…So is Mark Foley: If you’re a congressional page, that is

Republican congressman from Florida, Mark Foley, resigned from office Sept. 29 after it became known that he was involved in a sex scandal described as “terrible naughtiness” by Media Assistant Carla Mulvaney. Foley had been the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and was slated to hold onto his seat by beating out opponent Tim Mahoney in the upcoming election. This changed when it was revealed Sept. 29 that he sent former congressional pages sexually charged e-mails and instant messages and may have tried to gain access to their dorms while intoxicated. The scope of this scandal expanded when Kirk Fordham, ex-Chief of Staff to Rep. Tom Reynolds, testified in front of the Committee that House Speaker Dennis Hastert knew about Foley’s inappropriate actions but did not attempt to stop him. However, Hastert, along with other Republicans, denies any knowledge of Foley’s wrongdoings. “There really isn’t any doubt the issue has and will continue to hurt, unless it’s eclipsed by something else.” Charlie Cook, author of political newsletter Cook Political Report, said. Republicans have even accused Democrats of conspiring with the media to release this information right before elections. Since the story broke, Foley has stated through his lawyer that he is an alcoholic and has checked into a rehab clinic. He also stated that he is gay, and was molested by a clergyman as a child. It is obvious that this situation has many issues stemming from it. Several anti-gay groups have attempted to spin this situation as reason to out homosexual politicians as sexual predators. Pat Buchanan and “American Values” President Gary Bauer are a few of whom at fault. “[Foley’s] sexual orientation is irrelevant to this story,” said Patrick Sammon, a representative of the gay republican group known as Log Cabin Republicans who has appeared on CNN and MSNBC. “Such behavior is shameful and immoral regardless of the perpetrator’s sexual orientation.” Sammon cites a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found ninty-eight percent of male pedophiles are heterosexual. Also, why is it that these sorts of personal scandals or sex scandals (example: Clinton) tend to incite the wrath of voters instead of issues such a the economy or the Iraq war? “Other issues just seem dry,” senior Ben Scallon said, “People can relate to the more personal things.” Others think that the situation goes deeper as some Republicans have said. “It was probably magnified instead of other issues by the Democrats to destroy the Republican party,” sophomore DJ Meyers said. Or does this scandal highlight what is wrong with the system as a whole? “Apart from being grossed out I’m really disappointed,” senior Michael Qiu said. “It’s just another example of how we give politicians our trust and yet they are corrupt and abuse their power.” (Pieces of the Foley’s IM conversation can be read at http://www.slate.com/id/2150769/entry/2150770/. The WEB warns you may need a barf bag handy.)