U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, lashed out Wednesday at congressional colleagues for failing to report the e-mail page scandal of a former Florida congressman.
After testifying for three hours before the closed-door House Ethics Committee, a frustrated Alexander emerged saying he didn't understand why e-mails sent to pages by former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., were not reported earlier, before Foley had solicited a page sponsored by Alexander.
Why is Alexander "lashing out" and visibly "frustrated" after testifying before the Ethics Committee? I thought he took "prompt and responsible action". I thought Alexander was "beyond reproach". I thought he "handled the issue as well as anybody could have". Isn't that what Republicans Vitter, McCrery and Boustany told us?
Instead of showing the emails to Hastert's office, Alexander's aide merely "described" them. The aide said they were "overly-friendly".
No, actually they they were not just "overly friendly emails".
As Boyd rightly noted, there's a "world of difference" between the following statements:
1) "I have a page who has been getting inappropriate emails from Foley. The parents don't want to pursue it, they just want it to stop."
2) " I have a page who has been getting inappropriate emails from Foley, and reports from previous pages that this is not the first time he's done it. My page's parents don't want their son involved any further, but we might need to look into the pattern."
By pursuing the easy #1 option, Alexander's office opted to not reveal portions of an email that raised serious questions about Foley's conduct with other pages. Perhaps, with even a modicum of investigation, Hastert's staff might've found internet exchanges on the House Page internet forum like the ones CNN uncovered:
A Web forum run by the House Page Alumni Association was taken offline soon after the scandal broke. However, CNN identified archived versions of those Web pages in which Foley was discussed.
On the alumni site, one page in August 2004 wrote that Foley had "taken the time to find out who I was and then he actually remembered who I was a few months later!"
Another user of the message board posted in April 2005 that he had applied to be a page in Foley's office. In response, a former page simply wrote "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Foley."
Hat tip to J.M.