing factual error.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 11, 2006 3:30:05 PM


  18. Hey Rudy, how about a lesson on pomosity while you're at it?

    Posted by: Rob | Oct 11, 2006 4:36:59 PM


  19. Oops! I meant pomposity.

    Lol Oh well, serves me right for stooping to his level. I never was any good at being a jerk.

    Posted by: Rob | Oct 11, 2006 4:41:29 PM


  20. All the reporting is not irrelevant; Foley resigned because he knew it was just the tip of his iceberg. Hastert et al know this, too, but Hastert feels he can't resign because (1) it will even more likely lose Republicans the control of Congress; (2) it will admit the Republican leadership tolerated (homo)sexual harassment of pages and thus cause more and more questions to be asked about Hastert's private life and those of many others; and (3) if he can just stick it out till after Election Day, mayyybe the Republicans won't lose and he'll at least be in a better position for the eventual, guaranteed, even uglier than we've seen, fall-out. The way I see it, Foley had no choice but to resign and Hastert had nothing to lose by initially refusing to resign. Nothing says he won't STILL resign if more and more and more shoes continue to drop and Bush & his closeted enablers decide Denny needs to take a dive. Why aren't more people talking about Kolbe taking 17-year-old pages on a trip to the Grand Canyon? Be as P.C. and as pro-gay as you like but hello, former pages had already said that when Foley used to pay pages attention it was such a big honor to be noticed by a real, live congressman—Kolbe is taking them on overnight campin' trips. More stuff is coming. I don't know this from firsthand knowledge, I just know it from how the major players have behaved thus far.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 11, 2006 7:04:03 PM


  21. Well, it's pretty obvious why nobody is talking about Kolbe...he's retiring. No big political scalps can be taken talking about Kolbe, hence no one is really interested in his Grand Canyon trips and such. Same reason why there was comparitively little interest out there over the Amish slayings.

    No, I'm afraid we are in for a few more weeks of earth-shattering debate over what date Hastert first knew Foley wanted to buy some 17 year old former page a birthday present...was it July 2, 2002 at 6:40PM, or or January 17, 2000, at 11:43AM??? Sigh.

    Good analysis of Hastert. And I agree, more shoes will drop...but I'll bet ya they'll all somehow manage to drop before the election, not after.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 11, 2006 10:09:23 PM


  22. Name calling instead of reasoned analysis. I am shocked! Shocked, I say. Did not take the girls very long to get there. Pompy, you set up and attempt to refute a false premise. Your hypothesis is inapposite. A common example of faulty logic. And, yes, JP "faulty logic" is accepted liguistic shorthand for fallacious argumentation. Never took a logic course, did you? Not even "Intro to"? Did not even bother to do a quick Google search? And, yes, the punctuation goes outside the quotation marks unless an entire thought is being quoted. (The rationale being that the punctuation is then part of what is quoted rather than punctuating the sentence in which the quotation is recited. See, e.g., Chicago Manual of Style; cf. NY Times Style Manual.) Nice slander of the British school system. Might as well extend your ad hominem attack into an ad populem fallacy. Hypenation is an evolving, not static, grammatical process. Hyphenating "on-going" remains the preferred style. Furthermore JP, stringing together big words you found in your Wikipedia does not make your putative argument any less fallacious. An ad hominem attack remains so even if you use new words for the first time. Pompy, you asked for an answer, were given one, and rejected it because it did not comport with your preconceived "feelings". Emote all you want. Rant if you so choose. Bluster if you must. But do not confuse your Hectoring with reasoned analysis.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 12, 2006 7:32:45 AM


  23. No Rudy, I rejected your answer not due to "feelings, but because it was a stupid answer. It's ridiculous on its face to assert a principal/subordinate relationship exists between former employers/employees, and you got called out on that. Not just by me but several others here.

    At this point, the logical persuasive tactic for you would be to support your wild claim with at least ONE example where it was EVER held a former employee was owed such a fiduciary duty, and successfully sued for sexual harrassment which occured AFTER he left employ...but I note, tellingly, you have failed so far to do so.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 12, 2006 12:24:10 PM


  24. Pompy, Case law is replete with examples of continuing fiduciary duty based on many factors. Go to any of several online legal websites and enter "sexual harassment" for confirmation. They present in layman's terms a discussion of relevant precedent, although they should not be relied upon for legal advice. Part of what a lawyer provides a client is judgment based on the particular facts of the case, weighed in light of precedent. My collegues and I have briefed, argued and secured judgment in our clients' favor in several such cases. Employer/employee status is but one factor in proving a fiduciary responsiblity between the parties. It is not the sine qua non (that without which the cause of action fails). Furthermore, employment status and fiduciary duty are not coterminus. The latter does not cease necessarily because the former is terminated. You continue to fail to grasp a basic and well established legal standard as applied to the facts. You exemplify the stupid juror that all litigators fear. You are utterly convinced of the validity of your own interpretation despite well established precedent. God forbid that you ever have some poor litigant's fate entrusted to you. You are the weak link in the common law right of trial by jury enshrined in our American system of jurisprudence. End of discussion. You are no longer even mildly amusing.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 12, 2006 2:52:27 PM


  25. You can't even cite one published case, can you? You claim all these imaginary cases you dubiously claim to have litigated...but don't cite one. You just expect us to believe you because you say so.

    And then you try the ole "why don't you go look it up" tactic, trying to shift the impossible research burden to me, when clearly it lies with you.

    LOL!

    Game. Set. Match.

    You are a perfect example of why attorneys are held in such low esteem in this country.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Oct 13, 2006 1:18:11 PM


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