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6:45 PM


Thanks for Mark Foley, Karl Rove!

Ignore official documents:
Joe Negron is not Mark Foley.

Tonight's Spitzer-Faso debate (8 p.m., NY1) promises to be a doozy, but before you gather the family for the traditional pre-debate huddle, let's turn our attention away from the issues that'll shape our lives back to where it ought to be: Smut.

An October day that passes without a little falling Foley-age is not a day worth enduring, and today, thanks to the New Republic's the Plank, there is fresh Foley news. Apparently, the deposed Florida congressman wanted to preemptively auto-depose himself two years ago. A man of broad ambition, Foley was planning on leaving the House to become a lobbyist but was dissuaded by a Republican administration fearful of losing the House.

(Note: Because we respect your intelligence, we didn't go for the joke about how being a lobbyist is the second sickest thing you can do in D.C. after sending dirty IMs to teenagers. Anyway, moving on …)

It's somewhat odd that GOP higher-ups didn't consider simply ratting Foley out in the summer of 2005, looking like good cops on the beat, and finding another patsy to take his place. Any local hardware-store owner or mattress inspector would have sufficed in rosy red West Florida.

The GOP is running Florida state representative Joe Negron in Foley's besmirched place. Seems like a fine specimen. Married, goes to church, breeds. For the regular guy in you, he plays golf and shoots the occasional game of hoops, For the PBS-me-ASAP in you, he lists "courthouse architecture" as a personal interest. (Not sure if he restores them or just likes looking at them. Anybody?)

As pure as Negron's background may be, his victory is all but impossible unless Floridians vote in spite of an overwhelming sense of revulsion. Foley may not be in the race, but he's still on the ballot. Negron entered the race after ballots were printed, so Floridians looking to elect him will technically be voting for the disgraced Foley. The only way this seemingly perfectly okay Negron fellow has any chance is to go around Palm Beach telling people to "vote Foley." Hope he has an armored car.

How Rove Twisted Foley's Arm [TNR's The Plank]