Looking to capitalize on the congressional page scandal, 1st District candidate Stacey Tallitsch of Metairie has launched a televised attack casting incumbent Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, as a Mark Foley sympathizer.
In a 30-second spot that aired over the weekend on WUPL, Tallitsch, a Democrat, charged that Jindal blocked "an investigation into Foley's pedophilia" by voting to refer the matter to the largely ineffectual House ethics panel.
Foley, a Florida Republican, resigned his House seat last month after it was reported that he sent inappropriate e-mails to a 16-year-old boy and other minors who served in the congressional page program.
Jeebus. I haven't seen the ad yet, but this appears to be wild flailing by a destined-to-lose first time candidate. I definitely know the type. Actually, Jindal has been cautious in his comments about the scandal (especially in terms of Rep. Rodney Alexander's role). He's clearly not a "Mark Foley sympathizer", and, unlike Sen. Vitter, Rep. McCrery and Rep Boustany, Jindal hasn't lavished praise on Alexander's mis-handling of the matter. When he stood in support of Alexander, he said "I'm not here to criticize Rodney..." -- that was brilliant! It insulates him from future political attacks after investigators expose Alexander's negligence by asking him basic questions about the scandal. "Why did you treat this matter as one that involved a single page when you had emails that raised questions about Foley's involvement with MULTIPLE pages? Why did you not insist on an investigation into the matter so that children under your care were not left at risk?... etc." I believe Alexander has no satisfactory answers to those crucial questions-- not that the LA media will dare ask him!-- and I believe he should resign.
Louisiana Democrats should realize that Alexander's initial, grossly negligent reaction to MULTIPLE allegations of Foley's inappropriate behavior around pages is the soft spot here. And therefore, those who zealously defend Alexander (like Boustany, McCrery and Vitty-cent) are also vulnerable. Those, like Jindal, who merely chose to "not criticize" Alexander are much less vulnerable.
Tell me if you think the following scenario is illuminating:
Your 16 year-old daughter tells you that her 50 year-old teacher sent her a personal email asking for a photo of her and what she wants for her birthday. She's confused and "freaked out", and says that the teacher has made comments about her 16 year-old friend being in "really great shape". Your daughter also tells you that another friend of hers knows of a teacher who "hits on" students.
What do you do in response? Do you quietly approach the principal and ask him to tell the teacher to stop emailing your daughter?
Does anyone think that is a remotely adequate response?!