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:

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.

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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, AI.

You know, when the whole thing with Mark Foley happened, I thought, "watch the Democrats use this as another plank in the 'Culture of Corruption' platform."

They did. They won.

And guess what.

This crap is still going on. What Foley did was inexcusable, and his resignation was the least he could do. But to allow these kids to go about like this, apparently unsupervised - where's the Democrat outrage now?



Anonymous said...

It's pretty bad when a Congressperson engages in pointless, obviously partisan grandstanding?

Let me get this straight: the page program not informing two committee members that, of the hundreds of pages under their oversight, three expulsions for conduct violations is somehow comparable to Mark Foley's behavior?

Better yet: you honestly believe that anyone, democrat or republican, could somehow screen hundreds of teens well enough to exclude any and all who would be having sex?



Like really, really?

This post is so ridiculous it must be self-parody.

Anonymous said...

A careful reading of the article shows that there is no story was the weekend for the first event and one of the two complaining republicans was told anyway. The other was told as soon as the weekend was over. In the other, both were informed immediately. I think we have two pissed off republican women who wanted a better committee assignment. NO STORY NO SUBSTANCE

Anonymous said...

I think there is a very signficant difference between the creepy behavior of Mark Foley and the bad judgment that is unfortunately manifest by some teens. Would anyone believe it is someone were to claim that the pages never attempted to have sex with each other?

Anonymous said...

I didn't make myself clear - sorry about. Clearly, there is a difference between what Mark Foley did and what's going on now.

The point, though, is that the Democrats decried how bad the page program was being run, that the pages weren't being appropriately supervised (which allowed stuff like the Foley situation to occur.)

And now, guess what - problems again with lack of supervision.

And, what's worse, they weren't sharing the information with some of the members who oversee the programs.



Anonymous said...

I'm not buying "lack of supervision." Unless it is required that all shopping excursions be chaperoned, what supervision would have prevented kids who wanted to shoplift from doing so? And regarding the blow job, they got busted by a supervisor for crissakes, isn't that supervision?

Comparing this stuff to Foley is a joke.