View Full Version : Foley Aide Told Hastert Years Ago About Foley, And Bush Gives Hastert Support

10-13-2006, 11:06 AM
Bush Gives Hastert Boost in Time of Need


Oct 13, 4:16 AM (ET)

CHICAGO (AP) - President Bush stood shoulder-to-shoulder with embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Thursday, offering a powerful boost in his moment of need and declaring the country "better off" with Hastert in power.

"I am proud to be standing with the current speaker of the House who is going to be the future speaker of the House," Bush said as he opened a speech to raise money for two Illinois congressional candidates.

The $1.1 million fundraiser provided the first picture of Bush with Hastert since a scandal broke involving a Republican congressman pursuing underage male pages. Although the president has spoken out in Hastert's defense - tepidly at first and more directly at a White House news conference on the eve of the fundraiser - their appearance together was an endorsement of Hastert when nearly half the country says he should resign.

Their long-scheduled fundraiser was sponsored by Hastert and came on the same day that the House Ethics Committee questioned ex-Rep. Mark Foley's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, for five hours. Fordham has said he took complaints about Foley's conduct to Hastert's top aide three or four years ago.

Hastert's office has said it learned of Foley's conduct only last fall, and the speaker has said he first was notified in late September this year.

Bush defended him, without mentioning the Foley case.

"Speaker Denny Hastert has a long record of accomplishment," Bush said. "He's not one of these Washington politicians who spews a lot of hot air. He just gets the job done."

The crowd of Republican donors standing in a downtown Chicago hotel ballroom responded with loud applause.

"I have worked with him up close," Bush continued. "I know what it's like to work with a speaker who is determined to protect the United States of America and a speaker who wants to make sure that everybody who wants a job in America can find one.

"He has delivered results for the people," Bush said. "This country is better off with Denny Hastert as the speaker and it will be better off when he is the speaker the next legislative session."

Whether Hastert and the Republican Party will remain in power in the House next year is in doubt. Democrats need to pick up just 15 seats to win control, and Republican-held seats across the country are in jeopardy in the wake of the Foley case, continuing violence in Iraq and the dissatisfaction with Bush's leadership.

The beneficiaries of the fundraiser - Republican congressional candidates Peter Roskam and David McSweeney - spoke differently about the president.

McSweeney noted that although Bush lost Illinois in 2004, he won the district where he is running. "When the president comes to town, it provides good exposure," said McSweeney, who is in an uphill battle to oust freshman Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean.

Roskam said he was thankful for the president's "tremendous fundraising boost" and his leadership on tax cuts and keeping America safe. But Roskam's Democratic opponent, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, has been criticizing his close ties to the party, and Roskam tried to distance himself from Bush's policies on education, spending and immigration.

"I've been very vocal in my separation and criticism of the administration," he said.

Attendees at the fundraiser had to donate at least $1,000 per person, and the invitation advertised that $10,000 would get a photo with the president, "two people, one click," and 10 reception passes.

Sen. John Kerry tried to use the Bush-Hastert appearance to raise money for Democratic candidates, calling it "a meeting of the no accountability caucus of the Republican Party."

"Denny Hastert has been the longest-running Republican speaker in history," Kerry, D-Mass., wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "But in 25 days, we can take the gavel out of his hands - and the smirk off George W. Bush's face."

When Bush arrived in Marine One at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, he was greeted by rock star Bono, model Christy Turlington and Bobby Shriver, who runs an organization called DATA - or Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa. The three were in Chicago to attend an AIDS event.

Turlington and Bono, who has been active in raising awareness of poverty and AIDS, climbed the stairs of Air Force One with the president. Bono flashed a peace sign before the group went in the plane for a 10-minute conversation with Bush about AIDS. The three visitors left the plane before it took off for Washington.

Former Foley staffer testifies before ethics panel


By Michael McAuliff
New York Daily News

WASHINGTON - They were talking sex again on Capitol Hill as one of the key witnesses in the Mark Foley page-boy scandal testified Thursday before the House ethics committee.

Kirk Fordham, once Foley's chief of staff, detailed under oath his contention that he warned House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office about Foley's interest in boys years ago.

Foley, a Florida Republican, resigned his House seat last month after his lurid e-mail and instant message chats with ex-pages surfaced. Hastert says his office first heard of one "over-friendly" e-mail last fall, and he believed it had been dealt with.

Fordham's testimony was secret, but his lawyer said he would stand by claims that he sounded the alarm in 2003. "Mr. Fordham was cooperative and will continue to be throughout the investigations," attorney Tim Heaphy said after they spent some four hours behind closed doors.

Fordham resigned his most recent position as chief of staff to Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., after he tried unsuccessfully to talk ABC News out of releasing some of Foley's more explicit missives.

Fordham has not blamed Reynolds in the Foley mess, but the powerful head of the National Republican Congressional Committee is in danger of losing his re-election bid amid revelations he was one of the first leaders to learn of a Foley e-mail exchange.

Reynolds says he passed the disturbing messages on to Hastert last spring. Fordham's testimony was expected to focus on three top Hastert staffers who deny that Fordham complained.

Also Thursday, one of two Republicans on the board overseeing pages testified. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said that, unlike Rep. John Shimkus, who admits talking with Foley, she knew nothing.

Shimkus, R-Ill., is expected to testify Friday.

Cloak & Swagger
10-13-2006, 03:45 PM
That's how it works.
Everytime we see Bush give them credit, by saying something along the lines of: "You're doin' a heckuva job __________(insert name of an incompetent gov. official)" That's when we know for certain that they're probably on their way out.