It looks to me like someone should do a better job selecting the teen-agers who serve as pages. It's pretty bad when a member of Congress says she wouldn't allow one of her own family members to serve as House page because she's not comfortable with how the program is being run.
GOP Reps. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia resigned from the page board, on Thursday and Friday respectively, saying they were upset that the clerk of the House, who oversees the page program, didn't inform them of the pages' indiscretions. Both congresswomen say they found out about the shoplifting incident through "rumors."
Sources say two students got caught shoplifting clothes at a "shopping mall just across the river in Virginia" - most likely at the Pentagon City mall in Arlington. Both students were expelled. Capito tells us she didn't learn of the shoplifting incident until four days later when she "heard it through a rumor."
In a statement issued late Friday afternoon, the House clerk, Lorraine Miller, acknowledged she didn't immediately advise the Republican members of the pages' expulsions. She made no mention of Capito, but said the "incident occurred over a weekend" and Brown-Waite was "informed on the next business day."
"After that incident, Board members asked that they all be informed immediately of any such disciplinary action, and the Clerk provided that notice in the most recent case," Miller said.
The other misconduct incident allegedly involved a female page performing oral sex on a male page in an elevator in their dorm while other teenagers in their program watched. Two kids served as "enablers" by holding the elevator door open and serving as lookout, the sources say. The pages who engaged in sexual activity in the elevator were expelled after an adult proctor busted them.
In that case, Brown-Waite and Capito say they were told of the misconduct immediately but both expressed uneasiness with a lack of adult supervision. And Capito said she "didn't think we were getting the full story" . . .
Brown-Waite told the Sleuth Thursday: "I thought the Mark Foley incident was a wake-up call. Apparently it wasn't." She said she felt "very, very uncomfortable" with the page program as it currently exists and wouldn't allow her 16-year-old grandson to serve in the program if he wanted to.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Democrats' Management Of Page Program In Question
House Democrats were highly critical of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's and his Republican colleagues' management of the House page program after it was discovered that former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) exchanged inappropriate, sex-filled e-mails with male pages and Democrats were kept in the dark after the discovery. Now, two Republican members who sit on the House Page Board have resigned because Democrats kept them in the dark about problems with several pages. Two pages were expelled from the program because they were caught shoplifting, and two other pages were expelled for having oral sex in a dorm elevator while other pages watched and acted as enablers. The Washington Post's Sleuth reports: