Thursday, October 19, 2006


First, Foley scandal news:

CNN reports that former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl warned GOP leadership years ago about former Representative Mark Foley's "inappropriate" contact with underage pages. Trandahl is set to testify before the House Ethics Committee investigating the Foley scandal today.

Now, rumor about another potential GOP sex scandal involving underage pages, via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:

The rumor swirling through Washington, D.C. is that a midwestern Republican congressman close to House Speaker Dennis Hastert had an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year old female congressional page. I have no details and cannot confirm, but the Washington Post's Dana Millbank hinted at the story on MSNBC on Wednesday night and Archpundit says it's about to break.

A commenter at The Daily Kos says the Republican in question is allegedly Representative Jerry Weller (R-Illinois.)

While these rumors are unsubstantiated and we don't have any evidence to suggest they're true, I will remind you that Republicans sent out to defend GOP leadership over the Foley scandal blamed the whole thing on Democratic leadership and when pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer for evidence that Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel were behind the leaking of the Foley news, said "Well, we don't have any evidence proving that they were behind the leaking of the scandal but we don't have any evidence that they weren't behind it either."

Ahh, the rule of law in GOP land - guilty before proven innocent, but only if you're a Democrat or a terrorist.

Anyway, I kinda hope the rumors about Representative Weller are NOT true. I would like to see the debate in this midterm election be about something more meaningful than an alleged sex scandal during these last two and a half weeks before November 7th.

UPDATE: Congressman Weller denies the rumor that he had sex with an underage page. Weller says he steered a complaint from a House page he sponsored who says he was "inappropriately invited to a social event with another congressman."

So there you have it - Weller's not the congressional page troll; Weller's making a complaint about another congressional page troll.

That should make us all feel better, eh?

(Reprinting the comment/response from my place on the possible sex scandal.)

I'll say it again, thank god it's a republican.

I agree with the media "balance" problem. I've been watching the Reid story stuff with disgust.

I'm really more intrigued though with what this does to the election politics.

We don't know how bad this is yet, but it will certainly strongly reinforce perception, renew all the pressure on Hastert, and prove that Foley wasn't a one off.

And on top of all that, it'll carry the news cycle with this reinforcement for another week.

Depending on what the story is, this could be huge.

I'm seeing a shift today, a watershed I think.
The scandal will simmer, but it has done its job.
A bloody fascinating campain for dynamics. The economy is taking off as an issue in the mid-west and Bush is making dumb comments on Iraq. I love it!
Mike, so far nothing has come out. Let's see if anything comes of this rumor. But it must suck to be Weller right now. If the rumor's true, than he's fucked. And if it's not true, than who the fuck is jobbing him by starting the rumor?

I dunno, cartledge, the former House Clerk Trandahl and House Majority Leader Boehner testified before the House Ethics Committee today which made the story # 1 on CNN on The Situation room. And don't forget that Hastert's people have to testify and then Hastert too - that will put this back into the news. Plus there was the news that Foley's priest really did assault him today. That put the story back up to the top of the news coverage list. And don't forget that Foley will be getting out of rehab right after Halloween which means a trip to Larry King and Oprah. No, I still think this thing has legs.
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