Oct 17 2006
Many bloggers, including myself, were able to discern from the evidence and reporting in hand that the only people who were ‘hiding’ the Foley mess were gay staffers who were probably concerned about the terrible stereotype a gay Congressmen preying on young Pages would conjure up. But, as usual in DC, the real source was revenge. Payback for personal wrongs. So the cover up of Foley for reasons that make some sense, became the weapon against the GOP by the same person who did all the covering up. Here is the NY Times trying to paint a pretty picture around Jeff Trandahl and Kirk Fordham – two people who hid Foley’s problems from the House leadership, and possibly then leaked emails regarding those hidden problems to Democrat operatives and Foley’s Democrat challenger:
Although he never dwelled on his sexuality, he also did not go to extreme lengths to conceal it, unlike Mr. Foley, who publicly acknowledged he is gay only after resigning this month.
Mr. Trandahl, 42, has told friends he was not a social friend of Mr. Foley and did not jeopardize pagesâ€™ safety. He has declined to discuss the case publicly while it remains under investigation by the ethics committee and the F.B.I., which is trying to determine whether Mr. Foley broke laws by exchanging sexually explicit messages with current and former pages.
For seven years, Mr. Trandahl oversaw more than 300 employees, a $20 million budget and House functions. He also supervised the page program. And in the conflicting accounts and varying recollections about when Republican leaders learned of Mr. Foleyâ€™s conduct, it is Mr. Trandahl who seems interwoven at each step along the way.
As clerk, Mr. Trandahl supervised the page program. So concerns involving their conduct were routed to him. Most every year, he sent at least some pages home for drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or simply misbehaving.
Over the years, people who worked with him on the Hill said, Mr. Trandahl received periodic complaints that Mr. Foley was acting too friendly to the pages or interns.
The House ethics committee is trying to determine whether Mr. Trandahl simply passed along the information to Kirk Fordham, a longtime aide to Mr. Foley, or whether he alerted the speakerâ€™s office that Mr. Foleyâ€™s overfriendly behavior had grown beyond idle gossip.
Reporting to date tends to indicate Trandahl and Fordham intercepted the complaints, gave the impression actions were being taken, faced Foley with the complaints only to get another promise to behave, and then allowed the issues to die. But something changed. Fordham reportedly decided to ‘break’ with Foley to get him to stop. He was tired of a decade of covering for Foley.
What is becoming clear is a concerted effort over years to reign in Foley quietly suddenly became a political weapon that was shopped to DNC Donors and the press before breaking out in a coordinated media campaign (all according to Democrat sources). So much for a GOP scandal.