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Friday, September 29, 2006
Does Florida GOP Congressman Mark Foley have a problem with being overly "familiar" with young, male pages? Gay rumors that have long floated around Foley hit Main Street yesterday when ABC News' Brian Ross posted a story on his official blog about reported emails from the Congressman to a 16-year-old former page (not his own) from Foley's personal AOL account, asking what the teen described as some "sick" questions that "freaked him out."

Now, Raw Story has the actual emails, and you know what? The kid had a right to be freaked out. Foley is creepy, and I predict he will be announcing that he needs to step down and "spend more time with his family" before too long. Here's the creepiest email of them all (the misspellings and ellipses are Foley's):

I just emailed Will ...he's such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym....whats school like for you this year?
Again, these were sent from Foley's personal AOL account, not from his Congressional e-mail (or more appropriately, if this were really about helping a kid out with a recommendation, from his assistant...)

And what is a 52-year-old United States Congressman doing hanging out on Myspace? ... Quasi-anonymously at that??? BTW here's the profile for Mark's lone Myspace friend... his name is Tom.

Update: The boys at Wonkette (who are gay btw, so don't know if they're being objective) claim that the emails aren't real, and that they emanate from a "semi-literate blogger." Here's the blogger, StopSexPredators. (They were later posted by RawStory and by CREW: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.)

Update 2: The Wonkette boys have retracted their skepticism on the emails.

3:57 Update (3): It didn't take long. Foley will indeed be resigning from the campaign and the Congress to spend more time with his family ... or with his MySpace friends, whichever works. From the AP via the Palm Beach Post:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page, according to a congressional official.

Foley, 52, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election until the e-mails surfaced in recent days.

Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence.

Foley's election opponent, Democrat Tim Mahoney, has called for an investigation.

The correspondence took place in August 2005 after the boy gave Foley a handwritten thank you note before returning to Louisiana.

Foley was running for re-election to a seventh term. He has represented his district, which includes West Palm Beach, since 1995. Florida Republicans could replace Foley on the ballot. ...

...The e-mails were posted Friday on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's Web site after ABC News reported their existence. The group asked the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate the exchange Foley had with the boy, who served as a page for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La.

"The House of Representatives has an obligation to protect the teenagers who come to Congress to learn about the legislative process," the group wrote, adding that the committee, "must investigate any allegation that a page has been subjected to sexual advances by members of the House."

According to the CREW posting, the boy e-mailed a colleague in Alexander's office about Foley's e-mails, saying, "This freaked me out." On the request for a photo, the boy repeated the word "sick" 13 times.

He said Foley asked for his e-mail when the boy gave him a thank you card. The boy also said Foley wrote that he e-mailed another page. ...
... That being the infamous, and apparently quite mature and "in great shape" Wil...

What the boy wrote to Foley, who is single, wasn't available. The e-mails were sent from Foley's personal account, which Foley spokesman Jason Kello says he uses to communicate with many people, including Gov. Jeb Bush.

"They have taken these e-mails out of context in order to smear a good man," said Kello, who described the exchange as "nonchalant, casual." He said Foley didn't save his e-mails or the boy's response.

Efforts to reach the boy were unsuccessful, but he told the St. Petersburg Times last November, "I thought it was very inappropriate. After the one about the picture, I decided to stop e-mailing him back." The Times didn't publish the comments until Friday.

The campaign for Mahoney, who trails Foley in the polls, said it didn't release the e-mails and wouldn't make them part of the campaign. In a statement released by Mahoney spokesman Jessica Santillo, the campaign referred to the boy as an "alleged victim."
Kello also claims the Mahoney campaign has been "shopping the emails around for weeks." If that's true, these Mahoney people can't actually be Democrats.

Chalk up a freebie for the Dems in their quest to grab 15 seats in Congress -- and this wasn't even one on their target list.

Also ... a word to the wise ... and that means you, single, super-tan, curiously metrosexual Charlie Crist ... if you're a Republican and you have a penchant for trolling the Internet, gyms or bike paths for young male hotties, this would be the time to keep it in the closet.

Flashback: gay editorial writers slam the closeted Foley back in 2003. And an interesting reminiscence in this Boston Phoenx piece: apparently worries over Foley's apparent gayness were what prompted Karl Rove to draft Sideshow Mel Martinez into the 2004 race for Bob Graham's vacated Senate seat. Had he been better at playing off his sexuality, Foley might be resigning from the Senate, rather than the House, today. He was even tapped recently as a possible replacement for crazy Katherine Harris, who is running for the other Senate seat, belonging to Bill Nelson. Guess that's off the table now, too. I suppose we'll all have to wait for Foley's tell-all autobiography and his attempt to curry sympathy on Oprah's couch.

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posted by JReid @ 9:52 AM  
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