The repubs just didn't know! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-04-2006, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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The repubs just didn't know!

No really! Honest!

PS Love the statement given by Foley regarding peds!

Republican staffers had raised red flag in 1995
By Dana Wilkie
October 4, 2006

LANNIS WALTERS / The Palm Beach Post
David Roth, lawyer for former Rep. Mark Foley, said at a news conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., that Foley is gay and that he had been molested between the ages of 13 and 15 by a clergyman.
WASHINGTON – Long before Mark Beck-Heyman ever came to this town in 1995 to work as a congressional page, Congress had revamped the program in hopes of preventing the sort of sex scandals that had disgraced two congressmen more than a decade earlier.

Regardless, the former resident of San Diego's North Park neighborhood learned almost from day one that there was one person to be careful of: Rep. Mark Foley.

“When I got there, I was warned about Foley from former pages and cloakroom Republican staffers,” said Beck-Heyman, who attended a Catholic high school at the time and was nominated for the page program by Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, who then lived in Imperial Beach. “The warning was to watch out for him.”

Questions concerning who knew about the former Republican congressman from Florida – and when – continued to swirl around the nation's capital yesterday as new revelations surfaced about Foley's sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to underage pages.

San Diego-area House members said they hadn't heard until last week that Foley was involved in sexually explicit instant messages to at least one male teen who served as a page, and a questionable e-mail exchange with another. The revelation led to Foley's resignation Friday and an FBI investigation.

ABC News, which first reported the exchanges between Foley and a page last week, yesterday reported that Foley left the House floor during a vote in 2003 to engage in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page. On Monday, the network reported instant messages between Foley and a teen in San Diego that indicate that the boy felt awkward discussing a dinner engagement with Foley when the teen came to Washington.

Beck-Heyman, who was 17 when he arrived in Washington in the summer of 1995, said it appeared to be common knowledge among Capitol Hill staffers that Foley was known for inappropriate advances toward the youths who come from across the nation to serve in the congressional page program.

Beck-Heyman said an outgoing page and an adult staffer in the GOP cloakroom – a place just off the House floor restricted to lawmakers – warned him to be careful of Foley, a freshman lawmaker who had arrived that January.

He said Foley once asked him out for ice cream. “He was friendly to me,” said Beck-Heyman, who is now studying for a doctorate in psychology at George Washington University. “He knew my name and he invited me out for ice cream, but I didn't go. Looking back on it, it was uncomfortable, but it was also kind of cool that a congressman paid attention to a page.”

He provided The Washington Post with a handwritten letter that Foley had sent him after the page left Washington to return home to California, suggesting that they get together during the Republican National Convention in San Diego in 1996.

Michelle Yetter, a page during the summer of 2002, said she never heard rumors about Foley or any other lawmaker.
“(The program) had a positive impact on our view of the world, and we want to preserve and protect the program as much as we can,” said Yetter, now a political science and history student at the University of California San Diego.

A bipartisan panel overseeing the program was created more than 20 years ago, after two episodes involving sex between lawmakers and pages, said Christopher Mansour, spokesman for Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan, a Democrat who sits on the board with two Republicans. Mansour said the board seeks to ensure pages' lodging, pay and safety, among other things.

However, the GOP chairman of the board did not consult Kildee or the other board member last year when the chairman, Illinois Republican John Shimkus, questioned Foley about an e-mail to a former page, leading some to wonder whether any lessons were learned from the previous scandals.

Former Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., received a House censure in 1983 for having sex with a 17-year-old male congressional page a decade earlier, but he won re-election. Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., admitted to having sex with a female page in 1980, and was defeated when he ran for re-election. Neither lawmaker was charged with a crime, in part because the age of consent in Washington was 16.

The latest scandal has led to calls from House members for greater oversight of the program and to abolish it altogether.

House leaders have said they want to create a toll-free hotline for pages, former pages and families to report any other incidents.

Congressional lawmakers nominate teens from their regions to serve in the 175-year-old program. Pages must be high-school juniors and at least 16 years old. They live in dormitories near the Capitol, serve from a few weeks to several months and primarily convey messages between congressional offices and to lawmakers on the House and Senate floors.

Hastert and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, declined to release the names of recent pages. But an online search indicates at least three have come from the San Diego area since 2000 and a fourth, Yetter, now studies in San Diego.

Federal agents on Monday began contacting men who were in the page pro gram in recent years to determine whether any had had contact with Foley.

Last year, Foley said in his capacity as chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus that “we need to completely change the way we treat sex offenders.”

“They are not petty criminals,” Foley said at the time. “They prey on our children like animals, and they will continue to do so unless stopped.”

Foley's attorney said yesterday that Foley had not had any sexual contacts with minors and that the former congressman was “absolutely, positively not a pedophile.”

Last edited by Shane; 10-04-2006 at 11:39 AM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-04-2006, 02:30 PM
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Foley's attorney said yesterday that Foley had not had any sexual contacts with minors and that the former congressman was “absolutely, positively not a pedophile.”
Anytime your lawyer needs to make a statement like this, you're toast.
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