Saturday, September 30, 2006

Republicans Shield Child molesters

The party of "family values" has a shiny new member to place on its list of pedophiles. Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) has resigned in disgrace when it became publicly known that he was allegedly sexually harassing a 16-year-old male page via email and instant messages.

As sick as these allegations are, even more distressing is that the Republican leadership has known about this for nearly a year, and were more concerned with protecting their leadership positions than protecting the children of America from pedophiles. Once again, the Republican leadership was willing to trade oversight for overlook and end the session without any investigation and hit the campaign trail. Not so fast, says House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi:

Whereas for more than 150 years, parents from across the country have sent their children to be pages in the U.S. Capitol, the Page School is a national treasure, and the children who attend it and work in the Congress are our special trust;

Whereas, according to press reports, Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) reportedly engaged in highly inappropriate and explicit communications with a former underage page;

Whereas these allegations were so severe that Representative Foley immediately resigned his seat;

Whereas the page worked for Representative Rodney Alexander (R-LA) and, according to press reports, Representative Alexander learned of the emails "10 to 11 months ago"; (AP, September 29, 2006)

Whereas Representative Alexander has said, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem", and the Democratic leadership was not informed; (AP, September 29, 2006)

Whereas all Members of Congress have a responsibility to protect their employees, especially young pages who serve this institution;

Whereas these charges demand immediate investigation, including a determination of when the emails were sent, who knew of the emails, whether there was a pattern of inappropriate activity by Mr. Foley involving email or other contacts with pages or former pages, when the Republican leadership was notified, and what corrective action was taken once officials learned of any improper activity;

Whereas given the serious nature of these charges, the pages, their parents, the public, and our colleagues must be assured that Congress will take responsibility that such egregious behavior is not tolerated and will never happen again;

Therefore be it resolved,

That the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall immediately appoint an Investigative Subcommittee to fully and expeditiously determine the facts connected with Representative FoleyÂ’s conduct and the response thereto; and

That Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is further directed to make a preliminary report to the House within ten days.

That is the text of Leader Pelosi's privileged resolution. It simply cannot be any clearer that the Republicans are unethical and completely uninterested in anything other than their grip on power. It was hard for me to fathom anything Republicans could do any worse than they have already done last Thursday. Friday, they threw the bar on the ground and tripped over it.

One can only imagine what kind of pressure was applied to this lad to STFU. Imagine being a 16-year-old boy and having the power of the future of the world in your possession. Surely someone took a run at him.

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