Oct 13 2006
I could care less how far Ken Silversteen of Harpers Magazine attempts to bend over backwards in order to not understand what he is writing, but since his first admission a Democrat operative was the one shopping the Foley email story from November of 2005, he has become convinced there are more Democrat fingerprints on the withholding of this story, and they had hopes to damage Foley politically, if not the Republicans as well. Again, through all of this one has to wonder why one stop for this story was not the FBI and the House Ethics Committee.
As I wrote on Tuesday, the source brought the story to other news outlets late in 2005, and brought it to me in May. Why would he try to spring an October Surprise a year early?
I have no evidence that the source was working in concert with the national Democratic Party. That said, I acknowledged in the story that some Democratic officials may well have been aware of the accusations against Foley and expected supporting evidence to come out in the press. Since writing the original article, I’ve become convinced that was in fact the case; indeed, several well-placed sources have told me that some Democratsâ€”and certainly people affiliated with the campaign of Foley’s Democratic challenger Tim Mahoneyâ€”were aware of the accusations at least as early as late Spring.
How much clearer is this? Foley’s challenger knew in Spring of 2006 Foley was a supposed danger to kids in the Page program (according to how the Democrats and media tell the story). So why did he and his campaign leave the risk out there? Why not expose Foley right away? Answer:Political Strategy. Timing the story may allow Foley to snag another kid or two, but timing the story’s release would give Democrats something much more – POWER!
It’s quite possible these parties knew well before then, and were planning accordingly. As Ralph McGaughey, a conservative from Boston, pointed out to me in an email, before the scandal broke, Foley was almost guaranteed to win re-election. In 2004 George Bush won handily over John Kerry in Foley’s conservative district, and the congressman’s last two Democratic challengers only raised about $60,000â€”total. Meanwhile, Foley was sitting on a vast campaign war chest and had a reputation as a formidable fundraiser.
And yet Mahoney has been able to raise more than $1.1 million for his campaign.
I checked campaign-finance records and found that Mahoney himself provided about half of that amount. But he also pulled in $80,000 from heavily Democratic labor-union PACs and raised about $455,000 from individual donors. What’s more interesting is that some of that money started coming in late last yearâ€”around the time that the Foley emails were given to reporters in Floridaâ€”and some of Mahoney’s biggest donors were from out of state. The donors include major Democratic donors like John Gorman of Austin-based Tejas, the New York based construction mogul John Tishman, and the Massachusetts-based real estate tycoons Gerald and Elaine Schuster, who have a history of anti-labor and slumlord practices. These campaign finance records certainly suggest that Democrat officials expected Foley’s seat would be in play and quietly steered donors in Mahoney’s direction.
After reporting the obvious message of a cash strapped Democrat party sending large campaign donations to a sure fire losing race, and all that entails in terms of discussions and guarantees the money will be a wise investment, Sliversteen still cannot see the forest for the trees right in front of him. But those of us who are not blinded by BDS and partisanship sure can. To get money to flow is always hard. To get money to flow to what looks like a wasted effort is impossible, unless the effort will not be a waste. The fact the money is flowing about the same time the emails were leaked (10/17-11/30/05) means those emails must have been useful to pry open some donor’s wallets.
Silversteen also cannot understand what an easy alibi he and the early efforts with the St Peterburg Times could make an October surprise. We all know the LA Page emails are not enough to make a scandal. But if only some sources knew about the IMs (which were also in the hands of a Democrat Operative) then one could establish an alibi through a series of media rejections of the benign, half story. This scenario is so easy to understand it is amazing Silversteen cannot see it, except it would mean acknowledging how he was played like a fiddle. As he points out in the piece, all sources have agendas and intentions.
Silversteen even notes how quickly the second shoe (or second act) dropped when ABC finally did post the emails that everyone else on the planet felt were nothing:
ABC decided to publish, which meant that sources (including one die-hard Republican former-page) immediately sent ABC the lethal IMs.
And we all know the stories about how Jordan Edmund, the Republican who was the former Page with the IMs. In fact, I recall (but cannot find) some claim Edmund posted a comment about the ABC News story right around the time it came out – making the timing of all of this suspect. It is quite possible still, that this was a well orchestrated event. But no one once referred this to police? To the Ethics Committee? That is why this looks so rotten. All these Democrat operatives and fundraisers and stories not published – until one month from the election. Not to mention the reporting by The Prowler regarding comments by ANOTHER democrat operative that the timing was thrown off by the sinking poll numbers for Dems.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if the Dems wanted this out, the next questions was how to maximize its impact. Somehow that little bit of logical deduction escapes the gullible Mr. Silversteen.