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Dems wary of "October Surprise", but Foley has already provided that
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Frankly, I think it has been delivered.

See Rep. Foley. This story has legs and it is expanding.

And as David Frum reminds us the best October surprises have been delivered against Republicans, not by them. The first in 2000 when Bush's arrest record was released:
Early in the summer of 2000, Williams Childs, a Maine judge, issued an order requisitioning any arrest records involving George W. Bush. This was an odd order for him to make. He was a probate judge, so his official activities extended only to wills and testaments. But he got what he was looking for: a document showing Bush had been arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Childs, a prominent local Democrat, then held the document tight for four months.

Childs released his scoop on Nov. 2, four days before the 2000 vote. Within seconds of the story's broadcast, a massive anonymous fax campaign delivered the details to every news outlet in the country.

The story hurt Bush badly. A week before election day, most polls showed Bush narrowly ahead of Gore. On Nov. 6, he finished 500,000 votes behind.
It's hard to deny a level of complicity when you consider the fax campaign. Not that I'm complaining. That's politics in this country. Opposition research is an integral part of every campaign, and they don't pay to have it done to sit on it. In this case it appears there was a bit of free-lance research going on, but hey, never look a political gift horse in the mouth.

In 2004 we had Rathergate which started out appearing to be very damaging, but the wheels soon came off:
This time, the source of the story was a Texas Democrat, Bill Burkett. He provided CBS News with documents purporting to show that Bush had received special favours during his service in the Texas Air National Guard. This time, the documents were almost immediately exposed as forgeries.
In that case, and again, although it became clear that Democrats knew about the CBS claims and were prepared to capitalize on them, it wasn't a Democratic effort per se. It backfired pretty badly anyway.

In this case, however, depending on how the facts of the case shake out, this "October surprise" may be the result of Republicans shooting themselves in the foot. When did Republican leadership know about Foley's relationships? To what level of detail? Etc. As Tom Bevan at the RCP Blog says:
Foleygate has clearly mushroomed into a mini-nuke for Republicans. Democrats were getting nowhere with the "culture of corruption" argument. Voters didn't care. But when you take the Foley mess and modify the message to "culture of sleaze," that gets voters' attention.
And a mere month before election day.

Effect? Well, according to The Hill, the Foley scandal may take another Republican candidate in a tough race down with it:
The political fallout from former Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) inappropriate electronic communications with underage congressional pages could spread to Rep. Thomas Reynolds’ (R-N.Y.) district, according to some political experts.

[...]

Sean Kelly, a political science professor at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., said there is reason for Republicans to be worried about Reynolds’ seat.

“The story seems to have some legs, and the current explanation doesn’t seem to be cutting it to a lot of people — that he knew and that he passed on the information and the parents didn’t want to pursue it,” Kelly said. “My perception is that a lot of people are looking at that and saying, ‘So what if the parents didn’t want to pursue it? It should be pursued.’”
Corruption? Hey, they're politicians aren't they? Big yawn.

Messing with kids? Whole 'nother ballgame. And if you knew about it and did nothing (or it is perceived you knew about it and did nothing) you may be toast. That's Reynold's problem right now, and he's going to have a devil of a time clearing his name before election day.

So October is here, the surprise is right on time, and, it appears, it has zip to do with Democrats. Somehow, having watched the inept, bumbling and leaderless Republican House, that comes as absolutely no surprise to me.

Oh, and the calls for Hastert to resign? In my opinion he should have done that years ago.
 
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"So October is here, the surprise is right on time, and, it appears, it has zip to do with Democrats."

??!

**Are you aware of the distinction between the "creepy" emails and the pervers IM messages?

**Did you know that the House leadership claims to have known about and followed up on the former, but knew NOTHING about the latter until the news came out in the press?

**Did you know that CREW and ABC News (and perhaps others) have known about these messages for MONTHS, and perhaps much longer, but did nothing at all with them — as one would think anyone who cared or saw a danger would do— until this past week?

**Did you know there are two sets of the original emails with a number of discrepancies? (This does NOT mean there is anything fake in the basic storyline, but where/who did the variant come from? If it was the result of someone writing down the content of an email read to them over the phone, for instance, why was it then typed up and released in an email format AS IF it were the original?)

No one questions that the original offense is Foley’s and he must be held accountable (and, as is always the case now with Republicans, but NOT with Democrats, that is happening!) But if all the above (or a significant portion of it) is true, how can you blithely state that "it had zip to do with the Democrats" ?!

This is looking suspiciously like the October surprise of 2000 — after all, the D.U.I. was real! It was the carefully timed release of the info that was the surprise! (And in this case there is the serious matter of someone who knew these things doing nothing to fix the problem)

Mind you, if any Republicans knew about the IMs and did nothing, their heads SHOULD roll. But if it turns out media people or leading Dems (any difference?) remained quiet and released the story for their own political purposes, what then?





 
Written By: bruhaha
URL: http://
No one questions that the original offense is Foley’s and he must be held accountable (and, as is always the case now with Republicans, but NOT with Democrats, that is happening!) But if all the above (or a significant portion of it) is true, how can you blithely state that "it had zip to do with the Democrats" ?!
Fairly easily. No Foley, no surprise.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The R’s chances for retaining the house are down to 45 to 55 at Tradespoerts.com.

They had been as high as 58 to 42.

It seems flat at that level since Foley was discovered.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Fairly easily. No Foley, no surprise.
I think that’s a bit imprecise McQ. No Foley, no scandal. Its considered a surprise because of when the scandal broke. Bruhaha’s point, in fact the same point many Dems are making, has to do with ’who knew what when?’ If it’s valid to investigate whether the GOP was withholding information, then it’s valid to investigate anyone who may have withheld information.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Are you aware of the distinction between the "creepy" emails and the pervers IM messages?
Creepy? Or hot?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I’m still confused as to why I’m supposed to even care about this whole scandal at all.

I haven’t seen any evidence or even credible allegations of a crime having taken place, just "conduct unbecoming", so to speak. If I lived in Foley’s district I might care, especially if he hadn’t already resigned, but I just don’t see why I’m supposed to give a damn about this in general.

(I mean, apart from the obvious "OMG republicans = teh badz" angle from the Democrat hordes (the hordes being precisely and only those taking that sort of angle; those for whom this is only and entirely an excuse for partisan shot-taking. Those who try to call sexual talk with a 16 or 17 year old "pedophilia", when actual sex with him would be legal in DC...).

I mean, why should any person not dedicated to a partisan angle care about this, given the currently available evidence?)

 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
I haven’t seen any evidence or even credible allegations of a crime having taken place, just "conduct unbecoming", so to speak
You must be suffering from the same malady as the rest of the winger crowd. Soliticing sex from someone under the age of 18 over the internet is a federal crime. In fact, Foley was the sponsor of the bill. It’s seems pretty clear at this point there is evidence he did just that.

Now, to make matters worse, it appears that the chief of staff for the chair of the NRCC (Reynolds) tried to convince ABC not to broadcast the fact that Foley had been soliticing sex from minors (the IM’s, not the emails) in violation of federal law.

Does that mean Reynolds knew what he was up to? Certainly possible. It’s his chief of staff, after all. Does that mean Hastert and Boehner and others knew too. Who knows? But something tells me the knew much more than they have let on.

See, part of the problem here is that sometimes coverups work, at least for a while. Based on what the GOP has tried to cover up so far, who knows where this thing could end. Boehner has already changed his story a few times. Why lie unless you are covering up something? And if it’s not illegal, why try and cover it up?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
the IM’s
How do you know the IMs are legit? Honestly. It’s not like they are pgp signed e-mails. AFAIK, they don’t contain the IP of the sender.

If he and his pages talked about the contents of IMs in question and the page is willing to testify that under oath, fine. Go get him. (Or something else that looks more like proof; I don’t particularly care what.)
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
You must be suffering from the same malady as the rest of the winger crowd. Soliticing sex from someone under the age of 18 over the internet is a federal crime. In fact, Foley was the sponsor of the bill. It’s seems pretty clear at this point there is evidence he did just that.
You must be suffering from ... being you. Those "solicitations" were from 2003, while the law making such a crime (if indeed such acts were found to violate it) was passed just a couple of months ago.
See, part of the problem here is that sometimes coverups work, at least for a while. Based on what the GOP has tried to cover up so far, who knows where this thing could end. Boehner has already changed his story a few times. Why lie unless you are covering up something? And if it’s not illegal, why try and cover it up?
It’s interesting that you raise the issue of cover-ups:
Therefore, I [Rep. Hastert] also request that the Department undertake an investigation into who had specific knowledge of the content of any sexually explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any former or current House pages and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement. I request that the scope of your investigation include any and all individuals who may have been aware of this matter—be they Members of Congress, employees of the House of Representatives, or anyone outside the Congress.
After the travails of John "Butt-Schrapnel" Kerry, you’d think the Democrats would stop shooting themselves in the ... hindquarters.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Why lie unless you are covering up something? And if it’s not illegal, why try and cover it up?
Are we talking about President Clinton again?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Creepy? Or hot?
Yech.

Hey! How’d you hear water cooler talk at the Washington Blade?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
With respect to the IM’s, isn’t it just a little fishy that they were saved from three years ago? Since IM runs in a CPU’s memory only, it’s not as if there would be an accidental hard copy laying around somewhere. Someone had to actively save them, and then hold onto them for years.

How do you think THAT person feels about the danger posed by Rep. Foley?
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
First it was Fitzmas...

Now Dems are anticipating a Foleday...
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Michael W,
Since IM runs in a CPU’s memory only, it’s not as if there would be an accidental hard copy laying around somewhere. Someone had to actively save them, and then hold onto them for years.
Most IM programs allow you to automatically save conversations. Still, I’d like to see the chain of custody for this particular bit of evidence.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Most IM programs allow you to automatically save conversations.
Are you sure, Pablo? Maybe I am mistaken about that. I’ve heard that IM’s don’t have any sort of automatic save function, but since I have never used any such program I am relying on hearsay.
Still, I’d like to see the chain of custody for this particular bit of evidence.
Indeed, so will the FBI.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Are you sure, Pablo? Maybe I am mistaken about that. I’ve heard that IM’s don’t have any sort of automatic save function, but since I have never used any such program I am relying on hearsay.Depends on the program.

TPM muckracker has articles up on the attempts to hand the emails (by themselves) to the Florida press last year. They wouldn’t run the articles. And the group that gave the IM’s to ABC sent a letter to the FBI months ago.

If the IM’s were bogus, folks, one would think that Foley would have stood up and fought.

If it’s valid to investigate whether the GOP was withholding information, then it’s valid to investigate anyone who may have withheld information.

By all means. Please do.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
You must be suffering from ... being you. Those "solicitations" were from 2003, while the law making such a crime (if indeed such acts were found to violate it) was passed just a couple of months ago.
Ross reportedly has "dozens" of IM’s. Some are reportedly from 2003. The dates of the others are not given. The original contention I was responding to was there was NO evidence of a crime. That assumes that there are none from 2006, or that other state laws haven’t been violated.

So tell me, where is your evidence that none are from 2006? What makes you think Foley simply stopped in 2006. If he is as sick as he claims, only a true believer like yourself would be naive enough to believe that he simply stopped.

Likewise, do you know which the location of every child with whom Foley communicated? Know which state each one is in? The laws of each state?

The contention was there was no evidence of a crime. None. Zip. Nada. Seems kind of odd, then, that the FBI would be opening up an investigation. They usually don’t get involved unless there is some evidence of wrongdoing.

But then we get this:
After the travails of John "Butt-Schrapnel" Kerry, you’d think the Democrats would stop shooting themselves in the ... hindquarters
Yes, the Foley episode is the Dems’ fault. Right.

It never ends with you people.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
If the IM’s were bogus, folks, one would think that Foley would have stood up and fought.
Exactly.

Hey fella’s. That pile of twisted metal you see burning on the field… yeah,… that’s Foley.
Calling out the paramedics to save a dead man is just a waste of time.

Please continue trying to include Bill Clinton in on this. It’s much more entertaining.

Dance monkey, your organ grinder is drowning in debt.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
Soliticing sex from someone under the age of 18 over the internet is a federal crime. In fact, Foley was the sponsor of the bill. It’s seems pretty clear at this point there is evidence he did just that.
The original contention I was responding to was there was NO evidence of a crime. That assumes that there are none from 2006, or that other state laws haven’t been violated.

So tell me, where is your evidence that none are from 2006? What makes you think Foley simply stopped in 2006. If he is as sick as he claims, only a true believer like yourself would be naive enough to believe that he simply stopped.
You are the one saying that Foley committed a crime, it’s up to you to provide the evidence. You never mentioned that state laws might have been broken, only that soliciting sex from someone under 18 is a federal crime.

Do you have any evidence that any of the IMs were from 2006? Does anyone? If not, then there’s no evidence — so far — that a crime has been committed. When and if such evidence comes out, then that’s a different story.
Likewise, do you know which the location of every child with whom Foley communicated? Know which state each one is in? The laws of each state?

The contention was there was no evidence of a crime. None. Zip. Nada. Seems kind of odd, then, that the FBI would be opening up an investigation. They usually don’t get involved unless there is some evidence of wrongdoing.
Come on, you know this is a bogus line of argument, and easily destroyed with the following: We don’t know the location of every child with whom YOU have communicated, do we? We can’t take your word for it, yanno. So, you can’t say that you haven’t committed a crime.

The FBI, like any other law enforcement agency, will investigate whenever there is an allegation or a suspicion of a crime. They don’t need evidence to start the investigation...the point of the investigation is to find evidence.

BTW, don’t try to call me a defender of Foley. What he did was immoral, reprehensible, and evil. Had he done it to my son, I’d likely have beaten the living daylights out of him. But whether it was illegal is a different matter entirely.

 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
You are the one saying that Foley committed a crime, it’s up to you to provide the evidence.
No - this is what I said:
In fact, Foley was the sponsor of the bill. It’s seems pretty clear at this point there is evidence he did just that.
I said there is evidence. I didn’t say he committed a crime. I don’t know that yet. I said, however, there is evidence he did.

I will explain the difference. When a grand jury indicts someone for a crime, they do it on the basis of evidence. The job of the grand jury is not to convict the person of a crime or declare that the person did the crime. The job of the grand jury is simply to say that there is evidence to believe that the person committed the crime and the prosecution should continue.

Now, I realize I am making a somewhat subtle distincition here, steverino, so I don’t expect you to understand.
You never mentioned that state laws might have been broken, only that soliciting sex from someone under 18 is a federal crime.
"Gosh, officer, I don’t know how that dead body ended up in my trunk. But since you stopped me only for speeding, you can’t charge me with murder. You had to mention that right away."
Do you have any evidence that any of the IMs were from 2006? Does anyone? If not, then there’s no evidence — so far — that a crime has been committed. When and if such evidence comes out, then that’s a different story.
"Gosh, officer, I know I got this dead body in my freezer. And I know the fact that there is a gunshot wound to the head looks bad. But since you cannot tell when the shot was fired, and thus you cannot tell if the SOL has run, there is no evidence of a crime."
The FBI, like any other law enforcement agency, will investigate whenever there is an allegation or a suspicion of a crime. They don’t need evidence to start the investigation
So let me understand, the FBI will investigate based on suspicions, but those suspicions don’t mean there is any evidence?

Huh?

Crimes have elements. The relevant ones here seem to be the following:

1) A communication
2) Over the internet
3) Between an adult and minor
4) Concerning sex

So what do we know about Foley? What evidence do we have?

1) He made communications
2) He made them over the internet
3) He made them with minors (at least he is not denying he did, he is only
claiming he did not have actual sex with minors)
4) The communications concerned sex

But according to Steverino, because there is no evidence one way or the other concerning when the communications occurred, there is absolutely zero, zip, nada evidence a crime occurred.

Your problem, Steverino, is that you seem to believe that until there is rock solid proof on every element of a crime, and there is rock solid proof of venue, and there is rock solid proof that the actus reus occurred within the time when the law was in effect, there is no evidence whatsoever of a crime.

The problem, of course, is that no sane person thinks that way. Members of the GOP cult, on the other hand, are a different story.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So, what did the Democrats know what what did they know it?

I mean, if it was that, knowledge that Foley was engaged in this kind of activity for a long period of time, as is being claimed, how was it that we didn’t hear about any of it until just now, from a party so apparently desperate to dig up something/anything on their opponants? Sorry... soemthing about the timing of this really smells.

And consider the Democratic reaction, by way of Comparison:

Whatever else can be said about this, there is one thing that we’re quite sure of; Back in the days of congressmen Studs taking his seventeen year old boy friend to Morocco... there was nobody, and I mean nobody on the Democratic side of the aisle screaming about how Democrat leaders had failed to protect the children and their trust. No, that only happens when a Republican engages in such activity. But, isn’t that always the cry of the Democratic party where Republicans are involved? "it’s for the children"....

As one of co-writers over at BitsBlog noted this morning,
I’d bet the Washington Post never refered to Gerry Studds’ behavior as creepy...
Speaking of Massachusetts and sex scandals, shall we discuss Ted "hang a left off the bridge" Kennedy, or Barney Frank ? Those two are still in office. Despite the fact that the sex scandal involving one of them also involved a death. Studds was in office until he retired, for pity’s sake.

Look;

I’m sure the Democrats are going to get some fair mileage off this. But before we get too far down this road let’s consider the idea that the Democrats are not exactly the party of the moral high ground by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. Including that of the drunken Senator Oldsmobile.

Mind you, I’m not questioning the guilt of Mr. Foley. I am, however, questioning the timing of the release of this information and the path that it took to get here.

The way this is going to ramp up is, that there’s going to be all kinds of screaming and hollering and carrying on for "who knew what when", fingers pointing all the while at Republican leaders, and the election will be here before those questions are answered. Rather precise timing, for the release of that info, now, wouldn’t you say?

Democrats haven’t been polling too well of late on just about any issue known to be polled.

So, you would tell me; What would possibly motivate them to hold something back until a month before the election and then deleted out through left wing blogger?

Desperation, they say, is a mother. My guess is, we’ve just seen the result of it. Perhaps now we have an idea of why the Democrats haven’t been spending too much time formulating action plans and stating positions on various topics of the day; Mthey figured given they had this in their back pocket to spring a month before the election, so, they wouldn’t need it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
I thought we were supposed to, as a nation, collectively get over our puritan beliefs and become more like the French.

Also, I assume moveon.org is busy telling us all that since the man resigned, there is nothing to see folks, move on.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
If the IM’s were bogus, folks, one would think that Foley would have stood up and fought.
For what purpose? To get re-elected? What are the odds of that?

If this is heading to trial, then his best bet is to STFU. We’ll see what happens then.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I mean, if it was that, knowledge that Foley was engaged in this kind of activity for a long period of time, as is being claimed, how was it that we didn’t hear about any of it until just now, from a party so apparently desperate to dig up something/anything on their opponants? Sorry... soemthing about the timing of this really smells.
The worm has certainly turned.
If this is heading to trial, then his best bet is to STFU. We’ll see what happens then.
While his attorney is denying Foley has had sexual contact with a minor, he is not similarly denying the authenticity of the IM’s. Per CNN:
Foley’s attorney, David Roth, said Foley had never had sexual contact with a minor and said any assertion that Foley is a pedophile is "categorically false."
Now, according to Steverino, the IM’s represent no evidence of a crime. So what we have then is denial of what could be a crime, i.e., sex with a minor, and no denial of what is clearly embarassing but not even illegal, i.e., the IM’s.

That’s weird.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
On this date in 2006, we found out that Congressional pages referred to Mark Foley as "FFF" which meant Foley Fagot Florida.

Oh what a milestone to be proud of

One is left to wonder if there is an "FFM ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Are you sure, Pablo? Maybe I am mistaken about that. I’ve heard that IM’s don’t have any sort of automatic save function, but since I have never used any such program I am relying on hearsay.Depends on the program.
Yep. Or if not automatic, it’s certainly easy. Windows Messenger for one... I seem to recall seeing an option to automatically save all IM’s to a given folder, but I don’t have one installed to investigate.

I don’t use them either, for about a dozen reasons. Having spontaneous conversation archived eternally would be one of them. I once found out that a girlfriend had saved every IM conversation we ever had. Too weird for me.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
While his attorney is denying Foley has had sexual contact with a minor, he is not similarly denying the authenticity of the IM’s. Per CNN:
Uh, I see nothing in the quote that supports your point.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Interestingly enough, it turns out the recipient of the IM was 18 at the time.

Still very icky, IMV, but unquestionably legal.

Per Drudge.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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