Just when did the Republican party leadership know of the dubious behaviour of one of their own, towards young boys? That is the question being asked after Congressman Mark Foley was forced to quit in a sex scandal rocking Washington. Foley’s friend, Kirk Fordham admitted he warned the staff of the top Republican in the House of Representatives three years ago. The House speaker, Dennis Hastert who is being criticised for his handling of the scandal and is battling to keep his position, denies this.
But fellow Congressman Tom Reynolds has now revealed he too earlier reported Foley: “When I found out about this instance for the first time in the Spring of 2006, I reported it to my supervisor. When I saw the despicable, deplorable e-mails that no child, no person should see, I said he had to go.”
Foley has apologised for his actions after it emerged that he had been sending sexually explicit E-mails to teenage boys working for members of Congress. President Bush has expressed shock at the revelations but has been trying to contain the story by backing his House Speaker saying Hastert and his job are secure and have his full support.
Meanwhile, in the run up to November’s congressional elections, the opposition Democrats are making the most of the Republican discomfort.