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Tag Archive: Mark Foley

Eight Men (Plus) Out

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The mid-term elections are over and the people have decided that they want their corrupt members of Congress to come back home. In a Bloomberg article today, Rep. Rahm Emanuel states that eight seats flipped due to the corrupt activities of the current, or recently resigned/indicted/plead guilty, occupant. After reviewing the Bloomberg article and the members of Congress tied to congressional scandals it seems that Rahm has presented a lowball number of congressmen sent home. So let’s take a look at these members of Congress who will no longer be wearing the congressional uniform of solid blue suits, American flag lapel pins, and an unfailing arrogance of power.

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Scandals to Decide Power in House

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Today the Hotline blog reports that scandal may be an important element in this year’s elections after all, something which I have written about here previously. The Hotline blog contrasts two possible narratives for the aftermath of a Democratic victory in the House, scandal vs. wave. If “the Dems win control by only a narrow majority, ethics scandals” affecting FL-16, OH-18, TX-22, PA-10, and NY-26 “will have provided the majority for victory.” However, a wave election would showcase a dramatic shift in the northeast including large GOP losses in upstate New York and the suburbs of Philadelphia. A wave could not be possible without many victories coming from the ethics scandal category itself.

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Hastert’s Institutional Neglect

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Does it surprise anyone that Rep. Tom Reynolds', R-N.Y., chief of staff Kirk Fordham informed staff of a top House leadership member of Mark Foley's internet escapades back in 2004? After Fordham "resigned" his position as the chief of staff he admitted that, "...even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior." As I detailed yesterday nobody should be shocked by the fact that Dennis Hastert doesn't run a tight ship. In their book, The Broken Branch, congressional scholars Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann explain Hastert's actions in the Ethics Committee purge of 2005 thusly:

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When Money Doesn’t Work

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One of the safest assumptions you can make in the world of politics is that the more money you have, compared to your opponent, the better your chances of winning. But even the safest assumptions are sometimes wrong, and there’s one special case where an abundance of money can do more harm than good: when the voters already know who you are, don’t like you, and find each new commercial an unpleasant reminder of exactly how much they don’t like you.

After all, annoying ads, repeated endlessly, don’t suddenly start working after the 50th viewing. They only build resentment, and that’s true whether the advertiser is a pain reliever or a political candidate.

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Dennis Hastert’s History as Speaker

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The Mark Foley scandal has engulfed the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. Today the conservative Washington Times called for the Speaker’s resignation and Majority Leader John Boehner reiterated that Hastert had told him that the matter would be taken care of earlier this year. Hastert was once said to “take this laissez-faire attitude on things”. This is evident in the Foley case, but it is also clear from his history as Speaker. Hastert, not acting like a good coach, seems to let problems fester or he actively works to cover them up. It comes as no surprise that his stewardship of the House has come under fire due to the revelations of the Foley scandal.

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Sex Scandal Shows Institutional Corruption

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When the Rep. Mark Foley sexual predation scandal broke last week I thought that this would just be another sex scandal. The member resigns in disgrace, end of story. However, Foley’s Internet advances on teenage pages revealed an institutional corruption created by a leadership that favors protecting electoral majorities over protecting children from predators. The House leadership also is shown to have a disdain for pursuing investigations of any kind. This scandal continues to show that unethical behavior has not been pursued by the leadership for fear of losing their slim congressional majority.

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