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10/ 6/06

1:25 PM


Get a Handle on the Page Scandal

Those of you who take breaks from news-gathering to sleep and eat may have missed the latest Foley-Reynolds-Fordham-Hastert scandal action. Fear not. We've got you covered.

Besieged National Republican Congressional Committee chair and alleged Foley-IM-cover-up-er Tom Reynolds is now officially losing his bid for reelection. Bloggers in his upstate district were upset that Democrat Jack Davis didn't pounce on Reynolds last week. Instead, Davis followed the party strategy of hanging back while the Republicans flail around hopelessly.

Speaking of flailing, here's a video of Reynolds's press conference Wednesday — have a towel handy to wipe the sweat off your screen. And here's a snippet from the statement of resignation released Thursday by Reynolds's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham. He pretty much blamed speaker Dennis Hastert.

Scott Palmer, Hastert's chief of staff, claims, "What Kirk Fordham said did not happen." The FBI will interview Fordham, perhaps to look into a promising lead courtesy of Matt Drudge. It was all just a prank.

As Reynolds's fortunes change, he's gone from the guy in charge of doling out money to congressional Republicans in tight races to an embattled incumbent who needs his own backup. Laura Bush shilled on Wednesday, and John McCain is scheduled to support Reynolds in Rochester on October 20.

Reynolds isn't the only upstate Republican hurting from Foley's fallout. Democratic challenger John Hall is dogging his opponent, GOP incumbent Sue Kelly, about whether she knew of Foley's actions. Kelly chaired the Congressional Page Board more than five years ago, and musician–environmental activist Hall is making sure voters know it.

"Rep. Foley's perverse actions may have taken place under Sue Kelly's watch," Hall said in a press release. "When it seems that so many others knew of Foley's lewd and entirely inappropriate behavior, why didn't Sue Kelly?" Hall continued. "And if she did know, why didn't she do anything to protect these children?"

Kelly responded: "I am a mother, a former teacher, and a grandmother. I have a strong record of protecting children. If anything had been brought to my attention, I would have acted very forcefully and immediately."

How far will the Foley infection spread? We don't know, but we're loving every tainted minute of it.