Mark Foley Experiences Democrat Party, News Media Double Standard
There's little doubt that former Rep. Mark Foley is a sleazebag. But since when does the Democrat Party have a problem with sleazebags?
by Jim Kouri, CPP
While the Democrats are creating political hay out of the sex scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), the Democrats were not as outraged when a member of their own party had a sexual liaison with a House of Representative's page. In fact, the Democrat involved in a homosexual affair with a page actually accused the House of Representatives of invading his privacy.
In 1983, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Gerry Studds admitted to having sexual relations with a 17-year-old male page. Studds was not just communicating with the boy, but involved in a sexual affair.
The way Studds handled his own scandal -- and the consequences he faced afterward -- were very different from what Foley has already faced. Both men were involved in disgustingly serious acts, yet both did not suffer the same fate.
Studds, who is openly gay, told his constituents that the relationship was consensual and charged that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy. In spite of the news coverage of his homosexual affair with a teenager, he won re-election the following year and served in Congress until his retirement in 1996, according to several sources.
The Studds scandal had more repercussions for congressional pages than for the congressman. The Congressional Page Program -- which has been around for more than 150 years -- was overhauled and a board was created to monitor it. A dormitory for pages was created near the Capitol.
While officially Studds was censured by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, Studds turned his back and ignored them. Later, at a press conference with the former page standing beside him, the two stated that what had happened between them was nobody's business but their own.
During this same period a Republican congressman, Dan Crane, was also accused of having a sexual affair with a 16-year old page. However, after Crane was censured by the House, he lost his congressional seat.
During the Studds controversy, the Republican minority in the House fell silent and there were no demands for an FBI criminal investigation or special hearings in congress.
Pages are high school juniors at least 16 years old and are sponsored by a member of the House or Senate for either one or two semesters, or for the summer. They serve as messengers, passing notes and delivering documents. They wear uniforms and attend a special "page school" during the school year. It is a paid position.
In contrast to the Democrat, Foley resigned as a result of the breaking news story. While there are no accusations that Foley had sex with congressional pages, the FBI is investigating Foley to ascertain if any federal laws were broken. The Democrats are also demanding hearings into the alleged homosexual online relationship between Foley and the page.
Studds went through the entire scandal unscathed until his voluntary retirement in 1996.
In fact, Studds and his longtime partner, Dean Hara, who had been together since 1991, applied for one of the first gay-marriage licenses and were married in Boston in 2005, one week after same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said that he had asked Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)., the current head of the Page Board, to look into the issue and make sure that all the pages were "safe." Asked for his general reaction to Foley's resignation and the allegations surrounding him, Hastert said simply: "None of us are very happy about it."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.