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« The Times and Foley story | Main | Poll:Crist 51, Davis 30 »

September 30, 2006

A Note From the Editors

There still seems to be some confusion about the order of events related to our coverage of Rep. Mark Foley and his email exchanges with teenagers he met through the congressional page program. Let me try to clear this up.

In November of last year, we were given copies of an email exchange Foley had with a former page from Louisiana. Other news organizations later got them,too. The conversation in those emails was friendly chit-chat. Foley asked the boy about how he had come through Hurricane Katrina and about the boy's upcoming birthday. In one of those emails, Foley casually asked the teen to send him a "pic" of himself. Also among those emails was the page's exchange with a congressional staffer in the office of Rep. Alexander, who had been the teen's sponsor in the page program. The teen shared his exchange he'd had with Foley and asked the staffer if she thought Foley was out of bounds.

There was nothing overtly sexual in the emails, but we assigned two reporters to find out more. We found the Louisiana page and talked with him. He told us Foley's request for a photo made him uncomfortable so he never responded, but both he and his parents made clear we could not use his name if we wrote a story. We also found another page who was willing to go on the record, but his experience with Foley was different. He said Foley did send a few emails but never said anything in them that he found inappropriate. We tried to find other pages but had no luck. We spoke with Rep. Alexander, who said the boy's family didn't want it pursued, and Foley, who insisted he was merely trying to be friendly and never wanted to make the page uncomfortable.

So, what we had was a set of emails between Foley and a teenager, who wouldn't go on the record about how those emails made him feel. As we said in today's paper, our policy is that we don't make accusations against people using unnamed sources. And given the seriousness of what would be implied in a story, it was critical that we have complete confidence in our sourcing. After much discussion among top editors at the paper, we concluded that the information we had on Foley last November didn't meet our standard for publication. Evidently, other news organizations felt the same way.

Since that time, we revisited the question more than once, but never learned anything that changed our position. The Louisiana boy's emails broke into the open last weekend, when a blogger got copies and posted them online. Later that week, on Thursday, a news blog at the website of ABC News followed suit, with the addition of one new fact: Foley's Democratic opponent, Tim Mahoney, was on the record about the Louisiana boy's emails and was calling for an investigation. That's when we wrote our first story, for Friday's papers.

After ABC News broke the story on its website, someone contacted ABC and provided a detailed email exchange between Foley and at least one other page that was far different from what we had seen before. This was overtly sexual, not something Foley could dismiss as misinterpreted friendliness. That's what drove Foley to resign on Friday.

I hope this helps clarify a bit about what we knew and when we knew it.

Scott Montgomery

Government & Politics Editor


Thanks for the new information but don't you now have an obligation to print similar stories about Democrats and or their staff who (there is no doubt) solicited sex from underage students?

Grow up.

It's a shame Foley didn't run for Senate.

Re Scott Montgomery's editor's note: The Times never names minors victimized in possible sex crimes. Therefore, Mr. Montgomery's excuse for not publishing this story last year is false. As your government and politics editor admits, the parents didn't say the story wasn't true or ask that you not publish it - they merely asked you not to specifically identify their son if you did. The "Times" - by its inaction and lack of journalistic skill, follow through and courage - is as guilty, or inept, as House leadership in the institutional and possibly criminal coverup of Mr. Foley's commonly known-on-the-Hill behavior.

The sad fact is you knew about this a while ago and didn't report it.... even if just an accusation, you have a duty to report these types of things.

Moreover, the Congressional GOP, inlcuding the Speaker of the House, have A LOT of explaining to do. It has come out that the GOP knew of Foley's behavior "months" ago and that they did NOTHING about it. A GOP Congressman has gone on record stating he told the leadership about it. Why in the hell were they covering this up???????

Quite sad and I hope the Republicans get what's coming to them this November.

So in other words, the only reason this story really hit the paper in because MAHONEY who couldn't get himself arrested with regards to his Congresional aspirations, took the time and trouble to seek out the page with the innocent exchange and that shook the tree and out fell the very incriminating IM exchange.

Well, I wonder if this will actually earn Mahoney a seat in Congrtess. I hope not. Foley acted reprehensibly towards the page. Mahoney, also an adult who should know better actedjust as badly.

Where is the story about Foley being prosecuted? Who should file charges? The Attorney General? The State Attorney in Pensacola? Is this whole thing going to be covered up with an internal investigation that goes nowhere? SPT--are you saying that he still never broke any state or federal laws??

12:50 once again Bloggers bring the news to light and the MSM follows along

The sad part about this story is that if Mr. Foley is indeed a homosexual man (which has been a rumor in Florida and DC for many years), he will likely never be able to come out of the closet in fear of being labeled a pedophile. While I've never been much of a fan of Foley, I would never wish this type of scrutiny upon anyone. As a resident of Tequesta, and one of his constituients for the past twelve years, I believe that while I would like to see a Democrat take this seat, and it appears that Mahoney is going to pull out the big guns in an attempt to achieve this, Foley's congressional district is so gerrymandered in favor of the Republican party that I think both sides should take a step back as the proper authorities review accusations against Foley.

"As we said in today's paper, our policy is that we don't make accusations against people using unnamed sources."


If he confirmed they were real, then you would have a named source: Mark Foley. Two reporters weren't able to figure this out?

And if they DID figure this out and you left that out of your timeline, then it's a shame that you would try to cover that up.

What you should have said is that the Times wasn't able to have a ridiculous "he said/he said" article unless the boy went on the record. The Times would have simply had to report the facts of the email exchange.

But journalism today means facts are irrelevant and not newsworthy. Instead, we get accusations and rebuttals.

As we've seen in that case, that has serious real-world consequences. In this case, it involves the safety of children.

Well, at least he didn't kill anyone. I think the victims may recover in time.

Florida is a pretty strange place when the conservatives strike back in such an ugly manner - such as saying that there 'must be' democrats doing the same thing.

Oh yeah, and your reporters blew it and you guys know it.

interesting point about msm vs. bloggers. note that abc never actually broadcast the story. web only

What's sad is that’s these boy were hit on by someone in power, someone who was as old as there father's. What sad is that people feel bad for Foley that nasty fuk.
What's sad is that Jeb Bush is not out making a statement. I just hope Jeb doesn’t handle this like the way he’s handled the case with that poor kid who was killed in that boot camp by those cops.
What's sad is that Charlie Crist hasn't said anything it in public yet. I ‘m a Crist supported
What's sad is nobody is defending these kids.
What's sad that people are saying he was great and will be greatly missed?
If worked next to this guy for 14 years and this came out, I wouldn't miss him at all.
It’s time to stop protecting these guys from the public but protect the public from these guys.
Charlie you better say something fast or your going to lose all credibility

that isn't true at all 1:33 - it was the opening story on the 6pm national broadcast.

Mahoney definitely released the e-mails as demonstrated by the immediate issuance of his press release, which was already written and ready to go the minute the story broke.

Mahoney got lucky when the story got circulation and a lot of other stuff started coming out.

As stated earlier, the SPT should be commended not criticized. It made the right call based upon what it knew at that time.


Mark Foley was a sicko who deserves what he gets. Get over yourselves in tying this to republicans and Crist. ALl of the false allegations about reps knowing it a long time ago came from the far left smear sites. Pelosi gets her talking points from there, and thus wants an investigation. Nothing will happen from it.

Governor Crist will be great for our state. He is up 10 points avg, and the longer people gripe and moan about this sick disgusting freak Foley, the longer Crist holds his lead.

All the better for us GOP's, especially since the cabinet races have the GOP leading as well, but by less points.

I'm a moderate guy, but Hastert knew about the info that led the press to Foley's child predator status (within 24 hours) 11 months ago! The leadership knew enough about Foley to warn the pages about him. Why no investigation??
Maybe it's time to talk about Hastert and our Republican legislators CODDLING CHILD PREDATORS!

Foley is sick, sick, sick, sick. They need to lock this guy up and throw away the key. I dont think however this is a good thing for Mahoney, people are disgusted by this and any name in the mix to directly "benefit" will also turn people off. Negron will win the seat as his name recognition is even higher than Mahoney in this district.

Reading the original post, I see that the reporters did contact Foley's office (as I had assumed, but missed when I originally read the post).

This opens up a large number of questions, which I hope will be addressed on the Buzz.

1. Why do you claim that the content of the emails were only "allegations?" It would be factual, not simply "allegations," that the emails took place and the content that was inside of them.

2. You stated, "And given the seriousness of what would be implied in a story, it was critical that we have complete confidence in our sourcing." Why couldn't you report on the facts of the email without "implying" anything. Why couldn't you report the facts of the email and let the people decide for themselves? If there was nothing overtly sexual in the original emails, as you claim, why would something sexual be implied in a story that stuck to the facts of the content of the email?

3. Why did you feel the need to have a "he said/he said" story, as opposed to a story that simply reported the facts of the email's contents that were not even disputed? If it was not disputed what was said, why not just report that? You would have an on-the-record source for those facts: Mark Foley, who didn't deny writing the emails. Since you would have that on-the-record source (Foley), why wouldn't you have confidence in your sourcing?

4. Did the reporters ask the body that investigates these things in the House if they were persuing the matter? If not, why? If so, what did they say?

Other questions:

1. Ginny Brown-Waite said, according to the Buzz, that Friday morning the FL GOP asked Foley to drop out. This was BEFORE revelations came out about the instant messages. It was simply based off of "news reports" about the emails, according to her claims to the Buzz. Did they think the emails alone were so serious that Foley should drop out? If so, then shouldn't they have told him to leave Congress when GOP House leaders first found out about this almost a year ago?

2. When did the Florida GOP House members first find out about any of these emails?

3. What action did they take when they found out?

4. Exactly when did they find out about the instant messages? Did they call for Foley to leave office before or only after they found out about the instant messages?

5. If they only asked him to leave afterwards, then that means either:

5a) Ginny Brown-Waite lied to reporters about telling him to leave Friday morning, or
5b) They had inside information, either about the instant messages or about other problems that he has had with pages that they knew would be coming forward, BEFORE the instant messages were reported to the press. If this is the case, why didn't they come forward with this information beforehand, given that it might have protected children? When did they first become aware?

6. Was anybody in the FL GOP, including Republican members of Congress, aware of anything surrounding this before Friday? This includes knowing about the old emails, but also knowing about complaints, knowing about rumors, knowing that the page board warned pages about Foley, or anything else.

What did they know and when did they know it? These are the questions that I hope are being asked high up at the Times.

So, does the Republican leadership stand with children or the pedophiles?

So, the reporters didn't confront Foley?

The reporters didn't ask other Congresspeople, including the chairman AND ranking minority member of the committee that oversees pages? (No one in Congres ever leaks anything, do they?)

The reporters couldn't find other pages? (How much you wanna bet every page's hometown paper had a blurb on their kid's appointment? - Ever hear of Lexis, Factiva or Dialog newspaper databases?)

Are your reporters really this incompetent? My high school paper was better than this.

I think the kids ned defending from all sorts of predators:

Predators who engage them in explicit sexual conversation on e-mail;

2) Predators who seek them out so they can get a news angle that will boost a failing Congressional bid...

Mahoney is too reprehensible to elect to Congress. Foley is out, replace him with

a question for the spt editors:

if my teenage duaghter was the victim of a sexual preditor are you telling me that you would not report the story if you couldnt use her name? correct me if i am wrong but you never use the victims name in cases such as these. ie. why didnt you print the name of the teenage boy that debra lafarve abused? you wrote plenty of stories about that case and never discolsed the tenns name.

you guys are worse at this spin game than any 2 bit politician i have ever met on any level! first you put out a 1 paragraph statement that was total bs and then once bloggers called you on it and pressured you as you pressure politicians when you feel you are being spun then, due to the pressue, you release a longer statement that is still a pitifull attempt at damage control.

allow me to help you out. rule number 1 in damage control is to get EVERYTHING out and on the table as quickly as possible so that the life of the story is shortened. you guys still havent figured that out and it is obvious that you think your readers are idiots! well quess what, we are not idiots. we know when we are being spun, be it by a politician, used car salesman or newspaper reporter and you are trying to spin us now.

when i was coming up in business a very smart man told me that you can't fight the press because they buy ink by the ton and always get the last word. well, internet blogs have changed that equation now and you need to wake up and realize this fact. you might still buy ink by the ton, but you no longer get the last word!! now you get what you deserve! shame on you and the yellow journalism you practice!

your first two attempts at an explination were an amatuer attemp at spin. the third times the charm though so when you release your next statement please give us full disclosure and the full truth. and while you are at it, why dont you practice what you preach: full disclosure of the facts!!

one last free peicce of advice: why dont you open your internal email and hard copy files for public inspection so we can determine for ourselves if you are telling the truth. that is if your plummers havent already vacuumed the files.

spt editors:

how does it feel to be on the other side of a feeding freenzy? usually you are the sharks circling in the bloody water but now the tables are reversed and you have not handled the pressure well. you are stumbling through this feeding freenzy worse than any d rate politician.
its a shame. i have lost all respect for your paper.

Why on Earth are you beating up the SPT?

Your anger should be Directed at the GOP run Congress that KNEW about this 11 Months ago!!! I withheld the info! Protecting the Child predator & allowing him to continue to hold a position of POWER!!!

I for one am disgusted & appalled by the ENTIRE Republican Party!!!

Should have read AND withheld the info not "I".... Typo

perhaps if the Times would have went with the original story like ABC did, they would have gotten those e-mails a year ago. I certainly hope no other child was harmed in the last year.

the times protected foley, everyone knows it

why are we beating up the spt? are you serious? how can you ever read another article that the print and believe what they say? foley is a sick perv who should be proscecuted. any members of congress who knew and covered it up should be proscecuted.

your rant againt the entire gop is stupid and illogical. lets see, rep jefferson, a dem, got caught with $100,000 in cash in his freezer, does that mean all dem's are guilty of bridery and extorsion? or rep trauficant, a dem, who ran for re-election from his prison cell, does that mean all dem's are convicts? clinton cheated on his wife and had oral sex with a young intern half his age, does that mean all dem's are having oral sex with their young interns?

anyone from either party who has broken the law or aided after the fact should be prosceuted but you are either a whacko, stupid, or blind if you cant see that individuals in BOTH parties are corrupt peices of garbage. just because some from a party are scum doesnt mean that all in that party are scum.

no-nothing idiots!

Well, we know that a year ago the SPT had questionable e-mails to an underage page from the Chair of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.

Did anyone ask the Congressman if he made a habit of exchanging e-mails, friendly or not, with underage pages of other Congressmen?

The Times sat on the story. By doing so and allowing the status quo to continue up till this point, there's a real possibility that the SPT has handed the Congress to the Democrats. Especially if the majority is one seat and the Congressman in it is Mahoney.

yeah, but most tough on crime republicans are hypocrits

4;13 - Heres a rant for you the GOP is corrupt!! Read on:

Corrupt Republicans in the House have assinged a child abuser (Foley) to be on a the Child Abuse Committee. isn't it only fitting that the GOP has assigned the Foley matter to the Ethics Committee, Chaired by none other than the ethically challenged Tom Davis.

The same Tom Davis who is a member of the Abramoff 65. The same Tom Davis who is investigating Abramoff. The same Tom Davis that has so far protected fellow Republicans from the full light of a real investigation. The same Tom Davis who works hand in hand with his "lobbyist" wife. The same Tom Davis we can count on to protect the GOP culture of corruption. The same Tom Davis has now been given the assignment to protect the GOP from child abuse charges.

GOP corruption.. protectiong our young....

Vote Democrat in November!


i take it you are a dem from your posting. and building on the posting of 4:13 i guess that means your have 100 grand in your freezer, are an ex con guilty of bribery and extorsion, you cheat on your spose, and have sexual relationships with people half your age right? you paint all the gop with the same brush as the scumbag foley so we can paint you with the same brush as the dems that 4:13 listed(and others not listed) right? i guess it all started going badly for you when you had your car accident years ago from driving drunk like both kennedys? 4:13 is right, you are an idiot!

you are the only idoit I see here 4:18

go educate yourself on your party will you!


remember abscam and the house banking debacale? i guess that all dems cash checks that they know they dont have the money in the bank to cover right? how many dem congressman covered up corruption when they were in charge? ALOT! remember that it even brought down the dem speaker. my point is that if you think the dems are perfect little angles and the gop are all corrupt devils then you live in fantasy land. both parties are corrupt. both parties have proven it. the differance is that i am a life long goper that can admit that both my own gop AND the dems are corrupt and power hungry. can you admit the same to yourself or are you so gullible that you think the dems are all good and only gop politicians are bad?

4:18 brain washed?
Sean Hannitize you?

LOL!! GOP Party of Corruption!!!
Get a Clue!


educate yourself on your party first and then we can have an honest conversation. can you do that? probably not so i quess we will continue to put up with your hot air!

ever notice that whenever a republican is in trouble you hear about ted kennedy?

so sad.

ever notice that whenever a republican is in trouble you hear about ted kennedy?

so sad.

Every one knows that most reporters are simply put LAZY about researching facts. Here for exmaple is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.


educate yourself on your party first and then we can have an honest conversation. can you do that? probably not so i quess we will continue to put up with your hot air!

Every one knows that most reporters are simply put LAZY about researching facts. Here for exmaple is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.


wrong kennedy. not ted but REP Kennedy. you know the one that wrecked his car into the capitol last year while driving drunk? i guess that means all dems drive drunk right?

I never admitted to being a Dem... You on the other hand admitted to being a LONG time GOPer... Perv supporter...

I can promise you I know far more than you do about the criminal party you belong to.

I know GOPERS "Create thier own reality" This is a KKKarl Rove ideal...
Held dear to our current squater in the the WH, Heir Shrub...

Mission Accomplished!!!

Zig Heil GOPer's!!!

Everyone knows that most reporters are simply put LAZY about researching facts. Here for example is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.

4:25 so what your saying is its ok if we are corrupt because the Dems did it too?

You are one sick pup! Know wonder you support the current GOP corruption...

**Sigh**.. what a Loser...

4:34 since it was the Democrats that created the KKK in 1866 in Tennessee, you should ask your current sitting DEMOCRATIC Senator Robert Byrd of WV, a former VP of the KKK, how many crosses he burned in peoples yard and to name some of his former KKK friends and what he did, I'm sure Byrd didn't get to become a "grand kugle" in the KKK by sitting on his rear. That would be an interesting story that American should learn about, Maybe the SP Time can run a series on "Democrat Senator Byrd the KKK years".


that is not at all what i am saying. let me be clear and put it on first grade level for you dems:
1. floey is a sick perv. he should be prosecuted

2. anyone who knew about it and covered it up should be prosecuted for accesery after the fact

3. saying all who are registered in the gop are corrupt pervs is like saying all dems cheat on their spouse(clinton) and are guilty of bridery and extorsion (rep jefferson) and drive drunk(rep kennedy not sen kennedy).

4. i am not making an excuse for the actions of those within my party but dems seem to believe that dems are perfect angels.

5. i take plenty of shots at my own party because i can honestly say that many are corrupt pieces of garbage but the same hold true for many dems. the differance is that you dems cant(or wont) look critically and honestly about your own party too

6. for the record, i am a goldwater-regan republican who has never supported a bush and never will because they are destroying, or have already destroyed the party that goldwater-regan built.

Why do you keep calling me a DEM? I am an independent...

You continue to support the party of corruption... I don't support either party...

So you don't know very much...Your rant was a waste... Continue to vote Republican... Dumbass...

Regarding the St. Pete Times criticism:

Republicans are just p'oed that they got caught with their pants down.



i never said i vote only for republicans did i dumbass?. i vote for both r's and d's. you say your and indipendant? so who do you vote for? not too many independdants elected to office so you either vote for d's, r's, both, or you dont vote. so?

You said and I quote:

"the differance is that i am a life long goper"

GOPEers vote Party line if you do not you are LIAR... well that is what GOP'ers are good at eh?

I will VOTE for anyone that is not in the GOP!! Not that it's any of your business..

caught in your own shit eh???


i am a life long goper just as you are an independant. not all in the gop vote straight party. not all dems vote straight party.

but lets see, you said "I will VOTE for anyone that is not in the GOP!!" that only leaves dems to vote for. so are you saying you vote straight party democrat?

When was the last time you voted??

Dem's & Repugs are NOT the only thing on the ticket... You are a dumbass!

Keep posting I like to show how stupid GOP'ers are...

Republicans and GOP are not the same - GOP vote the ticket you are a liar!!


by the way, lets have called me a dumbass, a liar, and a perv supporter. i did lower myself to your level by calling you a dumbass after you called me one. why do you feel the need to use such tactics? i am certain that if you were face to face with me you would not speak that way so why do you feel you are allowed to on here? you feel free to hide behind your computer while insulting me in that fasion. why dont you give me your phone number and address and i will drive to your house and see if you have the courage to speak to me in such a manner.

Kennedy, it's Clinton's fault..blah blah..

Dude you are a ditto head pure & simple! there is no debate with you! You are a GOP rush limbaugh, Sean Hannity Repug!!

you deserve nothing less... You are a liar!

Hey 5:12

I dont want to get in the middle but do you mean you always votes for the person that loses? You vote libertarian, green, reform? I have not seen them elected to much. An ind sen from NH, jesse ventura in MN.

More GOP Fear Tacticts! LOL you don't scare me old man!

what is wrong with you cant you read? i never blamed clinton or kennedy! i was making a point about lumping the many with the actions of a few.

I vote on principle something that GOPers don't have, Its not about winning its about voting for whats right. I do not always vote indy or Dem or Rep, I used to.. Reps will not get my vote this year not a one...

You are not the person that keeps bringing up Kennedy on previous threads...? sure...

then give me your address and phone number and i will come to your house and see if you have the courage to speak to me in such a way when we are face to face. its easy to have courage when you dont have to look the other person in the eye. so come on. i will get in the car right now and go where ever in the state you are. right to your home turff. you can have all your friends there to give you courage. have whomever there you like it doesnt matter to me. you treat people disrespectfully because there are no consequences to your actions. i am waiting.


5:21 the only kennedy i brought up was rep kennedy who drove his car into the capitol while drunk. thats it. no other kennedy referance from me.

LOL - OK you give me your address so I can come see you...I will gladly tell you to your face you are a liar.

OH now it's all coming back eh? the only Kennedy I brought up? I am done with you ditto head! You have a nice day now you hear???

the whole dem party is corrupt too. both parties are corrupt

Vote Dem & vote War profiteers & corruption!

Support our Troops!

Oh Wait that's right Hailburton is A Republican Org.... Ok Vote Dem to vote OUT War profiteering and The Doolitles GOP Corruption!

Republicans are the CURRENT Corrupt party vote them out!

Everyone knows that most reporters are simply put LAZY about researching facts. Here for example is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.

12:07 PM
want some cheese with that whine?
you rethugs are so desperate and perverted, Christian my A$$

05:31 PM
just more rethug desperation
nothing to see here just move along

05:24 PM
yea that's right just say, Well it is both parties so the public will ignor how evil, hating and corrupt the GOP is

05:21 PM

just more proof how hateful you rethugs are

All this anonymous crap is the product of small, cowardly minds. You are idiots jabbering like primates and to hell with you all.

You need a sig to understand what is being posted? I say you are the Jabbering Primate!

How come with Republicans the outrage is never about the actual deed but rather the fact they got caught and exposed?

5:42, interesting how quickly you dismiss this, why, it doesn't fall into your theme??? cleary, if a smart hard working investigative reporter simply start asking some questions to Pitts, Lee and perhaps Davis and Smith campaign staff they may stumble upon a major story based on the rumors....what you says...dems would NOT want this to be true...of course they wouldn't. Now would a smart reporter PLEASE DO YOUR JOB AND START ASKING QUESTIONS!

There is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.

NO the outrage is at the 'Liberal Publication' that printed the abuse of power! too funny! They hate to get caught, They dont care about the deed...

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned from Congress when sexually inappropriate emails and instant messages he sent to a teenage boy came to light. While the shocking exchanges produced an immediate uproar that cost Congressman Foley his job, at least one member of the House Republican leadership had known about the situation for months and did nothing about it: New York Republican Congressman and chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee Tom Reynolds.

According to the Associated Press, Congressman Reynolds’ spokesman confirmed that Reynolds had been informed by another Congressman that the boy had complained about Foley’s inappropriate communications “months ago.” According to the report, the allegations first came to light in late 2005. [AP, 9/30/06] It appears that Reynolds did not tell authorities about the emails or take any step to discipline Foley, apparently choosing instead to sweep the matter under the rug to protect the Republican party’s dwindling chances of retaining control of the House of Representatives this November.

“Congressman Reynolds’ inaction in the face of such a serious situation is very troubling, and raises important questions about whether there was an attempt to cover up criminal activity involving a minor to keep it from coming to light before Election Day,” said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney.

“We need real answers to important questions about precisely who knew about these activities and when they knew it, whether other current or former pages were victimized by Congressman Foley, why the Republican House leadership was prepared to adjourn without at the very least referring this matter to the ethics committee, and what corrective action if any Congressman Reynolds and the rest of the Republican House leadership took. Failing to answer to these questions would send a terrible message to the parents who entrust their children to the care of the Page School and send them to Washington to serve Congress.”


5:42, interesting how quickly you dismiss this, why, it doesn't fall into your theme??? clearly, if a smart hard working investigative reporter simply start asking some questions to Pitts, Lee and perhaps Davis and Smith campaign staff they may stumble upon a major story based on the rumors....what you say...dems would NOT want this to be true...of course they wouldn't. Now would a smart reporter PLEASE DO YOUR JOB AND START ASKING QUESTIONS!

There is a rumor that a hard working reporter can verify, there is RUMOR that Pitts and Lee were PAID for their miraculous conversion, the rumor number is 10K each, now lets see if a hard working smart reporter will go get the facts.

There is no THEME you are only here to distract from the fact that your REPUBLICAN Congress Critter got caught with his hand in well I wont go there..

Save your righteous indignation for.... Bill Clinton, I bet you did didn't you? LOL you repugs are a pathetic lot!

06:01 PM
Just more desperate desperation
please stop hiding like a coward that you are, post you REAL email you ReThug

6:03, From what i read above, I disagree a backdoor deal which included payoff for support would also be a MAJOR scandal of epic proportions. I for one do hope that there is a investigative report that will share any impropriety of exhanging of money regarding Pitts and Lee.

Johnson for Congress 2006!!!

607p - sure loser.. what ever

06:07 PM
commenting on your own post
very desperate very devious
the blogs name is Buzz that does not mean your buzz
so knock it off you phony

This blog has become a complete joke with nothing but hyper-partisan hacks.

Foley is a disgrace, and should be punished for any wrong-doing. PERIOD.

What the hell does this have to do with any other republicans? NOTHING. Many of the other republicans only knew about emails, not those disgusting IM's.

Did William Jefferson represent all democrats? Did Patrick Kennedy represent all democrats? NO.

Cut the sh*t, and stop this. We are supposed to be discussing political ideas, not slandering each other, and stereotyping entire political parties.

BoilerGOP you are a hack!

Corrupt Republicans in the House have assinged a child abuser (Foley) to be on a the Child Abuse Committee. isn't it only fitting that the GOP has assigned the Foley matter to the Ethics Committee, Chaired by none other than the ethically challenged Tom Davis.

The same Tom Davis who is a member of the Abramoff 65. The same Tom Davis who is investigating Abramoff. The same Tom Davis that has so far protected fellow Republicans from the full light of a real investigation. The same Tom Davis who works hand in hand with his "lobbyist" wife. The same Tom Davis we can count on to protect the GOP culture of corruption. The same Tom Davis has now been given the assignment to protect the GOP from child abuse charges.

GOP corruption.. protectiong our young....

Truth Hurts eh? BoilerGOP??

65 GOP Congressmen connected to Jack I plead guilty Abramoff....

No??.... we need ideas???...
I have an idea!!!

Vote out the Republican party!!!

What will happen to Foley now? Will he be prosecuted? Will the Conservative Christian Right give him the treatment to cure him? A regular citizen would be doing the perp walk by now. I would like to hear John Walsh calling him names on America's most wanted like he does the other pedophiles.

You moron,

Just b/c people worked with Abramoff did not mean they were corrupt. SOme were, others were not. Dumass.

"GOP culture of corruption" That is nothing than a liberal hyper-partisan hack line from idiots like Pelosi. Go crawl back into your hole at the dailykos.

Gripe all you want, we are gonna have a republican governor here in FL, and it wont be any closer than 6 points, and probably 9-10 points. Keep bringing up false general allegations, and Crist will keep cruising to his clear victory.

06:54 PM
morons with no Brains and nothing to say usw curse words in every other word they use
if the shoe fits wear it MORON

Time ignores other scandal in Foley conflagration

A September 30 article by Time reporter Tim Padgett on the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) left out key facts that give the scandal national relevance. Absent from Padgett's article is any mention of the disclosure, reported by The Washington Post and Roll Call, among other outlets, that the House Republican leadership has known for months about emails reportedly sent by Foley to a 16-year-old-male congressional page.

Padgett reported that Foley quit the day after ABC News broke the news that Foley allegedly sent the page emails that were, in Time's words at the top of the article, "possibly inappropriate." ABC News reported after its initial story on September 28 that there were emails and instant messages, some of which it posted on its weblog several hours before Padgett's article went up. Padgett suggested that the reason Foley resigned so quickly might not have been because "there might be similar e-mail or instant messages lying in the hard drives of other teens in the capital," but because the communications expose Foley as gay, rumors of which he had "frequently worked to squelch." But the content of the emails and instant messages itself suggests yet a third possible reason for Foley's resignation, which Padgett apparently dismisses as insufficient -- their content indicates that a member of Congress in his early 50s was reportedly engaging in sexually explicit communications with one or more underage charges of the House of Representatives. Foley reportedly sent sexually explicit communications to one or more minors, but Padgett is apparently taking the position that the reason Foley resigned is "just as likely" to be that he has been exposed as gay.

While Padgett reported Republican concerns about losing Foley's seat in what was considered a safe Republican district, he completely ignored reports that the House Republican leadership apparently engaged in a months-long cover-up of Foley's alleged actions. According to Roll Call:

At least four Republican House Members, one senior GOP aide and a former top officer of the House were aware of the allegations about Foley that prompted the initial reporting regarding his e-mail contacts with a 16-year-old House page. They include: Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) and Reps. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), as well as a senior aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl.

Boehner strongly denied media reports late Friday night that he had informed Hastert of the allegations, saying "That is not true."

Reynolds refused to comment.

Shimkus, who chairs the page board, and Trandahl, who administered the program, met with Foley in 2005 after learning of Foley's e-mail exchange with the former page by Alexander. Shimkus released a detailed statement Friday night.

House sources said that Foley denied any improper sexual activity when confronted by Shimkus and Trandahl. Their information only included some August 2005 e-mails that contained no references to sex or other improper behavior, and not the other messages that have been reported by ABC News.

According to a senior House GOP leadership aide, Hastert's office was informed of the interview shortly after it occurred, but Hastert himself was not told.

While Roll Call has Boehner flatly denying that he had informed Hastert of the matter, according to the Post, Boehner has given conflicting statements about whether he talked with Hastert, as Joshua Micah Marshall of the blog Talking Points Memo noted. The Post reported that Boehner initially said that he informed Hastert of the matter when he learned of it in the spring, but then Boehner "later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert." So Roll Call and the Post have reported Boehner apparently saying three different things: he talked to Hastert, he can't remember whether he talked to Hastert, and he did not talk to Hastert. Time makes no mention of the issue of whether the speaker of the House was informed of Foley's alleged conduct.

Yes, the potential loss of Foley's seat to a Democrat could bear on whether the GOP loses its majority in the House in November. But beyond the scandal's implications for Foley's seat is the significance of the action or inaction of the current House leadership. Padgett's article simply ignored this issue.

BoilerGOP - Read and weep for what your party has become...

Christ is a RINO & Gay... good for you for supporing the Gay candidate BoilerGOP!! LOL


Harris missed the vote on the Guardsmen and Reservists Financial Relief Act. This act waived the additional 10% tax penalty for early IRA withdrawals for those serving to protect our nation from terror. The law also deals with ready reserve tax credits, wage differentials taxes, etc.

It also gave relief through penalty free IRA withdrawals for those who endured natural disasters (read that as Florida);=125

Harris' staff needs to do a better job of reviewing her tax record. By not voting for this tax reduction bill, she gave the Democrats a one vote advantage (read that as a de facto vote against the legislation)

I agree foley is scum, i also agree, i wanna hear more about any Pitts, Lee PAYOFF if true, could it be there is another scandal brewing.

And just so you know BoilerGOP I am TAMPA resident... So DKoS or not you are the brainwashed moron.. Stop listening to Sean hannity & Rush Limbaugh... Faux News Rots the brain... what you have left may be saved...

Why is nobody asking who knew what about Foley in 2003 when he suddenly dropped out of the Senate race?

BoilerGOP - Moron..dumbass..What ever name you go by....

Where'd ya go???

I hope you are reading & learning about your corrupt party... I hope you have the balls to comeback & apologize...

although I find that highly unlikely you being a GOP'er and all....


07:13 PM
stop commenting on you own post
There is NO there there
this is not FOX NEWS
"some people say"

you are the only one posting on your faux crap move along and get a life
another pervert chistian right robo-drone has been exposed and all your propaganda is not going to make it go away
that is why the propaganda network
Fox News
now has less than 700,000 viewers at any given time and they are all over 65

As long as Mark Foley is out of the picture, Joe Negron will be a natural shoe in just as long as Ralph Hughes continues to write him checks.

Ralph Hughes contributor
Negron, Joe (REP)(ATG) 03/02/2005 500.00 CHE HUGHES RALPH W. 10909 THERESA ARBOR DR. TAMPA, FL 33617 INDUSTRIALIST

At least one Democrat staffer did a very similar thing. He was actually arrested. The Times has that story too and won't publish it.

i would still rather talk to foley online than ride in a car with kennedy.

At least after online chats you dont end up at the bottom of a river


The St. Pete Times really, really blew this one. Sounds like an editor should be fired.

How in the hell do you not report this?

What happened to the NY Times moto: Simply to Tell the Truth.

Was it true? Did anyone say it was not?

You should have run it. Period. Period. Peroid.

Mark Foley and Charlie Crist - new leaders for a new Florida.

or Laura Bush I would not want to be her ex- Did you know Laura Bush ran a Stop Sign!! And KILLED her ex-boyfriend & She WAS SOBER!!!

Laura Bush Recalls Painful Past
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 2, 2000; 7:15 p.m. EST

PROVIDENCE, R.I. –– Laura Bush, wife of GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush, on Thursday recalled the pain of a 1963 accident that killed her boyfriend, saying "it was crushing."

"All I can say about that (is) it was a very, very, tragic accident I was involved in when I was 17 years old, almost 40-something years ago," Bush said. "It was a terrible accident. It was terrible for everyone involved."

07:39 PM
was he in the car with Kennedy too? desperate very very desperate

Yeah 741pm -

we know how all you GOpers would rather let pedophiles run our the Government other than drive in a car with a Kennedy.. Says a lot about your mentality...LOL

ARe you a pediophile??

Seems GOPers are all ok with Pedophiles, just not the Kennedy's?

This is rich! LOL

Seems GOPers are all ok with Pedophiles, just not the Kennedy's or car accidents?

This is rich! LOL

First Crist next???

802p - here's to it being so! cheers!

This is getting good. The Republican leadership is starting to feed on itself:
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) issued a statement Saturday in which he said that he had informed Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) of allegations of improper contacts between then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and at least one former male page, contradicting earlier statements from Hastert.

GOP sources said Reynolds told Hastert earlier in 2006, shortly after the February GOP leadership elections. Hastert's response to Reynolds' warning remains unclear.

Hastert's staff insisted Friday night that he was not told of the Foley allegations and are scrambling to respond to Reynolds' statement.
Here is the kicker--the fifty-state strategy actually is one of the main reasons why Reynolds is throwing Hastert under the bus. Because Reynolds is seriously threatened in his own district, he has to come clean on this and make it look like he did everything he could. He can't take one for the team here, because if he does, he could very well lose on November 7th. He can't pull a Boehner, who suddenly remembered that he actually had forgotten whether he told Hastert about Foley.

Someone wrote in the comments that scandals like these are why we challenge every seat. It could be easily argued that scandals like these are also why we should target the Republican leadership, hard, every election. After the CA-50 special election runoff, Republicans bragged that their 50 state media operation allowed them to spread Busby's "gaffe" nationwide instantly, and blanket the district with coverage of it. Well, now our determination to challenge every seat is giving even the Republican leadership no quarter. I love it when a plan comes together.

Dennis Hastert should start to consider resigning his leadership position. He has abandoned all oversight of how his caucus is run.

7:30 I've been ignoring the Pitts Lee comments but you sure seem upset by them, makes me want to hear more.

9:04 was thinking the same thing. Clearly its Foley all the time here right now, but this rumor of Payoffs to Pitts Lee sounds like a bombshell if true. As we all know in politics most things are well known from rumors before they hit via the media,ala Foley and 7:30 sounds really worked up about it, maybe a Davis campaign worker trying to deflect.

ah 1:48 duh it was on the abc blog AFTER they found it on other blogs. it finally then was discussed on the 6:30 pm news

09:08 PM
there is NO there there
this is just one person posting this Lee Pitts Fraud
stop wasting the time of intelligent people

you are just having this conversation with yourself

like most morons like you, you bring you own Reynolds foil wrap to the party

Crist is next and probably won't be pediphile crap, but secret, secret, secret, which is worse, someone RUNNING for Governor, who won't be honest, or Foley, RUNNING after kids!! both hopefully will make the voters sick and Crist has a matter of time on his record...

When do we all stop this rhetoric.. Charlie is good to the core. He would never embarrass any of us. and most of all the repubs. Get a grip you people, Charlie will be a great Governor.

Governor Charlie Crist!!!!

09:26 PM
OHHHHHH such spinning you must be getting dizzy

Why didn't Charlie Crist have Mark Foley arrested today?


This is REALLY deteriating. Isn't there ANYTHING else you can put up on here to replace this drivel on the top of the blog?

If not, here is a link to the reaction in Illinois to the implications that Speaker Hastert had been sitting on this for almost a year also:

Attorney General Crist does not have jurisdiction over this case that is why he has not had Foley arrested. The jurisdiction will probably be the Feds and at the right time the Feds will move on this case probably on Monday, November 6, 2006.

Has Crist had a public statement about Foley since yesterday?

No crist won't either.. He is a big scum bag as well.. What do you people want BLOOD... Hello, Charlie isn't touching this with a ten foot poll.. get it ????

Carol Jean Jordan should immediately step down as the Chairman of the RPOF this case is the icing on the cake. Carol Jean and other Florida Republicans leaders have know about Foley's continued issues with underage boys but have refused to show leadership by forcing him out of office. This could have been accomplished in 2004 but Carol Jean refused to listen. Carol Jean wants to travel around the United States and tell everyone how great the Republican Party is in Florida and tell the RNC how they need to be more like Florida Republicans. Now the world is seeing exactly what is going on in Florida and our parties founding Father is turning over in his grave. Maybe the RNC will show a little leadership and request Carol Jean step down as the Chair of Chairs effective immediately.


Where's Charlie on this? Since he apparently hasn't made a statement against pedophiles, does that mean he's for them?

Just wondering?

Dennis Hastert - 1998

"Even though our children may be at home with the doors locked,"

"that doesn't mean that they are safe. We must continue to be proactive in warding off pedophiles and other creeps who want to take advantage of our children...It's not infringing on liberties, it's about protecting our kids."

Dennis Hastert- 2006
Pediphile protector
anything to perserve the Neo-Con


where is charlie on this.. same place he always is, NO WHERE!! hello not rocket science here.. embarrassing, but what we have, no charlie comment, no charlie thought, no charlie, WERE YOU ALL EXPECTING SOMETHING. BECAUSE YOU PROBABLY WON'T GET go go go!!!

Chairman Carol Jean Jordan’s official resignation letter states that her resignation will be effective Friday, November 17, 2006. This is the first day of the RPOF quarterly meeting in Orlando, she will preside over the morning meeting but hand off interim leadership at 12 noon in a live press conference. In the evening the Chairman’s reception will be held in honor of former Chairman Carol Jean Jordan for contribution to the RPOF. Later on that evening there will be a Governor elect reception for Governor elect Charlie Crist.


Abe Lincoln, Interim Chair of the RPOF

I hope not, how gross.. Charlie Crist, is so going to have a moment like Foley ... can't wait. and all you NEVER MIND> just wait???

When it does happen, what will all you people say.. We Knew it.. Just waited for it to happen.. It doesn't matter.. He is our man... Gay, not gay, who cares?? please pick something.. will ya??

whether or not you published this story when you first received the mails, the fact that you failed to even do a preliminary investigation or follow up shows a clear political agenda. simply put, you blew it, and lost all credibility with non-Republican readers.


Getting tired of the foley story now, wow Pitts-Lee payoff?, more please anybody with info?. PS, paranoid blogger 9:15, this is a different person asking for the FIRST TIME, enough with the "stop talking to yourself comment", that can apply to any, why are you so eager to stop this discussion?, maybe a worried Davis staffer you are?

Getting tired of the foley story now, wow Pitts-Lee payoff?, more please anybody with info?. PS, paranoid blogger 9:15, this is a different person asking for the FIRST TIME, enough with the "stop talking to yourself comment", that can apply to any, why are you so eager to stop this discussion?, maybe a worried Davis staffer you are?



The Times need not defend itself from the cricisms of the liberal democrats who claim to be "includive" yet want to gay bait the same way the forefather of their party sued the N word to get votes in the South. The Democratic party was then and is still now the party of hatred and racism. The Times didn't have enough to publish a story and that is that. For the left wingers to accuse the Times of sitting on the story is just further evidence of their inability to lead or govern.

Foley deceived EVERBODY. Why cast blame when all were being decieved equally by sicko Foley. Hindsight is 20/20, Sp Times made the right choice and Foley the sicko he is was lieing to everbody. Stop with the partisan nonsense, all have children that they would act to protect. Exploiting this for political gain is making this sick story even sicker.

"U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chairman of the Page Board, which oversees the congressional work-study program for high schoolers, said he did investigate, but Foley falsely assured him that he was only mentoring the boy."

12:22 AM


7:59 says it all. The"original" emails certainly deserved more than "stay away from the kid, Mark". What ever happened to the "smoke and fire" thing?

How much should be laid at the feet of the Republican leadership in the House, Adam Putnam?

How much should be laid at the feet of the "mainstream media", including, but not limited to, The Times?

Why is nobody going back to look at why Foley really dropped his Senate run in the 2004 cycle?

There is apparenttly a lot of blame to go around here. Self serving statements about "we didn't really know" are just not acceptable.

Get over your conspiracy theories, that is just so far left wing blog like. I have read statements from the leadership, and even the media is giving most of them a pass on it, for they did what they are supposed to do, notify the leader, and the leader notifies the authorities.

In late 2005, the authorities told the leadership that the emails were only "overly friendly." Nothing more. SO they could do nothing else except warn pages.

Crist 51%
Davis 30%

Read it and weep Liberals.

conservatives weeping too

law enforcement would never arrest foley before the election - law snforcement relies on the republican party to give them the right to ignore the constitution - they'll do it after the election - never would they embarass the republican party

looks as if rick outzen and mark foley share some on the same interests?

The editors should have contacted the FBI with the information. Period. What? No story... no issue? I think not. Simply because you decided not to run it, does that make it alright to leave these minors at the mercy of an adult predator? I think you (collectively) should be ashamed. Whatever you claim, it was obvious from even the first emails that there was a problem here. You did nothing. I am surprised and disappointed.

"even the media is giving most of them a pass"

If they are now, they won't be able to for long. Liberal blogs, conservative blogs have shown the ability to keep the buzz going (pun intended) when the main stream media won't get off its lazy ass and DO THEIR JOB.

DC Insider here:

Mahoney had nothing to do with the leak. His camp found out the same time everyone else did.

The boys parents contacted the ethics committee three weeks ago. After no answer, a staffer for another Senator contacted Brian Ross

The question that everyone SHOULD be asking is "who gave you the emails?"

Answer that question, and I think we may have changed the debate considerably.


That poll was taken before this Foley debacle came up. I wonder what the poll numbers will look like a couple weeks down the road?

(Waits; eats popcorn)


Crist has nothing to do with this debacle, the polls will not be affected by this. That said, I highly doubt Crist is up 21 points. The avg of all 8 pollsters latest polls show Crist up 11 points. That wont change because of this.

I know you come from the far left blogs, and have conspiracy theories abound tying any republicans to Foley's personal disgusting problems, but it wont convince any of the middle voters. It will convince kooks like you, but not the middle ground folks.

Foley deceived EVERYBODY. Why cast blame when all were being decieved equally by sicko Foley. Hindsight is 20/20. Stop with the partisan nonsense, all have children that they would act to protect. Exploiting this for political gain is making this sick story even sicker, and the fringe conspiracy theorist are really just extremist trying opportunize this for their own "poltical" gain. Note all the fringe types keep ending with "elect Democrats because of this". That is a nonsense thing to say. You elect people because their ideas to bring SOLUTION!. Foley is a sicko and should be thrown in Jail! this can happen in any party.

"U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chairman of the Page Board, which oversees the congressional work-study program for high schoolers, said he did investigate, but Foley falsely assured him that he was only mentoring the boy."

Some how the Truth is a "Far Left Blog" LOL to you far right Righties!!

Wow!! your GOP leaders in congress covered up these allegations for almost a year.. kinda makes you wonder if they used that information to get Mr. Foley to Vote certain ways....Far right ways..... Kinda make a person go hummmmmmmmmmm??????

Reynolds accepted $100k from Foley in July.According to our Foley coverup timeline, Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) was informed of Foley’s actions towards House pages in February or March 2006. The New York Daily News reports:

1) “Reynolds’s personal PAC, TOMPAC, wrote Foley a check for $5,000 on May 10, 2006.”

2) “On July 27, 2006, the [National Republican Congressional Committee], which Reynolds chairs, accepted an unusually large contribution of $100,000 from Foley. Hard to imagine something of that size just slipping past the chairman.”

My views are above, but it is important enough to repeat: the st pete times is not pro one party or the other. it is status quo, seemingly worshipping those in power. foley is a sick person, but one allowed to accumulate power and prestige. i can't understand how the editor can excuse its silences. maybe it is time for the staff to review its goals for the newspaper.

Why bother trying to "clear up" anything? The political atmosphere has become so toxic that the left won't believe anything that doesn't justify their dudgeon.

The timing of the release of the emails is suspicious, especially if Democrats have had it all along.

If Foley were a Democrat, he'd be defended on grounds of privacy or claiming that he was gay and therefore deserves a pass, and he'd be given a book deal. What this shows is that the Republicans won't tolerate this behavior, while Democrats will fight to save their power, even when there's DNA evidence on an intern's dress. Foley sent some creepy emails. Clinton did the deeds and then publicly denied it, and his party stood behind him.


If Foley were a Democrat?? He is NOT A DEM he is YOURS GOP ALL THE WAY!!

They knew his "likes" and let him CHAIR a Child Abuse Commitee!!! Try & explain that!!

Classic Foxes guarding the Hen house.

Still trust the GOP????

AST Family Values GOPER -

The intern you are talking about.. she was of legal age & consenting... Unlike the 16 year old in the Foley Story...

Foley is a Child Sex Predator.. Big difference!!!

GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001!!!!;=1

Poster who has been wasting our time expose
IP to follow lets bust this nut

About that Pitts-Lee Rumor
An anonymous posting in the Buzz comment section suggested Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee were paid off for their "miraculous conversion." Both men appeared at a recent event with Jim Davis, who apologized (and they accepted) for his 1990 vote against compensating them for time served under a bogus conviction.

Not true, says Pitts, the Davis campaign and the Democratic Party.

"What a joke," Pitts said, reached at his Miami home Sunday night. "I would have been the first to go to the press with (someone trying to buy my support). It's the usual dirty, sleazy politics. Someone is trying to drive a wedge between blacks and Jim Davis." Pitts said he decided to back Davis after a radio ad in the primary made it seem like it was his voice denouncing Davis.

Lee could not be reached

12:23 AM
you are just hours away from being exposed by SPT for the tin foil hat wearing loon you are
you have wasted far to much of our time
just move along you wack job

I can't believe that your paper covered up a pedophile in Congress. What were you thinking?

"So, what we had was a set of emails between Foley and a teenager, who wouldn't go on the record about how those emails made him feel"

I don't know, but maybe "Congressman sends bizarre emails to underage men." would have been appropriate. Good job sitting on a story guys.


SP Times
if you are going to remove the post you did on Pitts-Lee Rumor you should also remove the phony post about it posted by that wack job

Let's be honest:The REAL reason the SPT didn't run with the story back in November is because Foley is gay. If these accusations of a predatory congressmen had been of a heterosexual nature they would have been all over the paper.

Homosexuality: the Real Teflon coating!!

this thread has gotten way out of hand with more ad hominem attacks than necessary.

Any wonder that turnout will be low.

Hey Times editors and reporters...

You think Nelson Poynter would be proud of how you guys tackled this story? I think not. I think the grand-daddy or anti-establishment journalism is spinning in his grave right now.

The hallowed halls of Poynter have been tarnished by your lack of journalism cahones to print the story when you first got it.

The responsibilities of journalists is not to print suspicions or rumors without more than just "feelings of discomfort" on the part of the first Page from Louisiana. I don't see anything wrong with the decisons made by the St. Petersburg Times editorial staff. All they had was a copy of e-mails that could have been totally innocent. They had no "smoking gun," unlike the IMs to another page that have since been disclosed.

Political opponents, unlike journalists, can throw all kinds of dirt at one another and hope enough sticks to make a difference. Apparently the dirt thrown at Foley stuck like glue, and he did the right thing to resign. The GOP has done the right thing by calling for an investigation. I wonder how many Dem's are sweating now about their own behavior toward underage pages? Inquiring minds want to know....

I can't sort through this blizzard of commentary to see whether anybody agrees with me, but I believe the SPT's account and don't find anything wrong about it. it's that simple.

Uh, Greg?

The editors should have contacted the FBI with the information. Period. What? No story... no issue? I think not. Simply because you decided not to run it, does that make it alright to leave these minors at the mercy of an adult predator? I think you (collectively) should be ashamed. Whatever you claim, it was obvious from even the first emails that there was a problem here. You did nothing. I am surprised and disappointed.

Assume that the reporter did not tell the family to go to the cops if they were disturbed. What did the Times have? The first e-mails are not the smoking guns you think they are. The worst thing in them is a request for a picture -- which may be creepy, but is not a criminal offense. Moreover, the family that was disturbed said they did NOT want the Times to use their names in a story if it was written. Now, you can argue about the newspaper's policy all you want -- personally, I prefer on the record interviews -- but if a family doesn't want their name in the paper, that certainly forbids a reporter from going to he police. Trust is trust, even if you disagree with the family's decision.

And assuming the reporter went to the police, what would be said? "Hi. I have a copy of an e-mail that's a little disturbing and the address of a family that says they were disturbed but have not decided to press charges about it." If you were the cop, what would you do? There's nothing there that would allow them to start an investigation, much less make an arrest.

I know it must be killing the Times' reporters today, but I admire the newspaper's restraint. We know, at least, they did everything they could to check the story out.

Mark Foley's sexuality was never much of a secret to those who served with him in the House.

The New York Times and every major newspaper in Florida had been writing articles on the congressman's agonizingly inept attempts to remain closeted for years. Indeed, it was the embarrassing manner in which he had attempted to cloak his sexuality that prevented Foley from securing his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and again this year.

Tragically, as a Florida Republican, Foley felt that if he wanted to remain a political player he needed to live a lie. He was probably wrong; Republicans who have come out of the closet, such as retiring Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe, have often thrived politically. Openly gay men and lesbians have been elected and reelected to the House as Democrats and Republicans, and Foley—whose relatively moderate voting record could have appealed to both Main Street Republicans and Democrats—might well have broken the barrier in the Senate.

But Foley didn't trust Florida Republican voters to accept him for who he was, so this otherwise personable and capable congressman engaged in an increasingly challenging and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to hide a huge part of his identity.

The pressures imposed by such secrecy appear to have been too much for Foley. Unlike the vast majority of homosexuals—who, as a group, are less likely to be attracted to children than heterosexuals—the congressman began to engage in activities that were inappropriate and potentially illegal. Details that have surfaced in recent days suggests that Foley had made a mess of his life—a mess that exploded on him and his party when it was revealed that the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Missing & Exploited Children had sent "Do I make you a little horny?" e-mails to teenage boys.

Foley's Republican colleagues, who are champions when it comes to shooting the wounded, immediately began trashing him. "This type of behavior is what I try to protect my grandchildren from," snarled Clay Shaw, the GOP representative from a neighboring Florida House district. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, issued a statement condemning Foley's behavior as "an obscene breach of trust."

"His immediate resignation must now be followed by the full weight of the criminal justice system," Hastert, Boehner and Blunt said of Foley.

Fair enough. But what do these Republican leaders think about those who knew about Foley's undue interest in male pages, covered the fact up for months—perhaps years—and then lied about what they knew. Should they, too, face "the full weight of the criminal justice system"?

When the news of Foley's emails broke in the media, Hastert declared, "I was surprised."

Really? That's strange.

Congressman Tom Reynolds, who chairs the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, revealed on Saturday that he had informed Hastert months ago about concerns regarding Foley's habit of sending sexually suggestive—"strip down and get naked"—e-mails and instant messages to male congressional pages.

Congressman Rodney Alexander, the Louisiana Republican who brought those concerns to the attention of party leaders after learning about Foley's e-mails from the family of a former page in 2005, has confirmed that his office contacted Hastert's office regarding the matter. Additionally, Alexander personally discussed the issue with Reynolds and Boehner.

Another Republican with close ties to the House leadership, Illinois Representative John Shimkus, admits that he investigated the e-mail issue in 2005—apparently after it was reviewed by Hastert's office and the office of the Clerk of the House—and says he warned Foley to break off contact with a particular teenager and, in a more general sense, to stop stalking male pages. Then, Shimkus dropped the matter—to the apparent satisfaction of Hastert, Boehner, Blunt, Reynolds and other House Republican leaders.

Some readers may be surprised that these top Republicans, who go on and on about the need to fend off supposed "threats" posed by loving and responsible gay and lesbian couples, would be so accepting of Foley. The truth is that the hands-off approach to this whole scandal is entirely in character for the current crop of Republican leaders, who couldn't care less about the sexuality of members of their caucus.

They only employ "moral values" appeals to scare up votes at election time; it's never been something they believed in.

Hastert and his compatriots care only about winning elections and keeping power—even when that involves looking the other way after concerns have been raised about what a good many Americans see as the stalking of children.

Dennis Hastert and the other Republican leaders certainly were not surprised to learn last week that Mark Foley had acted inappropriately with male pages. They knew all about Foley's e-mails and all the issues raised by those communications.

Hastert and his colleagues have gotten caught in a lie. And it's a big one.

What's the proper response? Hastert, Boehner and Blunt have got the right idea. Those who knew about Foley's actions and failed to respond in any kind of serious manner are guilty of "an obscene breach of trust."

Since they control the machinery of the House Ethics Committee, it is doubtful that Hastert and his colleagues will face a serious investigation—let alone "the full weight of the criminal justice system." But this is an election year, and political campaigns can also extract a measure of justice.

Hastert and Boehner are scheduled to attend fundraising events on behalf of embattled Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Don Sherwood in coming weeks. Sherwood's Democratic challenger, Chris Carney, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve who served as a senior advisor on intelligence and counterterrorism issues at the Pentagon, has asked the Republican congressman to cancel the events. "Holding happy hour fundraisers with people who cover up the cyber-molestation of children should be below even the questionable morals of Don Sherwood," explained Carney campaign manager Andrew Eldredge-Martin. "Sherwood should immediately cancel his upcoming fundraisers with Hastert and Boehner. Don Sherwood has already brought Washington's values back to the district, now he wants to bring a depraved cover-up home."

Ouch! There's a new twist on the old Republican appeal to values voters that Hastert wasn't counting on.

I am not from Florida, but I hear that the paper (St. Pete Times) does not like to ruffle any feathers of the powerful, rich and elite. Is that true? Because I think newspapers should not be above reporting the news even if the person if powerful.

Pathetic - your sources were known, but were not to be disclosed in the published story. That is very different than a story with anonymous sources.

And you wonder why people no longer trust the mainstream media and why the newspaper business is floundering....

I work for Rep. Foley so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies.

Again we see the myth of the liberal media.

The MSM is practically owned and operated by the Republican party -- the press isn't free, it costs money, and the people with that money are Bush's base, in his own words -- and it already has blood on its hands from swallowing the lies about Iraq hook, line and sinker without one ounce of journalistic investigation.

This is not surprising, however, given that the modern thought leaders of the party include Rove, Coulter and Limbaugh.

If the Republicans were to receive 10% of the media roasting they gave Clinton, Faux News would implode and Bush would be in a fetal position crying for Mommy.

When the MSM starts covering up pedophilia to protect the ruling party, then something has to change. To buy this newspaper is to support the sexual exploitation of minors.

Way to cover up a story, gentlemen. Media integrity at its finest. Face it, your paper and almost every other major source of news out there is just bending over and taking it from the politicians. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are not journalists, you are puppets. You have bastardized everything that Journalism stands for. Stop being swine and start being writers, or else you can just do the whole world a favor and stop writing. And you killed Jesus.

Let's stop equating Foley's "sexuality" with what he's being accused of. If, in this day and age, you're still ignorant enough to equate homosexuality with pedophilia, then there's nothing to say to you - you've got your head in the sand or stuck somewhere else.

Let me guess, St. Petersburg Times is a solely owned subsidiary of Faux News, where it's not news unless the GOP says it's news. Squirm however you want, but this is a clear case of journalist for sale. Your paper is an embarrassment to legitimate journalists with intergrity everywhere.

In the first e-mail to come out, Foley commented on the 16-year-old Page's 16-year-old friend's body and how he acts old for his age. Even if there was no other information, that alone would be enough to warrant further examination, including notifying the authorities.

The reason no one ran with the first batch of emails is that without the boy's words about how the emails made him feel, there was no story.

Course, all you blogger bitches wouldn't know news judgement if it crawled out your pajama-clad assholes - leave the real work to the professionals, eh?

If they were reading these IM logs and arrived at their conclusion about the story being a non-story, then I'm pretty amazed given the other BS thats considered news-worthy.

Heres the logs:

Not sure how you could arrive at the conclusion nothing inappropriate was going on.

Typographical errors, spelling errors, grammatical errors, and errors of syntax are so very rife among these posts that I find it difficult to take any of your comments seriously. Is this an American thing, or a particularly Floridan thing?

In any case, the sad impetus for this entire exchange is being lost and ignored in the clouds of misplaced righteous indignation and semi-literate ranting.

Now I understand how Curious George managed to climb so far up the American tree as to afford himself a prime spot from which to lob off the branches that once protected all the other little monkeys.

Shame on most of you. For the rest of you, good luck kiddies. But _do_ remember: people usually get the governments they deserve, and apparently, the press they deserve too.

At least your wicked protector of children seems to have turned over a new page.

absolutely pathetic reporting. how many editors of this right wing rag voted for this child molestor?

Fake journalists and fake journalism. You clowns should just sell your front-page headlines as advertising space (and put a notice on page D-17 that it's not real news). No better than the free shopper rag that you pick up at the grocery store. Pathetic.

At least one Democrat has... PATHETIC. Idiot. Go pray somewhere.

Odd comments by many of you. A Congressman solicts sex from an underage youth, and the majority of you find this to be another opportunity to attack Democrats. Disappointing to say the least; perhaps disturbing is a better suited description.

When I was a child I fell in love with the concept of a society without aristocracy, which is the type of country I thought I lived in. Yet, here proof raises it's ugly head. If this guy had been jo schmo from idaho his can would be being traded for cigs in a state pen five years ago. Also, shouldn't being the most hypocritical person in the entire frikin world carry some sort of penalty? I mean, THIS guy was carrying the banner against child exploitation? If there were any justice in this world he would've been stricken down by the hand of God himself.


Mark Foley is a Fruitcake

I think he ought to be put away for a long time so as not to pose a threat to anyone else. And if the facts prove that GOP leadership knew the sick details of this and didn’t act, they should all be thrown out on their asses as well.

I know it’s election year and this case could be the tipping point needed for Democrats to take a majority, but frankly I don’t care. The protection of our children is as important as it gets. If Hastert knew about Fruitcake Foley’s escapades, he ought to follow in his footsteps and resign too… as should any other Congressmen who had actionable information and refused to act.

But this case presents an interesting quagmire for the Left as they’ve jumped into full campaign mode on this one. Do they really maintain the standing to use the Foley story as a campaign strategy against Republicans?

This is the same liberal left that defends groups like NAMBLA, a group that “advocates sexual relationships between adults and children.”

This is the same liberal left that deemed an elected official’s sexual encounters with a staffer was a “private affair“.

This is the same liberal left that decided the appropriate response to an elected official’s conviction for sexual assault of an underaged campaign worker was to pardon him.

And this is the same liberal left whose candidate admitted to sexual relations with a 17-year-old male page, received merely a censure and then “charged that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy.” He also went on to serve in Congress for 13 more years. (This was the same year a Republican admitted being involved with a 17-year-old female page - he apologized and was voted out the next year.)

The two sides ought to come together on this and root out any more fruitcakes (and those providing cover for them) among their ranks. These sick folks present a danger to America’s youth.

it would appear your paper did not "investigate" very well. Seems
someone was able to find explicit text messages. How come you couldn't? Does rupert own your paper? Is there some religious ownership of your paper?
Certainly as guardian of moraLS YOU NEED TO BE BETTER!!!


And i bet you still consider yourself a journalist. YOU TOOL!

Man, I used to think that the election fiasco in 2000 down there was because of stupid election forms... now I can tell it was the stupid people. A posterboard with block lettering would have been too much for most of you.
The comments being posted here just demonstrate the unintelligent and infantile minds that seem to work. I would love to believe that people just post things to be annoying and don't really believe it - but unfortunately I know that isn't true.

I appreciate your forthrightness in your comments and the decision of the editorial board, but I find some of your assessments of the situation incomplete and false.

First, you say "The conversation in those emails was friendly chit-chat." To a 16 year old boy it is chit-chat. To a grown man (human) it is suggestive and has predatory undertones. Next, you say "Foley casually asked the teen to send him a "pic" of himself." It was a non-sequitur request and heeds the question as to why Foley would want a picture sent by email (surely somebody has a picture of the two of them). Finally, you said you found another page with email communication with Foley: "He said Foley did send a few emails but never said anything in them that he found inappropriate." Did you see those emails? I assume you did not, but even so, based on the assessment you made regarding the Louisiana page, I also assume you would find this other page's emails similarly "casual."

While I find your actions laudable and responsible in light of protecting the page(s), I find your assessment of the situation very poor. Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but I expect the representatives of Government to have better personal judgment than the average person. If they do not, they should be held fully accountable.

Does GOP now stand for Guard Old Pedophiles ? Ya'll should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to protect your party when there is a minor involved who was being sexually approached by a homosexual. What about Ken Mehlman and the gay male prostitute who was in the White House press room a while back. What has become of the Republican party.

The whole mess is simply the latest installment in a trend of deception and lack of clarity around the GOP and the way they do business. No WMDs, fuzzy numbers on casualties in Iraq, the NIE "leak", and now this. It is definitely time for change.

So, does the Republican leadership stand with children or the pedophiles?

That's a silly question. Children can't vote.

So, does the Republican leadership stand with children or the pedophiles?

That's a silly question. Children can't vote.

Amazing how many right wing citizens, who for years have attempted to stand as the final arbiters of morality, have almost universally demonstrated no sympathy for the children abused by this pervert or disdain for the party structure who closed ranks and protected him. Just like their talking head overlords, all they care about is how it will affect their ability to force their demonstratedly false morality agenda on everyone else. This is your superiority? If you're not demanding the immediate removal of all involved parties (Hastert, Reynolds, et. al.) you are as guilty of enabling pervision as Foley. You are all hypocritical treasonious criminals who have betrayed the Constitution and should be treated as such.

I knew the GOP was a Gang of Pedophiles! They should lock Bush up with all of his pro-Iraq buddies! Thank you St. Pete Times for breaking this story as quickly as you did when you first caught hint of the suspicious activities by Mr. Foley. I'm so glad we have a paper in FL that is willing to stand up to the Republicans in Congress and the White House and show us who they really are.

Who else do you have juice on? After all, election time is near, and we need to do all we can to bring as much dirt up on Republicans right before the election as possible. Remember Dan Rather? That stuff works!

On June 7, 2002 over 20 people from all across America assembled for a protest at the home of Ambassador Melvin Sembler for his role in the destruction of young lives at Straight, Inc. The Times sent a reporter but the story was killed. Why? Because Mel Sembler, Mr. Republican Party in Tampa Bay, offered the Times a sweetheart deal by giving The Times exclusive newspaper sales rights in his $40 million BayWalk and $45 million Centro Ybor Plaza shopping centers.

Also, The Times was then buying The Ice Palace and Times CEO Andy Barnes was sitting on a committee that was trying to lure the Republican Party into holding its convention in Tampa where The Times planned to broadcast the event from the St. Petersburg Times Forum (The Ice Palace)! To run a story about a protest of a local major Republican would have hurt chances to get the convention.

So it comes as no surprise to me that The Times has held off yet another embarrassing story about another prominent local Republican--Mark Foley.

From the Times' "What We Knew and When We Knew It"........last paragraph........"someone" contacted ABC and provided the "overtly sexual messages" How come those messages wound up at ABC instead of a desk at the FBI? Isn't witholding evidence of a crime a crime in itself? Are you investigating this "someone" ?

What Mark Foley did, was reprehensible! What he did, when he was discovered was the right thing to do, resign. The Dem’s are crying that the Republicans are hypocrites, and they are an evil party, along with their evangelical Christian allies. That’s funny, I haven’t heard one evangelical Christian do anything but condemn what Foley did, and at least give him credit for doing the right thing in resigning. Listening Randy Cohen, who writes “The Ethicist” column in the NY Times being interviewed by John Roberts of CNN (you know he’s not going to get any tough questions) squeal with delight when Roberts is questioning him about the possible cover-up:

COHEN: Well, sure. And that's an ethical transgression. To sacrifice the well-being of a child, presumably, for political gain is reprehensible.

ROBERTS: And -- and here, also, Foley went against the values of his own party.

COHEN: The espoused values of his own party, yes.

ROBERTS: Or the espoused values of his own party.


ROBERTS: So, what does that do to the entire party?

COHEN: Well, it delights me. I think, if you're a person who can't enjoy the downfall of a hypocrite, then, you have no zest for life.


The problem here is not about any espoused values Mr. Cohen supposedly holds, but the political hay that can be made from this.

What if Mark Foley did what someone else in the same boat did? The Dem thing to do would be to fight it, claim he didn’t nothing wrong, and then when the House votes to censure him, to turn his back on the proceedings. See Gerry Studds, Studds DID have sex with an under-aged congressional page, and the he would then be re-elected a half-dozen more times. Hopefully, this didn’t happen with Foley, but if it did, then he needs to be prosecuted for his impropriety.

At least Dan Crane, who faced censure at the same time apologized for his affair with a congressional female page, and he was NOT re-elected, which is the way it should be for anyone, democrat or republican.

I would hope any investigation that is done, will root out this evil that seems to be so pervasive in our so-called hallowed halls of Congress…

As a conservative, I am suprised and shocked by this and other republican scandals. I had a drawn a strong line against the democrats because I was led to believe that if republicans were in power I could trust them to conduct themselves with higher standards. Standards they made me believe would be upheld. Now I'm in limbo with who to believe and who to trust. I've been duped! It's deflated my faith in the republicans......

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