Thursday, October 05, 2006

Damage Assessment

Illinois’ own Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-14) announced today in a Batavia press conference that although he is accepting responsibility for former Representative Mark Foley’s behavior, he will not be resigning.

He also continued to deny knowledge of Foley’s inappropriate contact with the young pages, dismissing claims made yesterday by Representative Tom Reynolds (chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee) and Foley’s former aide Kirk Fordham (whom resigned yesterday) that the behavior was reported to Hastert in 2003.

Expected to testify before the House Ethics Committee today are Fordham (Foley’s former Chief of Staff), Hastert’s Chief of Staff Scott Palmer, and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl.

With an eye to the upcoming election, many Republican leaders have begun to distance themselves from Hastert and Foley, joining the call for the Speaker’s resignation in hopes to reverse the damage done to the GOP’s image.
Is the damage already done?


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