FL-24: Clint Curtis statement on Mark Foley, and a question for Tom Feeney
[Author's note: I've been writing DailyKos diaries on Clint Curtis for some time, but starting with this one will also cross-post them here.]
Florida Congressman Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff), who worked closely with freshly disgraced ex-Congressman Mark Foley (R-Rehab) on a number of issues, including legislation for the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, has not made any statement whatsoever on Foley's highly improper, unethical behavior in sexually persuing teenage House pages and the equally unethical coverup by the Republican House leadership. ("Republican leadership" - it doesn't get any more oxymoronic than that.) Clint Curtis, Democratic challenger to Feeney in House District FL-24, has issued a press release on the Foley-House page scandal, and puts a(nother) challenge to Tom.
Candidate Clint Curtis Calls on Deputy Whip Tom Feeney to Clarify Personal Knowledge of Rep. Foley's Sexual Overtures to Minors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2006
Contact: Karyn Altman 305-672-7759
Clint Curtis, Democratic challenger to Rep. Tom Feeney in Florida's 24th Congressional District, today called on his opponent, a Deputy Whip in the GOP House leadership, to fully explain his involvement in the latest scandal embroiling the House Republicans. As reported by AP, the GOP House Leadership was informed of disgraced Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL-16) abhorrent sexual predatory behavior with minors in the congressional page program nearly a year ago, yet apparently took no action until forced by public outcry last Friday.
As a member of the GOP leadership, Feeney worked closely with Foley as a fellow Deputy Majority Whip in the House, as a colleague in the Florida caucus, and on legislation for the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Like Mr. Foley, Mr. Feeney has often trumpeted his work to protect children against sexual predators. "If Mr. Feeney knew of and let continue Mr. Foleys sexual overtures to a 16 year old male high school student interning with the Congressman, his sincerity in protecting children is definitely in question."
"Feeney owes a full explanation to all Floridians in the 24th District and across the state -- about when he learned of Foley's predatory behavior and what actions, if any, he took to protect the kids in this matter. As part of the Republican leadership, he should be calling for legal and ethical accountability," said Curtis. "The voters of Florida need to know so they can make an informed decision about their leadership in Congress."
"The Republicans waited only until the issue was disclosed by the media to call for an investigation," Curtis continued. "Hastert claims that he was only aware of 'overly-friendly' emails, but if that is true, I find his judgment severely impaired that he did not look into this - that's a huge red flag when there are minor children involved." Did Feeney ignore the same red flags on behalf of his colleague?
New revelations indicate the GOP leadership was aware, as far back as 2001, that Foley had a "page problem", according to ABC News. The report also says that staffers had gone so far as to "warn" pages "to watch out for Foley" over the years.
Curtis charges that the GOP leadership "did nothing, rather than jeopardize what was considered a `safe' seat. They made a craven political calculation to protect fellow Republicans rather than protect the children that were entrusted to their care. They have once again put partisan politics above everything else -- even above the children that work with them. We can't trust them to protect our children, or our country."
Foley is the fourth Republican to resign from the House under an ethical cloud in the past year, joining indicted former Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas, and soon-to-be-jailed Bob Ney of Ohio, who pled guilty in the ongoing influence-peddling investigation of Jack Abramoff. Mr. Feeney is the only remaining congressman not yet indicted, to have received a posh golf junket to Scotland which was paid for by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Once again this year, Feeney has been listed as one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Clint Curtis is the Democratic Candidate for Congress in Florida's 24th District. A computer programmer, election integrity advocate and whistleblower, Curtis has charged that his opponent Rep. Tom Feeney, among other well-documented misdeeds, asked him to create an electronic vote-rigging computer program while they both worked for the same computer firm in Oviedo, FL in 2000.
Come clean, Tom! Just tell us what you know about your friend and colleague Mark Foley. While you're at it, you can take Clint's polygraph challenge on the voting machine software rigging issue.
Clint could use your help! Please contribute.
[Full disclosure: I am a volunteer for the Clint Curtis for Congress campaign.]