Yesterday, Andrew Hurst Democratic candidate for Congress (VA-11) issued a statement asking Tom Davis, Chairman of Government Reform and Oversight Committee and former Chairman of the NRCC to do the appropriate thing and take action and due diligence on the Foley pedophilia scandal. Tom Davis has yet to even issue a response. (for the record, I e-mail Nick Meads Tom Davis's campaign manager asking him for a statement, and received no response).
Here are the four specific actions that Tom Davis was asked to take.
1. Immediately disclose any personal knowledge you had of Rep. Foley's electronic communications. Various members of the Republican leadership knew of the illicit emails and did nothing. As a committee Chairman and former head of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, you must have been privy to these conversations. What, exactly, did you know and when did you know it?
2. Call for the immediate resignation of Republican leaders like Tom Reynolds and Dennis Hastert who knew about the illicit communications for years but failed to investigate. Those who put politics ahead of the safety of children do not deserve to serve in Congress. Don't you agree?
3. Use your position as Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee to open a full and complete investigation to determine who knew what and when. You had no qualms issuing a subpoena to Terri Schiavo as she lay on her death bed. Will you subpoena Hastert, Reynolds and others who failed to protect underage pages from a sexual predator?
4. Demand that National Republican Campaign Committee Chair Tom Reynolds donate to charity any funds given by Rep. Foley to the NRCC. As NRCC chair, you accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mark Foley. Will you call on Rep. Reynolds to donate those funds?
I would like to point you now to an independent website tomdavistruth.com which points out that Tom Davis should have known about Foley's problems.
According to Roll Call: "nearly a dozen House GOP lawmakers and staffers have acknowledged that they knew of the initial batch of non-sexually explicit messages from Foley to a 16-year-old former House page, some of them for a year or more.
Tom Davis likely was one of the first to know. Davis worked closely at the NRCC with Reynolds especially in 2001-2002, since Davis would end his term at the end of the cycle in 2002. Davis was grooming Reynolds to head the NRCC after Davis would leave. Presumably this inner circle of high-level Republicans who knew about Foley would have included Tom Davis, since during that election year they worked intensely together and since this news would have a potentially devastating effect on their fund raising challenge.
The question to ask now is, when will Tom Davis take action, when will he declare what he knew and when (I hope he's not waiting until GOP leadership straightens out their story), will he call for Hastert to resign, and will he use his power to investigate (he does in fact have jurisdiction).
Nate de la Piedra is the Online Outreach Coordinator for the Andrew Hurst for Congress 2006 Campaign. The ideas expressed herein belong to Nate de la Piedra and do not necessarily represent those of Andrew Hurst, his advisors, staff, or "The Campaign".
Mark Foley knew that he could get away with this type of behavior with male pages because he was a congressman," said [Mark] Beck-Heyman [who was a Republican page]...." But many people on Capitol Hill," including many Republican staffers, "have known for over 11 years about what was going on and chose to do nothing," he said.
What won't they do to keep power for power's sake?
I suppose Tom Davis will excuse this as he did when he explained why he signed the Schiavo petition, by again saying the "leadership let him down" again. Poor Tom Davis. He's been let down more times than a Congressional Page.
WaPo's Howard Kurtz (WaPoHoKu?) rounds up the pitiful excuses and the responses here.
And this can be said of any incumbent/challenger - just because your opponent demands you do something, it means absolutely zilch if a) you don't even know about it, or even b) you choose to ignore it. Who cares!
Now, how bout Tom Davis start an investigation, littlepunk do you think Davis should be investigating pedophiles in Congress or is this something that the GOP and the "party of moral values" lets slide during an election year.
What do I think? I don't think he should conduct an investigation. Why not? A couple reasons. One, there is a completely separate and independent Page Board that has complete jurisdiction over this. What their powers/responsibilities are, I couldn't say. Secondly, let the FBI/DOJ/whoever do their criminal investigation. But I assume you mean an investigation into who knew what and when, right? That would be separate. Who should do that? I don't know. This is a very specific issue and not related to governmental oversight at all - that's just my opinion. I don't think the Government Committee is best suited to conduct internal investigations into House affairs - they are there for more widespread government issues, or issues within a certain agency. Disagree if you want, but at the very least, I think you could probably agree that there is at least a major conflict of interest. And if you want to say they should - what about the Senate Government Committee? They pretty much have the exact same jurisdiction, don't they? Maybe they should investigate. At least then there would definitely not be a conflict of interest.
Who was it, the Post, or somebody, recommended bringing in an outside independent counsel with high credibility to take the lead here. I'd be fine with that. Or, if Hastert/Pelosi/Hoyer/Boehner whoever want to appoint a special committee/task force made up of other Members (split evenly between Dems/GOP) to investigate and get to the bottom of it, I think that would have a lot of credibility at all. Bottom line, I think it should be investigated, absolutely, as I believe it's important to find out how long people have known - who has known, and what they knew - and why nothing was done until now.
On the flip side, and I'm not saying this is the case (though it wouldn't surprise me), who finally came public with this? Foley's democratic opponent? And if he did, why did he wait until now to do it? How many teenage pages did he endanger by withholding the information? There is certainly a counterargument here that isn't being discussed anywhere.
On a personal note, I was a page, and I am a very very strong supporter of the program. Like with a lot of programs and organizations/companies, sometimes you just have a bad apple. That doesn't mean it should just be abolished or modified, as some people have suggested. What a terrible idea.
Page program is great, keep it.
No evidence has even suggested that Foley's Democratic opponent leaked this.
As far as my above blockquote (again), I link to the source in the link preceding the blockquote. The quote in the blockquote was on the original page and I kept it in for journalistic integrity, who am I to start editing other peoples work?
The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide.
That aide has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote, said the source, who showed The Hill public records supporting his claim.
As for Shimkus being inept, I'd probably agree with you there. I don't really see why whatever information he had (what are these emails? i've only read transcripts of IM conversations) wasn't given to the Democrat on the panel. Well I obviously can see why, and like you, I disagree with the move.
Again, I think there are sources much better than the Oversight committee to investigate this. I think you would proabbly agree with this as well even though you wouldn't say so publicly. The same thing with your post, about davis knowing in 2001, which doesn't even pass the laugh test. But, you're doing your job by suggesting the Government committee should, which is understandable.
I wonder how much more "new" information is going to come out about this. it seems like every day there's something new and more devastating. ugh. as a republican, this certainly isn't good news after what i thought was a pretty good september. nobody's talking about the economy and market...that's unfortunate for us.
Maybe littlepunk should read articles to the end. (I can't imagine what a valuable page he must have been with these reading habits.)
Dozens of interns knew, for a dozen years. Dozens in the House "leadership" knew. They refused to tell the cops - doesn't the law require notification of police when there is a suspicion of abuse of a minor? They refused to tell the Page Commission, so would you have the Republican majority on that Commission investigate whey they didn't share the information? The answer is easy: $$$$$.
Davis knew or should have known. Which was he -- blind, stupid, lazy, or crooked?