Sunday, October 01, 2006

6 Hours Creates 40 Days of Excuses

The Grand Old Party's duck and cover rhetoric spins wildly after Rep. John Shimkus (IL-19) and Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL-14) hid behind closed doors for 6 hours. From the New York Times, overfriendly has new meaning:

Top House Republicans knew for months about e-mail traffic between Representative Mark Foley and a former teenage page, but kept the matter secret and allowed Mr. Foley to remain head of a Congressional caucus on children’s issues, Republican lawmakers said Saturday.

[. . .] Among those who earlier this year became aware of the fall 2005 communications between Mr. Foley and the 16-year-old page, who worked for Representative Rodney Alexander, Republican of Louisiana, were Representative John A. Boehner, the majority leader, and Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Mr. Reynolds said in a statement Saturday that he had also personally raised the issue with Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.

[. . .] In a chronology of the incident released later Saturday, the speaker’s office said Mr. Hastert did not recall any such discussion and had no previous knowledge of the matter. While the speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation, he has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynolds recollection that he reported to him on the problem and its resolution, the statement said.

The statement, issued after senior aides, the House clerk and legal advisers huddled for much of Saturday in the Capitol, said senior staff members in the speaker’s office first learned of the e-mail messages from Mr. Alexander’s office in the fall of 2005 and took steps to investigate.

Aides to the speaker and other Congressional Republican leaders said that the messages brought to their attention, though described as overfriendly, were much less explicit than the others that came to light after ABC News first disclosed the e-mail correspondence with Mr. Alexander’s page.

[. . .] No one in the speaker’s office was made aware of the sexually explicit text messages which press reports suggest had been directed to another individual until they were revealed in the press and on the Internet this week, the statement from Mr. Hastert’s office said.

[. . .] Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said any leader who had been aware of Mr. Foley’s behavior and failed to take action should step down. If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem [emphasis added], they should not serve in leadership, Mr. Shays said.

[. . .] The leaders also said they had asked for specific rules governing the communications and contacts between pages and lawmakers and called for creation of a toll-free number for pages and their parents to report concerns. They also Besides the leaders, other lawmakers and Congressional officers who served on the board that oversaw the page program were aware of e-mail messages, though the Democratic lawmaker who serves on the board, Representative Dale E. Kildee of Michigan, said Saturday that he had never been informed.

[. . .] Mr. Alexander’s office also contacted staff members in Mr. Hastert’s office for guidance on what to do and. According to the speaker’s account, his aides put Mr. Alexander’s staff in contact with the clerk of the House, who oversees the page program. The clerk, who at the time was Jeff Trandahl, referred the matter to Representative John Shimkus, the Illinois Republican who is the chairman of the House Page Board, in late 2005, a spokesman for Mr. Shimkus said.

Mr. Trandahl and Mr. Shimkus confronted Mr. Foley, who insisted he was simply acting as a mentor to the former page, officials said. He assured them nothing inappropriate had occurred.

They asked Foley about the email,
the speaker’s statement said. Congressman Shimkus and the clerk made it clear that to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and at the request of the parents, Congressman Foley was to immediately cease any communication with the young man.

On Saturday, Mr. Shimkus’ spokesman, Steve Tomaszewski, said, Obviously Foley lied about the other e-mails. said Saturday.

Mr. Tomaszewski said Mr. Shimkus would not comment on any other conversations he had with House leaders about the matter because it was referred to the ethics committee by a vote of House Friday. A spokesman for Mr. Alexander did not respond to telephone and e-mail messages.

[. . .] Tim Mahoney, the Democrat who had been running an uphill and barely watched race against Mr. Foley, used the new attention to his campaign on Saturday to accuse the Republican leadership of covering up for him.

It is now clear from all the reports coming in from across the country that the Republican leadership team has been well aware of this problem with the pages for well over a year, Mr. Mahoney said at a campaign stop at Palm Beach International Airport. It looks to me that it was more important to hold onto a seat and to hold onto power than to take care of our children.
Many are calling for the long-overdue resignations of Speaker Hastert and Rep. Shimkus. It is too late for them to withdraw from the ballots. There is one question that should be on EVERYONE's mind: If the Republicans cannot keep a few teenagers safe on The Hill, how can they keep the rest of Americans safe from anything or anyone????

IL-19 constituents should tell their congressman exactly how they feel -- in person. Here is his schedule for October:

  • 10/14 – Carmi Corn Day Parade, 5:00 p.m. start, Line-up begins on College Blvd (across from the high school)
  • 10/21 – VFS Fundraiser, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., home of Bob Winchester Rosiclaire, call him to make a reservation.
  • 10/26 – Vandalia Lions Club Halloween Parade, 7:00 p.m. start, Vandalia
  • 10/30 – Annual Pasta Party, 5 - 7 p.m., Michael’s Restaurant, 415 Broadway, Highland, Contact: Jen Dillman
  • 10/31 – Halloween Parade, 6:30 p.m. start, Edwardsville, Line up at the Middle School
Remember: The power is really in the hands of the voters -- especially the really scared ones like Ron:
Mr. Shimkus, who chairs the Board, knew about these allegedly inappropriate e-mails from a fellow congressman to a minor for months (11 to be exact) and did not lift a finger, excuse me he said he took immediate action; what a phone call to the guilty party?

Would the Prosecutor in a murder or robbery case take the word of the guilty party? No he would make sure that the investigation was thorough, Shimkus held the position of the Prosecutor, with the House as the Judge, and he dropped the ball.

[. . .] It seems that the treasurer of Shimkus' campaign PAC, Mark Valente III, also lobbies for a gamut of interests, including the North American Coal Corp, Shimkus didn't find anything wrong in this. (one wonders at the United Mineworkers of America UMWA endorsement of Shimkus, in view of the fact that his PAC treasurer was on the payroll of the opposition to their supposed positions on labor).

Shimkus also dismisses suggestions that lobbyist-campaign connections are improper. Valente never lobbied him after he became his PAC treasurer, Shimkus said. I could not even tell you who he represents, he said.

Shimkus conceded that Valente's role as treasurer for him and other lawmakers probably gives him cachet with clients, who understand that it means he has a financial connection to those who hold power. That is Washington, Shimkus said.

Indeed, there is little question that lawmakers are likely to return a lobbyist's call more quickly if that lobbyist also volunteers for their campaigns and helps bring in campaign cash. And there's little doubt that lobbyists use their treasurer or other campaign titles in pitches to clients, as proof that they are wired in with Washington's power players.

IL-19 has seen the evidence of all these scandals and lies, they have seen and heard that Shimkus lied about limited terms, they can see that he is involved in the alleged cover-up of the Foley scandal, that people in his organization are lobbyist for the very firms he is supposed to govern.

A recent article in an IL-19 paper talked about Shimkus as a likeable guy, a real lamb. Yea right, a Wolf in sheep clothing. So who is afraid of the big bad wolf, I AM!
The best way to end being afraid of the big, bad wolf (that is an insult to the species, too!), donate to Dan Stover:
  • 10/03 – Fundraiser at Ramon’s (Beer and Nachos) 5 – 7 p.m., 1711 Collinsville Road, Collinsville
  • 10/08 – Fundraiser at Andiamo¡ (Ham and Beans), 5 – 7 p.m., Hosted by Sen. Dick Durbin, 204 South Sixth Street, Springfield
  • 10/12 – Fundraiser at Eastside Design (Appetizers), 5 – 7 p.m., Special Guests: Sheila Simon & Perry Knop, 4700 Broadway, Mt. Vernon
It is money well spent, cheap to Shump Dimkus at twice the price. Donate to the better person for the job!


Update: during the past 48 hours, the Stover Campaign has been running itself -- for a very good reason. Hat tip Michael!!!!!


At 01 October, 2006 11:55, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

Excellent point about security here. The Republicans are frigging up in Iraq, they have cut and run in Afghanistan, they have a member married to the daughter and enthusiastic supporter of a man wanted for genocide, torture and terrorism, and countless members who won't admit their true sexuality, or like Foley may be acatual pedophiles and are protected by the rest of the republican party! If this is how they keep America secure, I'll take the democrats.

At 01 October, 2006 12:09, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...


At 01 October, 2006 21:35, Blogger Michael said...

You may have seen this already, but this AmericaBlog piece on Shimkus is extraordinary:


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