Newspapers, radios, television and internet sites are exploding with information and misinformation on Congressman Mark Foley. Foley resigned on Friday, September 2006 due to a highly sexual content Instant Message session he had with an underage former page. This incident has brought an onslaught of accusations and calls for House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign. All of this is interesting news, however what good is it doing? The bickering, finger pointing and name calling are due to the upcoming elections. Partisanship is prevalent at all times but reaches the caustic state as elections near. Don’t let anyone fool you. It is politics as usual. It’s all about power, not morals, or serving the public.
The House Ethic Committee
Truth is there are enough members in each party to cause us to be ashamed as a nation. Here is the House Code of Official Conduct: Rule 23: “A Member . . . of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House. The House Ethic Committee official name is Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, however they have not met regularly. The 109th Congress first met in January 2005. Fifteen months later, the House Ethics Committee decided to meet for the first time despite having a potentially full plate with Tom DeLay (R), William Jefferson (Democrat, Louisiana) and others. Reportedly the committee was full of partisan infighting and bickering.
The Honorable Allan Mollohan (Democrat-West Virginia). On April 21, 2006, Mollohan stepped down, temporarily he says, from his post on the Ethics Committee, due to an investigation by federal prosecutors. Allegations charge that Mollohan, used congressional earmarks, provided funding for certain West Virginia non-profits, and that he was able to profit personally. Mollohan’s personal financial disclosure forms show that he went from income-producing assets of $179-$562K in 2000 to $6.3 million to $24.9 million in 2004. Mollohan said the charges are “spurious”. According to a Wall Street Journal Article
Members of the House Ethic Committee are: Republicans Tom Cole (Okla.); Melissa Hart (Penna.); Lamar Smith (Tex.); Judy Biggert (Ill.); chairman Doc Hastings (Wash.); Democrats, ranking minority member Howard Berman (Calif.); Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (Ohio); Gene Green (Tex.); Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.); Michael Doyle (Penn.) Ranking Democrat, Allan Mollohan was forced to resign.
The Senate Ethic Committee
Last action by the Committee: a letter of admonition to the Honorable Robert Torricelli in July 2002. Members are Republicans Craig Thomas (Wyo.); Pat Roberts (Kans.); and chairman George Voinovich (Ohio); Democrats are ranking member Tim Johnson (S.D.); Mark Pryor (Ark.); and Ken Salazar (Colo.)
Sexual Wall of Shame Members of Congress Having Sex with Teens
Frederick William Richmond Democrat, New York (1975-1982) Richmond admitted in 1978 that he had solicited sex with a 16-year-old boy and then with an undercover police officer at his Washington home. The misdemeanor charges were dropped after Richmond agreed to undergo professional counseling. He left congress in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion.
Donald E. “Buz” Lukens Republican, Ohio (1967-1970; 1987-1990) Indicted in 1989 on a misdemeanor charge that he had sex with a 13-year-old teenage girl. Jurors determined that there was insufficient evidence. The judge sentenced Luken to Lukens got 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Lukens also allegedly fondled a house elevator operator.
Robert Edmund Bauman Republican, Maryland (1973-1980) Was found for engaging in oral sodomy with a 16-year-old boy near the U. S. Capitol. Bauman later admitted that he suffered from “homosexual tendencies” and alcoholism, but he would not back down from his reelection to Congress. Bauman said he’d go in for counseling and rehab. Bauman was defeated.
Mel Reynolds Democrat, Illinois (1993 – 1996) Convicted of having sex with an underage campaign volunteer, child pornography, and obstruction of justice. Then convicted again of 15 counts of bank fraud and lying to the FEC. October 1995: Reynolds resigned from Congress. He is convicted in federal court on 15 counts of bank fraud and lying to the Federal Election Commission. Sentenced to six-and-one-half years in prison in 1997, which was commuted by President Bill Clinton in January of 2001.
Daniel B. Crane Republican, Illinois (1979-1984) Crane had sex with a 17-year-old female Congressional page. It all began with a friendly wager about a six-pack of beer over the outcome of a basketball game, and then went to a sexual encounter in Crane’s apartment. The House Ethics Committee censured him.
Gerry E. Studds Democrat, Massachusetts (1973-1996) the first openly gay Member of Congress had an affair with a 17-year-old male Page in 1983. He never apologized and was censured by the House of Representatives. Studds stayed in Congress, and was re-elected time and again by his constituents in Massachusetts.
Partisan bickering is poisoning the airways, and newsprint. It is taking our eyes off the issues that our country is facing. Most politician are spinning the latest sexual misconduct to their advantage on both sides of the isle. We need to hold all of our politicians accountable for their actions and not fall for the smoke and mirrors that appear at election time.