HNN Poll: Should Hastert Be Forced to Resign?


Dennis Hastert is the 59th Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is second in line to the presidency. Should he be forced out of Congress for allegedly looking the other way when evidence surfaced implicating Rep. Mark Foley in improprieties?

History suggests that different generations of Americans would reach different conclusions. "What is scandalous in one decade" says Shelley Ross, author of Fall from Grace, "is business as usual in another." "In 1832," she writes, "Representative William Stanbery (D-Ohio) was censured merely for suggesting that the House Speaker's eyes might be 'too frequently turned from the chair you occupy toward the White House.' But forty years later, when Representative James A. Garfield (R-Ohio) admitted accepting stock from Credit Mobilier of America at a time when the company needed legislative favors, he not only escaped censure, he was elected president."

In 1838 Kentucky Rep. William Jordan Graves (Whig), a protege of Henry Clay, shot and killed Maine Rep. Jonathan Cilley (Dem.) in a duel. Ministers from the pulpit denounced dueling and demanded that Graves be punished. He was censured but not expelled.

In 1856 Rep. Preston Brooks (D-SC) beat Sen. Charles Sumner (R-MA) with a gutta-percha cane. The blows rained down on Sumner's head as he tried but failed to stand up from his desk on the floor of the Senate. With the whiff of civil war in the air the House could not settle on a punishment. Brooks resigned but then took office again after a quick election. (A few months later he died of liver failure.)

In the 20th century Congress infamously faced scandals involving both sex and money. In 1980 eight members of Congress were implicated in the Abscam scandal; many were caught on videotape accepting cash bribes of up to $50,000 from a phony Arab sheik. Sen. Harrison Williams (D-NJ) refused to resign until it became clear he would be expelled. Four of the members of Congress convicted of bribery resigned; one had to be expelled. Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) escaped punishment when he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Rep. CraneRep. Studds Two members of Congress were accused in the early 1980s of having sex with pages. Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) held a news conference with the 17 year old male page he was involved with and refused to apologize, saying the affair involved two consenting adults. Studds was censured by the House but re-elected by his constituents. Rep. Daniel Crane (R-IL) admitted having sex with a female page and apologized. He was also censured by the House but subsequently was voted out of office.

Two speakers have been forced from office after becoming enmeshed in scandals, both in the last generation. In 1989 Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX) was forced to resign after the House Ethics Committee concluded he had improperly earned thousands of dollars in bogus book royalties after he arranged for special interests to buy up copies of his vanity press book, Reflections of a Public Man. The man behind the investigation was Newt Gingrich (R-GA). In 1997 Gingrich, who became Speaker in 1995 after the Republicans took control of Congress, was himself accused of violating House ethics after it was disclosed that he had taken tax-free donations for teaching a course used to promote the fortunes of the Republican Party. (Gingrich was found to have misled the House Ethics Committee about the involvement of his Republican pac in the development of the course.) Ordered to pay a $300,000 fine, he subsequently resigned from office after heavy Republican losses in the 1998 elections.

In 1999 Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was elected Speaker after Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) tearfully confessed to a stunned House of Representatives that he had cheated on his wife. The confession followed the failed Republican attempt to remove President Bill Clinton from office in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Related Links

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  • Joseph Califano, Jr.: When the House Could Clean Itself

  • Paul Farhi: Republicans have a harder time surviving sex scandals than Democrats

  • Philip Terzian: A new page in an old book

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    More Comments:

    john crocker - 10/16/2006

    1)If the Democrats and/or CREW had the e-mails 3 years ago why didn't they use them during the 2004 election?

    2) The report of the ethics committee is as i characterized it. His censure is evidence counter to your argument about a double standard where Democrats are not punished.

    3 Where is your evidence that Tip O'Neil covered up for Democrats in any scandal?

    4) I have read your potentially biased account and little else in regards to the potential Reid scandal. The AP story makes the case appear problematic for Reid. It looks like it probably warrants further investigation, but as I said, I am witholding judgement until I learn a bit more.

    5) Hastert has changed his story more than once and his stories have conflicted with those of Boehner, Shimkus, and Alexander. Hopefully the current investigation will get to the bottom of it.

    6)Where did I insist that Foley is a child molester? If you can point to even one instance I will join your hang Harry Reid bandwagon. I did say he engaged in predatory behavior with children. The e-mails and IMs constitute that predatory behavior. I have no knowledge of his having sexual relations with children, but I wouldn't trust a child of mne with him. Would you?
    The same goes for your contention that I said his resignation is proof of guilt, though it is a peice of evidence in support of that contention, which I did not previously make. Point to one place I made this contention and I will join your jihad on Reid.

    As I have repeatedly said I do not yet know enough to either believe or disbelieve Reid's story. There appears to be more than sufficient evidence to support investigation of the Republican leadership's handling of the Foley affair. Most of America, Democrat and Republican, alike appear to agree with me.

    You seem to believe Hastert regardless of his changing stories that are in substantive conflict with those of Boehner, Shimkus and Alexander. Your treatment of Democrats in scandals and potential scandals is markedly different. If Reid says that he has acted properly or made reporting mistakes are you prepared to believe him as you do Hastert? Or do you only extend that courtesy to Republicans?

    What is your opinion of Frist's questionable accounting? Does he deserve the benefit of the doubt?

    Bill Heuisler - 10/15/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    Your pretense about the FBI and the Washington Post is overly cute for a history site. Look on page A 1 of the WAPO on October 2nd/2006 and you will find complete confirmation of the FBI investigation of Foley.

    One sentence reads, "FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko declined to elaborate on his announcement of the agency's investigation of Foley. A law enforcement official who requested anonymity so he could discuss an ongoing case said the probe will be handled by the FBI's Cyber Division, and could involve agents from the Washington or Miami field offices."

    Let's see...that was almost two weeks ago, wasn't it? Nice try.
    Bill Heuisler

    Bill Heuisler - 10/15/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    You are right about Jefferson; I've no idea where the name, Shepherd came from. You are wrong about nearly everything else.

    1)The FBI subpoenaed CREW's records because they won't make them public. There is an investigation right now of Foley and whoever withheld the E-mails for almost three years.
    2)Frank was censured by a vote of 408 to 18 for his conduct with Gobie.
    3)No one asked for Tip O'neill's resignation during 80s scandals.
    4)You refer to Reid's "alleged" wrong doing. He admitted hiding ownership of the suddenly valuable property.
    His wrongdoing is fact. You have read facts about his case reaching back to 1998 but you don't want to judge him because he is a Democrat.
    5)Hastert, on the other hand, has denied knowledge of a crime or an ethics violation punishable by the ethics committee.
    6)You insist Foley's a child molester and I cannot find any evidence he ever touched a child or committed an illegal act. You say he resigned, so he must be guilty, but that is not sufficient grounds for your charge.

    You believe Reid, but not Hastert? Does a presumption of innocence only apply to Democrats like Pinky Reid?* Reid admitted reporting violations that break federal law. There are many documents and circumstances that plainly show graft, nepo-corruption, insider deals, tax evasion and cover-up. In case you don't get it, these are all crimes under Nevada law and Federal law.

    But Hastert says he acted properly. You have no evidence he did not.

    *Reid's nickname in high school
    Bill Heuisler

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    Your FBI and WAPO source are the same. The source in the WAPO was an UNNAMED law enforcement official who said that CREW MAY HAVE HAD the information from as early as April. The context of the article makes it seem as though this unnamed law enforcement official is FBI, but that is not made explicit.

    Michael Rogers made two posts seven minutes apart on the evening of Sept 29 2006 claiming responsibility for giving the Foley e-mails to the DCCC. A political unknown claims responsibility on his blog and on an open blog forum for a large breaking scandal, pardon me if I'm a bit skeptical.

    Studds was censured and then re-elected. To put it in context of the school analogy. The school board publicly disciplined the teacher and the citizens of the school district decided that the teacher should be allowed to stay.

    Frank was investigated and no evidence was found that he either supported or even had knowledge of the prostitution. Are you prepared to supply a quote from Frank admitting to guilt? The ethics committee found no evidence of wrong doing, law enforcement did not find sufficient evidence of wrong doing. There was a thorough investigation. Why is it inappropriate to have such an investigation here?

    By Shepherd, I assume you mean Jefferson of LA. The house Democrats voted him out of his position on the way and means committee when they learned of the bribery. It is not certain that he will be re-elected. If he is though he may be forced from office.

    Condit was investigated and voted out of office in the next election.

    Why the reference to Tip O'Neil?

    All of the Democrats you have mentioned that were associated with scandal so far have been thoroughly investigated, yet you feel it is a double standard for Republicans to be similarly investigated. Why?

    The congress/school analogy is apt. That other situations in congress may not fit comfortably within that analogy does not mean that it does not effectively describe the circumstance to which it was applied. Analogies are rarely if ever universal in their application, that does not mean they lack value. That you don't like the implications of the analogy does not mean it less descriptive either.

    None of the cases you have yet mentioned involved a cover up by Democratic leadership or Democrats in those scandals being convinced to remain in position without investigation or consequence despite their wish to retire.

    Reid made an explanation after he was confronted with alleged wrong doing. He did not determine the timing of that confrontation. At this point I don't know enough about the deal to either believe or disbelieve Reid's explanation. I have heard enough information about Hastert and have seen enough contradictory statements about the matter by the Republican leadership to think it warrents further investigation by the ethics committee. Not forming an opinion about a potential scandal that I have little knowledge of is not partisan, neither is agreeing with the majority of America that an ethics investigation is warranted in the Foley affair.

    Stretching as far as you have to defend the Republican leadership largely by bringing up most of the Democratic scandals of the past thirty years sounds a bit partisan to me. Pot? Kettle?

    john crocker - 10/15/2006


    Plame's status was covert, according to the CIA and that investigation did not continuously change its scope and focus as the Clinton investigation did.

    I have addressed each of your "points." As an example, I addressed your "point" that, Republicans only went after Clinton because of alleged perjury by showing that it was demonstrably false.
    I addressed your "point" that the behavior was legal, by pointing out that it was unethical and worthy of investigation by the ethics committee. It appears that the house and most of the country are in agreement with me on that one. Additionally I provided you with an analogy that I think is quite apt. You failed to address any of this.

    If you are going to accuse someone of dodging arguments, you need to look at your own comments first.

    Rob Willis - 10/15/2006

    "If the Republicans only went after Clinton because of his falsely characterizing his relationship with Lewinsky under oath, how do you explain the long and winding investigation that lead to his being under oath in the first place. The seemingly endless stream of subpoenas issued when there was even a hint of wrongdoing. Where is that oversight now? Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world without double standards?"

    You mean, like the "outing" of a non-covert CIA employee, and the destruction of careers in the process? Paging Joe Wilson.

    Oh, and Whitewater was dirty, dirty, dirty, and any honest man would admit the fact.

    You have not answered any of my points.You simply keep repeating a false premise.


    Bill Heuisler - 10/15/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    My ("unnamed") sources are the FBI, the Washington Post and Michael Rogers along with the unredacted DCCC newsletter, Stakeholder on Roger's web site. Also consider, The E-mails were from 2003 and they were released a day after the deadline for removing Foley's name from the FLA ballot.

    Your school analogy doesn't work for Congress: Studds had sex with a 17 year-old boy, took him to Europe and thumbed his nose at Congress. Then he served a dozen years more in office. Frank admitted his guilt in allowing Gobie to run a sex for hire operation out of his house and he also admitted partaking of the diversified sexual services at hand and of using his position to fix thirty or more traffic tickets for Gobie. Frank's a ranking member of a major committee. Shepherd still serves after the FBI found bribe money in his freezer. Was Reynolds censured? Hastings is a convicted felon. Gary Condit served until he was voted out. Tip O'Neill was never asked to resign and your Congress/school analogy pretends there is no history. Sorry.

    Last, why should Reid wait til after an election to explain his ill-gotten million? It's as though the principal of your imaginary school had stolen a million dollars and said it was all a mistake. Believe him? Not Denny? Sounds partisan to me.
    Bill Heuisler

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    "No evidence? No similar Dem situations? Recall Mel Reynolds?"
    OK, no convincing evidence.
    I don't believe I mentioned whether or not I thought there were similar Democratic situations.
    Mel Reynolds faced some pretty stiff consequences for his actions.

    It seems that your evidence that CREW and the DCCC sat on the evidence is that an unnamed source said that CREW "may have received the e-mails as early as April," and two blog posts put up in rapid succession on Sept 29 claiming responsibility. Sorry, but that evidence is thin at best.

    That he was outed two years ago is not evidence that anyone new he was preying on 16 year olds.

    I am doing my own work, or rather I'm avoiding my real work by "working" on this, in any case I am in no way relying on your "work.". I have yet to call you a name and thus far I believe I have remained as courteous as you.


    PS Still no response on the school analogy? Is it because you know what an honest response would mean to your argument?

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    "Whether I see a difference between the ages is not relevant, it is the law. Deal with it."
    So, is it your opinon that any activity no matter how unethical should not be reffered to the ethics committee unless it is also illegal?

    If the Republicans only went after Clinton because of his falsely characterizing his relationship with Lewinsky under oath, how do you explain the long and winding investigation that lead to his being under oath in the first place. The seemingly endless stream of subpoenas issued when there was even a hint of wrongdoing. Where is that oversight now? Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world without double standards?

    The page was 17 at the time Foley began the explicit IMs. The e-mails were with a 16 year old. Predatory behavior directed towards minors under their care is sufficient cause for referal. Do you think High School teachers should be allowed to behave in the same manner with children in their classes? Should school administrators who cover up such behavior by teachers or coaches and leave them in place keep their jobs?

    "As for Reid, he isn't running for anything, is he?"
    You don't think that a juicy scandal involving Democratic leadership would help the Republicans right before the election?

    Bill Heuisler - 10/15/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    Your studied ignorance is becoming tiresome. No evidence? No similar Dem situations? Recall Mel Reynolds? He's the Dem you all seem to forget. No Repub. has tried to hang him. Before you call me disengenuous, do a little research. Three sources:

    Evidence of withholding information?
    Read WAPO 10/6/06 page A4 which says Soros' CREW sat on foley information.
    (they quote the FBI)

    Also Michael Rogers,a Connected Dem, member of Greenpeace and the Gay & Lesbian Task Force in DC gave the Foley info to the DCCC a year ago and told them to hold the information until it "would do the most damage".

    Read his BlogActive. Here's a sample:

    "Michael Rogers
    Good news... Bad news...
    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    "Well the good news is that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is finally getting it. I called their Director of Communications, Bill Burton, before the Foley story broke to let him know about Foley (and another case) were coming down the pike. While Burton promised to have someone email or return my call and didn't, I am glad he followed up on my call and was ready on Friday to come out of the gate running.

    "The bad new is they are still not paying enough attention... There are others within reach... If the Democrats would only fight half as hard as the Republicans."

    "I posted comments at the DCCC website on the Foley entry. Not only do their promises of returned calls and emails never come to fruition, but now they are deleting my comments from their blog, The Stakeholder. Luckily the comments were cached before they axed them."

    Mr Crocker, Isn't it interesting the Stakeholder, homepage of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) would delete Rogers' posts?

    Mr. Rogers published an article two years ago in the Washington Blade:
    "Florida Congressman Mark Foley (R) has vowed to vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment, but gay activist John Aravosis said he decided to out the congressman anyway because Foley supports the re-election of President Bush."

    Next time, do your own work. Educate yourself on the facts before calling others names. Covering ignorance with discourtesy only magnifies ignorance.
    Bill Heuisler

    Rob Willis - 10/15/2006

    Whether I see a difference between the ages is not relevant, it is the law. Deal with it.

    The Republicans went after Clinton because he lied under oath, but were of course happy to embarass him in the process. He deserved to be. Foley resigned, Clinton didn't.

    The IM's were between Foley and 18 year old pages no longer in his employ. What is wrong with that? You progressives made the rules, live with them.

    Again, turned what over to the ethics commmittee, on what grounds? Suspicion? Gay flirting? What?

    As for Reid, he isn't running for anything, is he?

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    Even if, and it is a mighty big if, the Democrats orchestrated the timing of the release of the information what was done was wrong, the Republican leadership covered it up and convinced Foley to run again rather than retire, as he intended to do.

    Do you really see no difference in a 16 year old and a 22 year old?

    Did you call for restraint on the part of the Republicans when they were attacking Clinton for his affair?

    The House leadership could have and should turned the affair over to the Ethics Committee.

    CREW did not sit on information, they turned over the the information to the FBI when they recieved it. The IMs were uncovered by ABC not CREW. CREW also exposed Jefferson in LA, they don't only go after Republicans, they go after corruption.

    Murtha said "I'm not interested. I'm sorry... at this point." on the tape. Not a shining ethical moment, but not guilty as sin either. He was involved and was investigated, but his constituency chose to re-elect him. He later provided evidence for the prosecution. This story is 26 years old. Clinton was impeached, I guess this was not sufficient punishment in your mind.

    No Republican has yet faced a consequence in this case that was not self imposed. Where is this double standard?

    I guess that the timing of the possible Reid scandal is entirely coincidental. Are you only skeptical of timing when it might hurt Republicans?

    Rob Willis - 10/15/2006

    ABC news was informed by CREW, as was the St. Petersburg Times and Harper's Magazine, months ago. Guess they didn't think he was "preying on children" either. And yes, CREW is a liberal Dem operation, and that is the point. They knew, shopped the information around, and no one thought anything was worth pursuing. What do you make of that? Perhaps, that to have forced him out would have been seen as homophobia? BTW, the age of consent in DC is 16, so even if he was "preying" on the pages, their was nothing illegal about that either. So, he was engaging in the same practice as Bill Clinton, huh, hitting on young assistants? Are you saying that Democrats in power didn't know Clinton was doing what he did? Did they resign? Did Clinton?

    You are assigning a motive to his actions only after the fact, in light of other evidence which again, shows that no crime occured. I am not defending this guy, I think he is a creep, but I maintain the the House leadership could have done nothing based on the evidence they had at the time, which, BTW, did not include the IM's. Somehow, only CREW seems to have had that info, and again, they sat on it.

    John Murtha was never prosecuted for his ABSCAM role and the tapes prove he was guilty as sin. Don't try to wiggle out of that one, or the other scandels where Dems get off with a slap and nothing else.

    This is the double standard. Foley is gone, thank goodness. Let's move on to Reid, shall we?

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    Which Democrats knew?
    It appears so far that the answer is none.

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    If the Democrats really knew about three years ago as some are claiming (thus far with NO evidence), why wouldn't they have used it as an October surprise in 2004 when it could have turned the presidential election?

    CREW gave the information to the FBI months ago when they recieved it and ony came forward when it was apparent that nothing would be done and Foley's behavior would be allowed to continue. In what way are their actions partisan or unethical?

    Studds was censured and Frank was investigated by the Ethics Committee and no evidence was found that he supported or knew about the illegal acitivity.

    "Discipline? For what?"
    For inappropriate contact with minors.

    "Inappropriate talk is not a crime. Apparently the leadership did talk to him, but what else were they supposed to do?"
    It does not have to be illegal to be unethical and fit to be turned over to the Ethics Committee. If they had done what they should have at the beginning the scandal would have been limited to Foley and would be over by now.

    The question is not only one of law enforcement. Again the school analogy is apt. If a teacher commited the same offense and the school administration and the school board not only covered it up, but talked the teacher out of retiring, what do you think public reaction would be? What would your reaction be? How long do you think any of them would keep their jobs?

    Of course a law authored by Foley would now make those same actions illegal, but let us assume for the sake of argument that the law was not in place.

    A second thought experiment for you.
    If this had happened to a Democratic congressperson and Emmanuel, Pelosi and Durbin had covered it up, what do you think would be happening now? How many Republican partisans that are calling foul now would be calling for their heads?

    john crocker - 10/15/2006

    You have claimed that Democrats knew,
    but have refused to name one. Now you claim that "several" newspapers knew, but again no names are forthcoming. The only people who allowed "this horrible freak continue his stalking" and did not appear to care was the Republican leadership. This same leadership talked him into running again with full knowledge of hs predatory behavior. Why doesn't this bother you. Why do you think that a congressman preying on minors under his power is not worthy of investigation? Why do you think that its coverup is not worthy of investigation.

    The FBI was informed by CREW (presumably the "Democratic operation" you mentioned) several months ago when they recieved it. They then waited for the FBI to investigate before moving forward with the story. The FBI did nothing and that is currently being investigated. Thus far the evidence that has come out shows him commiting bahaviors that are against the law he wrote, but before it was passed. Now that it has come out the public (Republican and Democrat) have forced an ethics investigation. We will see what new evidence comes out.

    His behavior was disturbing, unethical and was covered up by the Republican leadership. Do you really believe that his behavior should have been allowed to continue?

    You have responded to none of the points I made in the post you responded to.

    Barney Frank was investigated by the house ethics committee. Clinton's affair was uncovered by an extensive investigatory fishing expedition. The Reno accusation has no credible evidence to support it. ABSCAM was not only investigated, but prosecuted. Apparently you think only primarily Democratic scandals should be investigated. Again, let's not have a double standard.

    It would be cool to have a transparent horse, high or not, but sadly I don't have one. Maybe you can let me know what its like to ride in on one.

    Once again the issue is that he was preying on CHILDREN.

    Bill Heuisler - 10/14/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    There's been a scandal brewing for years. Kolbe evidently retired because of it. The original E-mail lists were traced to Dem staffers (don't know who yet, but it's all coming out before the election because it was designed that way).
    Stubbs and Frank are probably laughing their heads off. They both actually committed offenses that are class 3 misdemeanors under DC law.

    Discipline? For what? Inappropriate talk is not a crime. Apparently the leadership did talk to him, but what else were they supposed to do?

    Put away your ideological sword, I'm in agreement with your sentiment. The question is one of law enforcement and there's been no crime alleged as of now. Think I'm disengenuous? You characterize Foley's crime. Then you tell me what Hastert could've done.
    Look up some DC State statutes first.

    Rob Willis - 10/14/2006

    There has been no hint of criminal wrong-doing in the Foley case, sir. Ethics, in your world, are for sale. In mine, they are not.

    Several newspapers had the Foley evidence months and months ago, as did the FBI. They all agreed nothing they saw was worth pursuing.

    The evidence was being pimped by a confirmed Democratic operation, who sat on it for all that time. They didn't appear to care about the ethics of allowing this horrible freak continue his stalking, did they?

    Because, it wasn't illegal. Disturbing, perhaps. But gosh, so was the Frank affair, the Clinton affair(s), the Reno predatory lesbian stalking, ABSCAM, or, you name it.

    You have proof of criminal behavior, sir? Bring it forward. I will be the first to support the indictment.

    Otherwise, get off of your transparent high-horse and think for yourself.

    So, do you hate gays, or is this just a "moral" question?

    john crocker - 10/14/2006

    The line between bonvivant and power predator is definitely crossed when the target is a minor.

    I assume that your complaint to the supervisor resulted in disciplinary action. When Foley was reported to his "supervisor" the response was not disciplinary action. The response was to convince him to run for office again.

    The gay bashing defense is crap and you know it. The Republicans could have disciplined Foley for inappropriate contact with pages who were minors and in their care without being accused of gay bashing by anyone in the mainstream. You know this, or you should. The easiest thing for them to have done is discipline him for his conduct with minors without putting the sex of the page in the forefront. There are enough hot headed anti-gay Republican congressmen that it is likely that one or more of them would make some unfortunate homophobic comments and this could lead to the charges of gay bashing. Is this what the leadership was afraid of?

    Name the Democrats who knew.

    Protecting someone preying on minors for political purposes is not being PC. Please stop being so disingenuous in your characterization of these incidents.

    Glenn Rodden - 10/14/2006

    Hey anon:

    No one has charged Foley with having sex with children yet. He has been charged with sending sexuality explicit emails and IMs to pages. Do you approve of such behavior from a member of congress who was tasked with writing legislation to stop online predators? If Foley and his supporters believe that he did nothing wrong, why did he resign his seat in congress? Why did the speaker of the house launch an investigation of this matter?

    Stop blaming Democrats the actions for the inactions of the Republican leadership? Hasterets own people are now telling congress that complaints were made against Foley years ago and the speaker did nothing. BTW, when have Republicans every been afraid of being labeled gay-bashers?

    If you are puzzled about why Democrats believe that this issue will hurt Republicans in the next election you have not been paying attention. Republican candidates report that their constitutents are very concerned about this issue as they should be. You may recall that Republicans have portrayed themselves for the past decade as the holyier-than-thou party and now they are having to explain Foley's actions and Hasteret's cover-up. That is a big problem.

    I do not understand the comment about Democrats and promiscuity. I do not know any Democrat, or for that matter Republican, who approves of what Foley did.

    Anon: Presumably, it is the preying on CHILDREN that has you most up in arms?

    You do not have to presume anything. Foley is creep.

    Anon: Surely it isn't simply abuse of position to prey on anyone - as there seems to be a long history of such in federal government (including a certain former President).

    Another weak attempt to deflect blame. If you have evidence that President Clinton "preyed" on children while he was president you need to come forward with it. Perhaps you can post something on the Drudge Report.

    Bill Heuisler - 10/14/2006

    Mr. Crocker,
    Foley is a creep. Jim Kolbe, my long-time Congressman and one-time friend forfeited his reputation here in AZ by openly seeking out young men as his aides and staff. He broke no laws that I know of, but his behavior made my skin crawl and I've avoided him for years. Being gay is legal. Asking Hastert to enforce that fine PC-line between power-predator and bon vivant is asking for too much.

    My 25 year-old daughter was "hit on" by much older men when she was much younger. The situation was handled in one case with a very specific threat and in another by a complaint to a supervisor. Legal action wasn't needed nor wanted.

    The instant messages were 2 years old and apparently with an 18-year-old.
    Obviously some in Congress knew of the incident and decided politics were more important than children. Democrats knew. Republicans knew.
    Hastert is being declared guilty w/o proof and in spite of his denials - for not outing a gay Congressman who apparently did not break the law. Had Hastert taken action against Foley he would probably have been condemned for gay bashing.

    Harry Reid broke Title 8 of the Fed reporting act as he muscled Interior and the Clark County Board in order to make a million dollars and hide it from the public and the IRS. Should he be a Senate Leader while we hound Hastert out of office for being PC?

    john crocker - 10/14/2006

    "To point out the gross double-standard of actual versus proclaimed values."

    What Clinton did was wrong, but Lewinsky was an adult, the Democratic congressional leadership did not cover it up and less importantly he was not a member of the exploited interns coucus. The two incidents are not the same. Additionally, we have spent nowhere near the court time, television time or congressional investigatory time on the Foley affair as was spent on Clinton's affair.

    Your right, lets not have any double standards.

    Not so long ago the Republican congress aggressively pursued even the slightest hint of executive branch corruption with the full throated support of their base. Now with a Republican president any talk of investigation is deemed counter-productive or even, by some, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Not so long ago the right wing pundits and congressmen vocally criticized the president and his war policy while American soldiers were in battle. Later they criticized anyone who did the same to a Republican president unpatriotic and anti-military.

    Again, your right, lets not have any double standards.

    Rob Willis - 10/14/2006

    To point out the gross double-standard of actual versus proclaimed values.

    When a liberal engages in putrid behavior, gee, well, it is just different, isn't it?

    john crocker - 10/14/2006

    IF the deal is as you characterize it, Reid should resign.

    That being said. For what seems like the hundredth time, the issue is not that Foley is gay. The issue is that he was PREYING ON CHILDREN while working on the caucus for missing and EXPLOITED children and the REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP COVERED IT UP. It now appears that he intended to resign, but was convinced to run again by Republicans that knew of his activities with children.

    What would you do if a 50 year old man hit on your 16 year old daughter? Would it bother you more or less if a 50 year old man hit on you?
    I assume here that you are a decent human being and it would bother you far more that a man hit on your 16 year old CHILD.

    john crocker - 10/14/2006

    Why is it that whenever there is a rebublican scandal that every republican feels compelled to bring up Clinton?

    Bill Heuisler - 10/13/2006

    More information on Harry Reid's million dollar real estate scam:

    Harry's kid, Rory Reid, Las Vegas lawyer/lobbyist, was elected Clark County Commissioner 11/02. The Commission zones Vegas land.

    A zoning change - residential to business - in 2004 allowed the Senate Minority Leader and partner, Brown, to make millions in profits selling their land (acquired from US Dept. of Interior) to shopping center developers Perma built/ Del Webb.

    I wonder why Harry hid the deal? Should he resign?
    Bill Heuisler

    Bill Heuisler - 10/13/2006

    This name should be attached to the above post.

    - 10/13/2006

    Senate Minority Leader Reid stole a million dollars by manipulating land values and concealing ownership of a land deal from his Senate financial (public) records and IRS records.

    This is one of the largest dollar fraud cases in congressional history.

    Reid bought the property 1/98 (in a subdivision created from federal lands transferred by the Interior Department to private developers named Perma-Bilt - V.P. Lessman).

    At the time, Lessman and co. were completing a federal land transfer that involved an Arizona-based developer, Del Webb Corp. Del Webb/ Perma-Bilt purchased environmentally sensitive land in Tahoe and exchanged them with the government for valuable Las Vegas land.

    For years Reid had encouraged Dept. of Interior land swaps on behalf of Del Webb (which is how I know of the deal).

    Reid bought the land after the land swap. Developers acquired useless
    ”environmentally sensitive” land in one state and then traded it in for property someplace else where they could develop. Business as usual?

    In 1994, Reid wrote a letter with other Nevada lawmakers on behalf of Del Webb, and met personally with a senior fed. land official in Nevada.
    Next year, Reid received $18,000 in donations from Del Webb’s PAC.

    Clark County wanted the property Reid bought to be used for new housing. But only days before Reid sold the parcels to a partner's company, that partner (Brown) applied for rezoning so a shopping center could be built.

    Zoning officials voted 4-1 against the rezoning, but were overruled.
    Land zoned residential was rezoned right before Reid "sold" the land to this shell company for exactly what he paid for it four years earlier!

    But the Senate Minority Leader did not REALLY sell the land! A "verbal" business deal transferred it to his partner (when the land did sell to a developer, Reid got over a million).

    Reid’s well timed "selling" of his land with zero profit right before the value skyrocketed to a "partner" was obviously an attempt to hide his future profits and to evade taxes.

    There was no mention in Senate or tax records of Harry Reid’s involvement or ownership. No mention of Reid's willingness to sell $400,000 in real estate without any written agreement or of his interest in the buyer.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev. made a cool million dollars with no records filed, tax or otherwise.

    Take the time. Look this stuff up.
    This corruption is far more important than whether Denny Hastert went after a gay member of Congress.
    Bill Heuisler

    kb - 10/12/2006

    So all this media coverage is over hypocrisy? Isn't that synonymous with our federal government anyway? Do you mean to intimate that the Dems are never hypocritical?

    kb - 10/12/2006

    It absolutely bothers me. Of course, it also bothers me that the President of the US abused his position, albeit with a 22 year old.

    You are correct that inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior, regardless of political affiliations.

    I presume you were similarly outrages with Clinton's follies? If not, presumably sexual harassment is only an issue with minors?

    Anon - 10/12/2006

    That may make you feel better, but will it really work the way you indicate. An even casual look at re-election rates of incumbunts would indicate to me that such a negative backlash would be unlikely...

    Anon - 10/12/2006

    Presumably, it is the preying on CHILDREN that has you most up in arms? Surely it isn't simply abuse of position to prey on anyone - as there seems to be a long history of such in federal government (including a certain former President). Should anyone who knew of this certain former President's proclivities been forced to resign as well?

    grewgills - 10/12/2006

    The difference is that Tip O'Neil did not cover up for Studds as Hastert appears to have covered up the Foley incidents.

    grewgills - 10/10/2006

    It doesn't bother you that a congressman had inappropriate contact with minors that he was in a position of power over and that his leadership covered it up?

    Would it bother you if you found out that your 16 yr old child recieved similar e-mails from a teacher and found that earlier similar behavior had been covered up by the school administration? How long do you think the principal that covered it up would keep his job?

    Alan Marsh - 10/9/2006

    Three years seems like a long time to know about something that one decides is not worth acting upon. It's fair to say that Hastert never intended to act upon the Foley news. And, if only because of the Republicans' impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, one would expect Hastert to do something about Mark Foley. If large numbers of Republican voters see it as I've suggested, there will be a huge defection of Republicans from the polls next month, and we will again have a Democratic House, at least. It won't do for Republicans to peddle boogie-man stories about Nancy Pelosi (too dull to seem threatening), or to congratulate themselves on how beautifully the economy is working (for whom?). Foley and the Iraq War are the issues next month, which means the Republicans have run out of issues.

    John D. Beatty - 10/9/2006

    Another question, yet unaksek, is....WHO CARES? What difference does it make?

    - 10/9/2006

    I believe no evidence has been adduced to show that Foley had sex with any minors. Yesterday he confessed to having sex with a 21 year old man who was a former page... The report that Foley was teased for fun by straight pages showed up on the Drudge Report two days ago. It said they passed his suggestive emails around and laughed at how disgusting he was...
    I find your allegation about the high intelligence of members of Congress quite absurd, since their ranks include dozens of useless and ignorant people, including many who suffer from advanced senility and alcoholism... Hastert, in my opinion, was afraid to get tough with Foley years ago because Democrats--or even Foley--might then have accused him of gay-bashing. He was afraid to be politically incorrect. I am puzzled, though, why today the Democrats in general, and their media stooges as well, seem to think the Foley affair will help them gain seats. If I were a Democrat the subject of homosexuality is about the LAST thing I would want the voters to have on their minds when entering the booth, because most of them have the notion Democrats are permissive about unusual sex practices. And why shouldn't they? Liberals have been preaching diversity in sexual matters for years and years. So, I think Democrats have many more votes to lose than to gain when they start talking about homosexuality.

    John Beasley, Ph.D. - 10/8/2006

    HNN's article on Studd's left out so much that one can only conclude that the writer is partisan. There is no discussion of his party and the fact that many openly supported Studds and many of the very people who want Hastert to resign now did not demand the same from Clinton, Studds, or Frank. Some balance...O.K.

    R. Kagan - 10/8/2006

    because the US is at this moment building up its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean and preparing to go to war with Iran. Meanwhile Russia is involved in energy geopolitcs and becoming less militarily passive – the Cheney strategy on securing direct global energy is being challenged. An Enabling Act will be needed by the Presidnet in the US – welcome to the drive toward facism – welcome to the police state

    Sean Ternuad - 10/8/2006

    And why all this concern over a silly Republican queer when the most important issues facing Americans today go unanalyzed? So far the major media has stupidly focused on the Foley feeding frenzy. Something more important has just happened:

    The passing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (S.3930) and the media has concentrated on the politics of it instead of the meaning of its contents, of what Bush’s new “ermächtigungsgesetzt” is going to mean to the ordinary American citizen; legal cover for the executive branch of government to violate the rights of the people. HNN should be putting up dozens of articles on this subject. Or is academia to frightened?

    Wake up America, ignore the frivolous diversions.

    Jonathan Dresner - 10/7/2006

    If Foley had been a leading Democrat, he'd be starring in every Republican ad from now to November.

    And it came up now because a reporter finally had proof. Worked hard for it to. Why don't you ask why the FBI, who had evidence on hand for three years, didn't do anything until it became public?

    glennrodden - 10/7/2006

    Mr. Hughes: Do you approve of sex between adults and minors? Are you attempting to make excuses for Mark Foley's behavior by blaming the victims? Who are these "some people" who say that Foley was "teased" into sending sexually explicit emails and IMs? And please explain how a member of Congress is so stupid that he is "teased" or tricked into this type of behavior?

    Finally, the issue is not Foley's sexual orientation. The issue is that Foley used his position as a Congressman to prey on minors.

    feuerbach - 10/7/2006

    I think we should pay attention to Mr. Hastert's statements:

    "I'm deeply sorry that this has happened," Hastert said at a news conference in his Illinois district. "And the bottom line is that we're taking responsibility, because ultimately, as someone has said in Washington before: 'The buck stops here.'"

    First, he says, "I'm deeply sorry that this has happened." If Mr. Hastert is a recovering co-dependent, his words would make sense. Co-dependents tend to carry their guilt and everyone else's guilt on their shoulders. Otherwise, his following words should have been: "Therefore, I quit."

    Second, he says, "And the bottom line is that we're taking responsibility..." Key word: the majestic "we." He didn't say, "I'm taking responsibility." Is he referring to Foley and him? To all or some Republican senators? To the Republican Party? To all US citizens? To the entire world? Mr. Hastert seems to know and draw upon the following principle: "When we all take responsibility for something, no one ends taking responsiblity for anything." On the other hand, what is Mr. Hastert taking or not taking responsibility for? Again, it's important to keep it as ambiguous and diffuse as possible.

    Third, "...because ultimately, as someone has said in Washington before: 'The buck stops here.'" This is a real gem. The buck stops here, right? Where? As he stated before "we" are fully responsible. A good politician spreads the guilt. Otherwise the coherent thing to do would be to resign. So he is saying "the buck stops here" but he really means "I'm passing the buck."

    In sum, Mr. Hastert meets criteria for one of the definitions of bullshitter that the Urban Dictionary provides:

    "Someone who lives and breathes bullshit. Even the carbon dioxide that they exhale has bullshit."

    Mark Grimsley - 10/7/2006

    I'm a confirmed Democrat, but until we have the specifics about what Hastert knew and when he knew it, I think that hounding Hastert from his speakership would be both unfair and would further exacerbate an already extraordinarily divisive political culture.

    Lawrence Brooks Hughes - 10/7/2006

    Somehow those precocious 17 and 18 year old Congressional pages do not seem like innocent little children to me. Most of them know twice as much about homosexuality as I do, and many people now say Congressman Foley was teased into his dirty emails by pages who were actually straight. Whatever the facts of the case, however, there surely remain a couple of dozen "differently oriented" members of Congress, of both parties, and whenever somebody finds it advantageous to "out" one, who cares?

    DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/7/2006

    Should Hastert resign?

    It must be remembered that government is not as it once was, and Hastert had for this reason a very difficult decision to make, perhaps one we should not condemn him for.

    Remember that presently our gov is corrupt to the core, Pork, PAC, Perk, and Payola have added to an Officials responcibilities. Also remember, today sex ia a Perk of Office.

    So did Hastert make a mistake, perhaps the greatest mistake he ever made was getting into politics. Did his hesitation in taking action show weakness, take a good look at government in America, how can anyone say Hastert made a mistake.

    Arnold Shcherban - 10/6/2006

    The both major US political parties are corrupted from top to bottom by
    the American Big Business, to the degree where they essentially become
    the conductors of that insatiable monster's interests. The democracy in this country, in its main manifestation -- as a power of majority for majority -- has ceased to exist decades ago.
    When the ignorant, robbed financially and ideologically, majority of this country finally grasps this major fact of its reality and will try to vote the both corrupts out it can be too late...

    kammanl - 10/6/2006

    The difference between Foley and Barney Franks is: Franks is up front with his homosexuality - Foley is in the closet. Franks has stayed away from the pages - Foley got "outed" for writing dirty notes to 16 year old pages (apparently no diddling, just dirty notes).

    My understanding is in Washington D.C., 16 years old is “age of consent.” So—although what Foley did may not be illegal it has the “the APPEARANCE” of being immoral i.e. dirty old man writing suggestive notes to young boys. And to many people (i.e. evangelical Republicans and Democrats who want to get something on Republicans) this is a capital crime for which the penalty should be beheading in public.

    Foley did right thing – he resigned. If the media were not so ravenous for news, this would probably have died there. With the media involvement, Speaker of the House Hastert will probably lose his job also. I am as far away from being a Hastert fan as you can get. However is this the type of thing Hastert should lose his job over?

    I’ll shut-up now.

    Carl Becker - 10/6/2006

    People like Hastert always know nothing when they are the ones who mess up. This stuff was going on three years ago. Just like C Rice who gets selective amnesia over the 9/11 warnings. Suddenly they’re stupid. But because of the Foley affair, political calculations are changing and H’s calculations have backfired and now it’s time to throw these bums out.

    It’s not just Foley and Hastert coming home to roost. Katrina revealed some truths about this administration (poor Americans are still sitting in the dark without homes while contractors are making big money). High gas prices, internal divisions over the so-called war on terror, torture and phone-tapping, endless bad news from Iraq which is becoming impossible to spin. Covering up the sexual fetishes of a gay/pedophile Republican congressman whole was supposed to be leading the movement on “family values” is the last straw for many voters. It’s not just one bad apple.

    Grant W Jones - 10/6/2006

    How about non-sex scandals? Does anyone remember the House banking scandal? Who had to resign over that one?

    John McCain is one smart cookie. He knew that as a Republican the best way of staying in office if caught was to have Democratic accomplices.

    DM Jordan - 10/5/2006

    Remember, Democrats have a different standard than Republicans do for sex scandals. It's not hypocrisy--Democrats don't hide their view that adultery and other sexually deviant behavior is tolerable because it is individual choice. So who are they to judge?(especially if they are "consenting adults"--any confirmation on the story that this page has been incorrectly reported as 16yo but was actually 18, or are they saying that he is 18yo now?). Republicans make it very clear that they uphold traditional family values and cannot appear as hypocrites for allowing sex scandals in the ranks (anyone remember Illinois' Jack Ryan, dropped from the Senate nomination for thinking about kinky sex acts with his own wife??)

    DM Jordan - 10/5/2006

    He could not reveal what he did not know. Hastert was only made aware of an e-mail from Foley that made the page "uncomfortable". Hastert investigated, realized the inappropriate nature and confronted Foley about it--but there was nothing as disgusting and crude in the e-mail as what was made public last week, and the parents (nervous about their son's future) pressed Hastert not to pursue it any further than to just confront Foley over it.
    The Instant Messages are a different matter. It is there that Foley made sickening remarks, and Hastert and Co. (Democrats included) were not privy to the extent of these actions. Upon finding out, guess what happened?... Oh wait, that's right... Foley quit Congress. He's out of there. The perp (or perv if you prefer) was dealt with.

    Vernon Clayson - 10/5/2006

    Moral high ground?? I doubt very much than any Democrat politician would ever say they have ever ceded the moral high ground to the Republicans, this is a stretch of your imagination. Both sides obviously want us, the dull brutes of the citizenry, to believe each holds the moral high ground. Even Massachusetts politicians believe they hold the moral high ground, perhaps it's the diversity thing there, gays in office and gay marriage, that makes them feel so righteous.

    Grant W Jones - 10/5/2006

    When is Edward M. Kennedy going to resign for manslaughter?

    Noel Pugach - 10/5/2006

    Hastert really should resign because he endangered other young men by not revealing what he knew about Congressman Foley's sexual approaches. And he hid that information because of blatant political self-interest. On the other hand, if he stays on, Hastett and the Republican leadership are sitting ducks for those who are fed up with the Republican Congress and its policies.

    R. Willis - 10/5/2006

    We are about to find out, aren't we?

    Grant W Jones - 10/5/2006

    Do any of the historians at HNN remember Gerry Studds? At the time of this scandel were liberal academics calling for the resignation of Tip O'Neill?

    The whole "page-boy" (and girl?) free sex program for deviant Congresscritters needs to be ended. That's the issue both party's want to evade, with an able assist by the MSM and academe.

    grewgills - 10/5/2006

    Which Democrats knew?

    grewgills - 10/5/2006

    It isn't "let slide" that Barney Frank is gay, he is open about it. The issue with Foley is not that he is gay, it is that he was preying on children. If he was preying on teenage girls it would have been no less immoral. That so many people seem to think it would be is troubling.

    - 10/5/2006

    "Strangely, the Democrats believe in gay rights and gay marriage but find a gay Republican loathsome - they would have been just as revolted if Foley had been found to have a male prostitute in his house."

    Sorry, that isn't the point, and you simply cannot make an all inclusive statement like that since both Republicans and Democrats find it loathsome.

    The point is, which some Republicans are trying to ignore, is that they have lost the moral high ground with this incident. Their "family values" sloganeering has a hollow now.

    Mark - 10/5/2006

    Foley's overtures were unwelcome. It isn't just a case of pedophelia, it has overtures of sexual harrassment.

    Hastert should step down because he neglected his duty to investigate. His neglect was the proximate cause of the ongoing injury to that innocent page; it's criminal in the most sincere meaning of that term. But I hope Hastert doesn't remove himself: Democrats can always use another "poster boy" for the culture of corruption campaign. And whats more corrupt than pedophelia? It seems, with Republicans now in full power, we've returned to the days of Caligula (or at least the Penthouse movie version of Caligula which, by the way, I've never seen. Honest).

    R Long - 10/5/2006

    The House should censure him and his constituents should vote him out. Of course he could resign but he should also do time if he knew and did nothing to stop the crime. Resignation is honorable but among his like there is no honor.

    DMJ - 10/5/2006

    You're supposed to be the brilliant ones who look at the facts and make honest assessments. What have we here but liberal bias and selective prosecution.

    The e-mails that Hastert had were vague but still inappropriate. Hastert and the leadership intervened. The parents of the child did not want anything further done, possibly because of the child's wish not to get tied to such a scandal before he embarks on his dreams of a political career. Hastert obliged the parents.

    IT IS THE INSTANT MESSAGING COMMENTS THAT ARE EXPLICIT, and Hastert denies knowledge of the content of those messages since he had no knowledge of their existence. Foley is the criminal here--and he's gone now! Thank goodness Republicans hold their elected representatives to a higher standard than Democrats (Studds, Frank... Gary Hart excepted).

    Jack Slater - 10/5/2006

    I suggest that (just as in 1872 we rewarded James Garfield with the Presidency) we reward Hastert for his incompetency as Speaker of the House to e the next President of the US.

    Stanley Lawrence Falk - 10/5/2006

    Of course Hastert should resign. Apparently he and his staff had known about Foley's improper conduct for some time and the speaker's failure to act in itself constitutes improper conduct.

    Andrew J. Grgurich - 10/5/2006


    M D - 10/5/2006


    John D. Beatty - 10/5/2006

    Has anyone else wondered why this three-year old incident is brought up the October before the congressional elections?

    I certainly don't. This is blatant voter manipulation. If Foley had been a Democrat it would have been on Page Six, maybe, and forgotten.

    And you rubes are falling for it.

    R. Willis - 10/5/2006

    Should everyone who knew about it resign, following this logic? Including the dems who had the evidence? Can we be rational for a moment?

    Arthur Williamson - 10/5/2006

    Contempt for Congress is at an all time high. Little wonder with Hastert at the helm.

    Sanctimony, hypocrisy, cover-up -- a potentially fatal mix.

    Michael Goldberg - 10/5/2006

    Anyone who hopes for a Democratic victory in November should be wishing fervently that Hastert doesn't jump ship or get shoved. Hastert is the best thing to happen to the Dems in a long time, one that even they may not screw up. While the Foley incident is merely tawdry, Hastert's non-response (if you believe other key Republicans' account) is far more damning, getting at issues of moral cowardice and political expediency, all part of the "corruption of Washington" theme. Please, Denny, don't go!! Let the Dems run those adds tying you to the local Republican candidate of choice all the way until election day!

    Michael Goldberg - 10/5/2006

    While a minority who get far more attention than they should, gay pedophiles are still gay, just as heterosexual pedophiles are still heterosexual. I'm not sure why an "attempt" to label oneself gay and a well-established sexual interest in men and not in women does not make one gay. You gotta take the crunchy with the smoothy.

    Michelle Vining - 10/5/2006

    Foley is NOT gay regardless of his attempts to call himself such. Rather, his involvement with a minor qualifies as pedophilia.

    Andy Moursund - 10/5/2006

    Why would anyone want Hastert to resign? He's the poster boy for the Republican Congress, and his face and his explanation for not acting on the information on Foley should be on every Democratic campaign spot for the next month. Let the nation see the sort of "character" that the GOP has represented for the past 12 years. They elected him, and let them be stuck with him.

    Vernon Clayson - 10/4/2006

    Why should Hastert resign, there's speculation Foley was apparently perceived to be a homosexual as long ago as 1995 and his colleagues apparently let it slide just like they let Barney Frank slide? This isn't the first wink and a nod in the Washington carnival and it won't be the last, the whole gang obviously believes in that 'don't ask, don't tell" policy. Hastert wasn't outed, Foley was and he's gone. Strangely, the Democrats believe in gay rights and gay marriage but find a gay Republican loathsome - they would have been just as revolted if Foley had been found to have a male prostitute in his house.

    Hannah S. Decker - 10/4/2006

    Hastert should resign.

    paul quinlan - 10/4/2006

    yes; if he knew about it even a day before it become public. there is no excuse for protecting a sexual predator anywhere, anytime. in a rectory, school room, city hall, or the halls of congress!