Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Is Foley fallout fair?
The Mark Foley situation has created political ripple effects across the United States. But in certain places, sensitivity is especially heightened.

One of those places is Florida's 22nd Congressional District, which is adjacent to the district that was represented by Foley. The 22nd district is where 13-term incumbent Representative Clay Shaw, a Republican, is running against State Senator Ron Klein, a Democrat.

This race was already one of the highest profile contests in the country. But now, with Foley's constituency one district over, reaction to the scandal is garnering extraordinary attention. Shaw is defending the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert; Klein is very critical of the GOP leadership.

Tonight, in the Broward County city of Coral Springs, the candidates are holding a debate, and everyone is bracing for an onslaught of Foley related questions. We'll be there to cover it for tonight's "360."

In the meantime, do you think it's fair that the Foley situation has become an issue in this and other districts that he didn't even represent?
Posted By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent: 7:28 PM ET
  47 Comments
Hi Gary,
I live in New York and one of the representatives in our area is Tom Reynolds. I think that the Foley situation represents a greater issue- that is trust in our government. It seems as of late,there have been allegations of cover-ups and misleading the public on a number of issues. This election could be quite a wake-up call to all elected officials. It will certainly be interesting to watch it unfold.
Thanks for your coverage!
Posted By Anonymous Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 7:49 PM ET
It's not a Foley Follie issue, because the Hastert Hush failed in their responsibility of oversight both morally and ethically, we can let the legal eagles split their usual hairs. Foley's out of the equation. It would appear that those who are legislating to protect minors from sexual predators are without a clue. We have long been aware that lobbyists write the laws, but now it would seem that staffers run the show. Guess that gives those elected enough time to collect all those free lunches and trips, etc. No leadership or appropriate systems in place, puts the responsibility on the Speaker and all others in positions of leadership.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 7:52 PM ET
Did anybody else notice Hastert avoided mentioning what would happen to anyone who KNEW but did nothing? That isn't quite hiding or blocking a probe but alot more likely.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Ryan Davenport IA : 7:52 PM ET
This has got out of hand and every village idiot taking advantage of the whole situation...how about the pages involved, the coverup ..the closet queens in the GOP???
Posted By Anonymous Angel P @Chula Vista, CA. : 10:58 PM ET
OH.. to be a fly on the wall in the many places where the "secret" deals are being hashed for more democratic pork in exchange for a quick and quiet end to the whole debacle. Why do I keep having flashbacks to the "politics" of my high school days? I'm embarassed enough as a citizen of this country right now, (thanks to the Bush administration) that when I travel abroad I wear clothing with a big maple leaf emblem.
Posted By Anonymous Chuck, Enterprise, AL : 11:04 PM ET
It is no longer an issue about Foley, He is finished. It is now an issue about trust, and what else is being withheld from the american people. The Rebuplician leadership tried to cover this up, hoping it would take care of itself, and it has backfired. Now they are acting as if it is something they are going to get to the bottom of asap. It is nothing more than empty rhetoric, causing even more mistrust in our elected officals.
Posted By Anonymous Craig Hughes, Lima, Ohio : 11:05 PM ET
Of course it is fair Foley fallout is fair. Do you think we should let him do this under cover by our own policy maker in the govenment and get away with it? Try imagine this as if anyone work in a job has no responsibility for his work in the company is that fair?
Posted By Anonymous Cathy Chen Covington KY : 11:23 PM ET
This reflects the policies used by politicians to hold on to their power. Morality and the good of the people goes out the window. If the Clinton and the Horton issues were fair then so is the impact of the Foley affair. Pointing fingers does not change the truth that those in charge, were'nt. While denial and persistent ignorance has become the condition of bliss, the country goes down the proverbial hell hole. How else will the people show their displeasure with the situation and of the civil servants that were elected to protect the coutnry and its citizens from external and internal predators....
Posted By Anonymous P. Gupta, Phoenix, AZ : 11:26 PM ET
What I am really tired of (and very surprised) is the way a number of on air personalities have been linking Gays with this Foley mess. Not all of us are after young boys and girls. We are just like anyone else - going to work, paying our bills and having a very normal life. I really resent being put in the same category as Mr. Foley. Not every "straight" persons is e-mailing children nor is every "gay" person.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Brookfield, Ohio : 11:31 PM ET
As a parent and grandfather, I find it absolutely inexcusable for the behavior of the entire congress. One can only wonder how many other members have been trolling for these children. I do think it is fair that the Foley issue become a factor in ones decision to decide who can better protect our most valuable assets in this country! That is the children who will be our next leaders after we are long gone. The mere fact that the current leadership is performing so called, "work arounds" to survive an election absolutely goes against what our country has been built on! Honesty, Trust, and the ability to be truthful. But because the current leadership is run by "Conservatives without Conscience", did we expect anything less? Our only hope for our children now is to hopefully the American people will vote for a change and mend the harm that has happened to our most precisous assets.
Posted By Anonymous Don Hoffman, Phoenix, AZ : 12:06 AM ET
Hi Gary,
Well, "Is the Foley fallout fair?" I guess the answer to that question would split down party lines like everything else. All I know is I will vote and I will accept the results. And hopefully one day soon we will turn down the volume of ill will that has Americans turning on each other..If that day doesn't come soon I'll be buying some earplugs..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton,Calif. : 12:27 AM ET
Hi Gary! Maybe it's just a matter of a mass "Foley" (Folie) a deux- a delusional system where one politician adopts anothers reality & excuses, and so on...Fair or not, this will probably play out in the polls.
Posted By Anonymous Carol B. Frederick, MD : 1:05 AM ET
I tend to focus more on the individual than the party. If I say all Republicians are bad because of one bad representitive then that is being prejudiced against all Republicans as would be true if I said the same of Democrats.
Posted By Anonymous Chumly, Dunmore, Pa. : 1:23 AM ET
It's fair if voters have reason to believe Foley's Republican colleagues acted to cover up, or at the very least ignore his inappropriate behavior.

Beyond that the national attention shown on this particular scandal just reflects the country's growing discontent with the way this Republican Congress has conducted their business.

In short, they made their bed...now they can sleep in it with the pederast and whoever he brings to the party.
Posted By Anonymous Tyler Sutherland, Peoria, IL : 2:18 AM ET
The cover up of Foley's abuse of children and the very large cover up of his conduct are the business of every American. This only further shows how low a political party will go to maintain power. Preaching morality on one day, protecting a pedophile on another....anything to continue the duping of America and to press forth with their own agenda. Lies on top of lies, Hastert and Reynolds were actively involved in this cover up and should be booted. Instead they will shovel the blame onto some lower level aides just as they have been shoveling money into their coffers and manure on the American public.
Posted By Anonymous Karen Jones Tonawanda NY : 2:44 AM ET
no i do not think that it's fair. mr foley has resigned, i think that should be the end of this issue. can we please move on to more important issues?
Posted By Anonymous tamara kansas city, mo : 2:57 AM ET
Jeeezzz! WAKE UP! I am a retired female US Army Sergeant Major - I LIVED with sexual harassment DAILY - I retired and went to work for the US Army JROTC - typically retired MALE officers & SR NCOs working with high school students with NO "REAL" diversity or EO training & it was like climbing into a time machine - BACKWARDS- harassment, bias, archaic procedures and MALE DOMINATE PERSONALITIES were rampart. I quit. I flushed it all and quit. Now I sit with my vote and that's pretty much all after 23 years of service to this very-VERY jaded nation. I welcome contact about this atrocity that has not been addressed...yet???
Posted By Anonymous SGM Kay, HI & GA & CA : 6:18 AM ET
Yes, yes, yes it is fair game. After all, lest we forget that the Republicans wanted to impeach President Clinton for his indiscretions with someone of a different sex and of age of consent. I liked President Clinton as a President, but I did think he was sleazy. What Foley has done is far worse. And, the fact that he immediately goes into substance abuse treatment and admits that he is gay is ridiculous. What he is saying -- that gay people prey on the young? What an idiot.
Posted By Anonymous Doreen Augusta maine : 6:43 AM ET
The Mark Foley e-mails availible to Dennis Hastert were incredibly boring! One should actually read them. They are not even slightly salacious. Hastert was unaware of the lurid instant messages. This distinction is all important. Unfortunately, the sloppy reporting of the MSM has conflated the two.
Posted By Anonymous David Thomson, Houston, Texas : 7:51 AM ET
Fair??? When the only excuse they can even come up with is "Well the Democrats must have known and saved it to release it just before the election." There are only two choices in this matter. 1: They covered it up to save their butts or 2: They are too stupid to be in Congress. Either choice is not an appetizing one. The fact that Mark Foley was chasing young boys (and they didn't want to be accused of gay bashing...Since when!!!LOL)it would have been just as bad if he was chasing 16 year old girls! It's time to clean house and get people in office that at least have a clue. It sure would help.
Posted By Anonymous Monique Mellon, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada : 8:05 AM ET
The whole Foley issue is indicative of a much greater issue, the total detachment of our lawmakers with reality. Instead of confronting greater issues in one of the most dangerous times in our countries history, our elected officials are treating their time in office as a playground for decadence and depravity. It signals a time for change on both sides of the aisle.

Chris Connally
Charleston, SC
Posted By Anonymous Chris Connally, Charleston, SC : 8:15 AM ET
I'm not going to say it's not fair, but I don't see that it deserves 22 of your 24 hour news network. It's a shame and it's bad but enough. I also find it hard to believe that a "kid" who was obviously "playing the game too" was smart enough to save the IMs. E-mails you can just leave on the server but to save the IMs was interesting.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa, Mobile, AL : 8:17 AM ET
Sir,
Of course Mr. Foley's actions are a lgtitimate campaign issue in EVERY district. Republican representatives voted for Mr. Hastert and placed him in the speaker's office. He has shown, at a minimum, that he is unfit to deal with trhe fallout from this issue, no matter if any laws were broken. I am speaking of his actions in the last two+ weeks, notwithstanding what he did before that. Since he has shown himself unfit to deal with this issue, does that not show that the Republican representatives have made a grave error in judgment? And that is the issue they need to confront: How fit are they to lead when they cannot choose a proper speaker??
Posted By Anonymous David Savard, Chicago IL : 10:15 AM ET
Fair? Of course its Fair! Look what the Repulicans did with Clinton! Monica was of the opposit sex and a consentual adult! What gets me is the fact that the GOP presented itself as the party of "Purity" and "Family values", what a joke! The in your face hypocracy of the GOP is nausiating!
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida : 10:19 AM ET
Mr. Tuchman:

Yes, we are down in Florida suffering though it all. You should have seen the cartoons in the Sunday paper. Maybe the 360 shot of the day should be the cartoons of Florida! You should come to the West side of the great state of Florida and do some coverage of the Buchanan/Jennings race. Another man putting $2.5 million of his own cash into the race. Then check in with Katherine Harris and see if she really put her $10 million into the race. There are conflicting reports in our paper and the AP can't seem to figure that one out.

I told my husband there should be a CNN Presents "Boys Behaving Badly -- Life in Politics."

All most of us in Florida want is a great economy, rising real estate values and decent property tax rates. Some of us are paying on a percentage basis on our property as much as some of the most expensive real estate in NY or CA.

Oh, yes and if some of the folks in Washington could help out with the homeowners insurance crisis that would be well. Yesterday our great government in Florida decided that if you are a "snowbird" for the winter maybe you should pay more for your homeowners insurance. What a great way to help the economy!
Posted By Anonymous Marie Bradenton, FL : 10:20 AM ET
What about U.S. politics is fair today? Would we be better served by campaigns based on gay rights, flag burning, lies about what I intend to do about social security, who is going to 'stray the course and who is going to 'cut and run'?
We have campaigns based on silly marginal issues, candidates bought and paid for by the big business interests that can afford to buy the government they want, more and more candidates with no true moral compass and fewer and fewer truly qualified candidates.
In a land of professional politcians with no true aim of serving, why not one more witless, pandering campaign issue?
Posted By Anonymous Jeff Harris, Danville, KY : 10:34 AM ET
Yes, it is a major issue. We have trust and faith in these people to run our country and keep our childern safe from child molesters and we have one who represents us and our views. Its not an over reaction to something that has become a major issue in America, and if the law makers of this good old United States feel that knowing he was engaging in a conversation of that magnitude with a 16 year old and not doing anything about it then we have got a hell of a lot of explaining to do to parents and Americans who have been through this.
Posted By Anonymous Robin, Bronx New York : 10:34 AM ET
Gary,

Yes, I think the fallout is fair. For one party to say that they are the "party of values" and the other party is not, is ludicrous. It sets them up for such a fall. However, I don't think it is fair to bring in the gay card. Would this be any less of a scandal if a heterosexual male congressman was preying on teenage girls serving as pages? No. The issue is adults who should know better putting minors at risk. The adult is supposed to know and do better. And adults are supposed to take action to protect minors when they find out about situations like this. And when these adults are officials elected to the highest, most trusted offices in our government they should be held to a high standard. I am waiting for someone to say "the buck stops here." Oops, wrong party, the one with no values.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 10:55 AM ET
What is fair? Is it fair that he existed doing what he did for so long preying on children with help from people in our government? We can not as a society hope to figure out these sicknesses if we hide from the public those in our highest forms of government that prey on our young ones. Fair would be not letting him escape to rehab before answering questions, fair would be holding him accountable for his actions and not letting him hide behind a cloak of deceit. Fair would be a media that doesn't just skate around the issue and do what the media used to do, protect us from ourselves.
Posted By Anonymous Keith French, Nicholasville Ky : 11:18 AM ET
I would say it is fair simply due to the fact that if the shoe was on the other foot that Republicans would certainly be ranting and raving about the Democrats and their evil ways.

What goes around...
Posted By Anonymous Sue, Boston, MA : 11:20 AM ET
Apparently everything is fair. A better question is, "why isn't everyone on capital hill doing something to make sure that all pages and whitehouse interns are protected from abuse and seduction by individuals of power and priveledge?".
Maybe in a few years we can have Mr. Foley heading some effort to solve world hunger or aids eppidemic, alongside President Clinton. These issues however are not particular to one party or the other, neither is a coverup. So let's hear what the candidates have to say, and then hold them accountable for a change.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Mauch, Dundas, Ontario, Canada : 11:24 AM ET
Of course the Foley situation should be an issue in his state and every other state. Foley is just the icing on the cake of corruption in our representatives. What would be accomplished by hiding his behaviour and that of the congressmen who have admitted to bribery except to keep the American people in the dark about their politicians. If they invested as much time and effort into representing the people of this nation as they do in corrupting minors and taking expensive gifts from "foreign interests" we would all be much better off than we are now.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Powhatan Point OH : 11:31 AM ET
Hi Gary~
Of course the foley fallout is fair. We should all question our representatives. Before we elect them we should check all issues and not just believe the flowery garbage that these politicians spew. Foley was quick to criticize Clinton about his affair. The nerve! Karma got Foley. We need honest, sincere and diplomatic politicians representing us, if there is such an animal. Anderson Cooper needs to run for office!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 11:33 AM ET
Foley's folly is a non-issue. The inability of this administration to find a solution to the war with the non-nuclear country and bluff the nuclear member of the axis of evil or talk down the remaining member going full steam ahead with it's nuclear program is pathetic.
Posted By Anonymous Bill, Dickson, TN : 11:33 AM ET
The unfairness is how much media coverage this story is getting -- no physical act was committed, the guy immediately resigned, and still the media won't let go. What's even more unfair is the fact that gays are being outed without their permission which I thought was a key tenet of personal privacy that both the media and liberals vowed to protect -- and on top of that, a democrat back in the 80's actually had sex with a male page and was defended by the house leadership and retained his committee posts.
Posted By Anonymous David, Tulsa OK : 11:47 AM ET
It seems that our political process has degenerated into a mudslinging debacle, Liberal vs conservative. It no longer matters what is good for the American democracy. It only matters what sensational scandal makes headlines and a story emerges that the media can blow out of proportion. The intelligent well informed voting public knows the difference between a public lynching conducted by the press and the truth. The Foley scandal is a symtom, the disease is the witchhunt.
Posted By Anonymous Sam, Scottsdale, AZ : 11:56 AM ET
Does anyone remember what was on 360 last week? Why does this seem inportant? People are dying in other parts of world and all we can think about is our immoral politicians. Anderson when are you going back to Africa?
Posted By Anonymous Lori NYC, NY : 12:05 PM ET
Is it fair? In what context? Politics? All seems to be "fair" in today's politics - for good or ill. I think what makes this significant is that is may be a "tipping point" moment for a significant percentage of the voting public. Given a different climate, this event might have been reported as the single failings of one Congressman. But coupled with all the other scandels and power grabs, a mis-managed war, Katrina, the shrinking of the middle-class - I think people that were maybe on the fence have said "enough!" - especially since this Congressman was a closet gay in a political party that has tied it's future to the whims of the Evangelical movement - a movement that abhors gay people. The irony and hypocracy are not lost on the Nation and I think you will see the result in November.
Posted By Anonymous Brian Nordin, Charleston, IL : 12:06 PM ET
Interesting, Mary and Kay both spoke to two issues that continue in the background. I would assume that substantially more pedophiles are heterosexual. That the reporting system and general attitude from Congress to the workplace to the military to schools to churches to 'society' favors the predator.
I'm straight and raised my boys on 'I am Woman' before they took the oath to serve. My point being that we not only need to stand up for the victims and try to change the 'good ole boy' system, but we need to love and protect our children while guiding them away from hate, labeling and harassment attitudes. Our 'adult' reaction to this situation will influence our future.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 12:12 PM ET
Fair? If I were being sexually harrassed at work and I went to my boss's higher up about it, and NOTHING was done. . . Yeah, I'd say both of them would be in hot water.

This is not a grey area. . . This is common sense and ethics 101. There WAS a complaint and it should have been dealt with immediately. The fact that minors were involved makes the immediate part more urgent.
Posted By Anonymous Renae, Appleton, WI : 12:15 PM ET
Yes, I do think that the Foley situation should be a priority for the American people when they cast their votes. 1. Should they vote for a politician who may put his/her political career over the health, safety and welfare of our children, & young adults. 2. It certainly appears that from the Republican Speaker of the House to the Admin Assistants for Republicans this is acceptable behavior.
Posted By Anonymous Teddi Ashby -Philadelphia PA : 12:16 PM ET
It's not his actions, but the republican leadership failure to act that is at issue in other districts. Of course it's fair, since republicans appear to be judgmental of everybody but their own...
Posted By Anonymous Fernanda, arvada CO : 12:38 PM ET
Why even ask if this is or isn't fair? Please wake up America. These are our "law makers" who are engaged in this behavior! I've heard a long list of excuses, none of which hold water.

There is a growing list of politicians who have been implicated in this, and if proven guilty should step down and face legal action. It's about accountability, end of story.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Gregory, Chico, Ca : 3:03 PM ET
Mr. Foley's behavior is abhorrent in itself, but what rightfully dooms the Republicans is their leadership's blatant abandonement of what is true and right (in the Foley case, quick investigation and action to protect the young people in the Page program) in favor of any actions that seemingly preserves their power. This pattern has been shown in Iraq, Katrina, corruption scandals, etc.

A cover up in the Foley matter is obvious and damnable.

Leadership for our nation must be wrested from the whole Republican scheme. It's a bad day to be a Republican candidate for anything.
Posted By Anonymous Chip Evans, Reno, NV : 3:48 PM ET
The whole situation is a disgrace. No matter what political party. It is a shame that our government has gotten to this and frankly, I am sick and tired of the finger pointing. Mr. Foley is not any better than any other sexual predator and should be handled in the same manner. Not to mention, shame on those who knew and did nothing. No wonder this country is in the state it is in, look at the state of our government. The American people need to demand more!!
Posted By Anonymous Teri Osteen-New Smyrna Beach, FL : 4:10 PM ET
Foley should be prosecuted if guilty and the issue should be put into law enforcement hands.
Democrats have an axe to grind, so why doesn't someone look into the Democratic closet and find something. I'm sure they will. Then get on with the election and the inportant things for the Country and the electorate.
Posted By Anonymous Chuck, Brown Deer, WI : 6:16 PM ET
Sure it is fair - we're all looking for a reason to vote. This is such a crazy excuse but why not this one. Congress isn't out of touch.. they are crooks and clueless.
Posted By Anonymous LH, Santa Fe, NM : 1:33 PM ET
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