Mark Foley situation presents dilemna on gay Republicans by Mitch E. Perry10/09/06
In its cover story out today, Newsweek Magazine writes â€“that â€“ according to 2 congressional sources, back in either 2002 or 2003, an allegedly inebriated Foley showed up at the Congressional Pages dorm after a 10PM curfew and tried to gain entry.
The magazine says Foley was turned away by a guard. It was not know if the pages were ever aware that Foley lurked outside their door, but word of the incident reached the House clerk, who notified Foleyâ€™s Chief of Staff, Kirk Fordham.
Fordham today went before the House Ethics Committee investigating what some are calling Pagegate.
Fordham himself is an interesting person. He quit last week as Chief of Staff for New York Representative Tom Reynolds, who is now in potential trouble fo what he did or did not do upon learning of the Foley Instant Messages. He used to be Foleyâ€™s Chief of Staff.
Like Foley, Fordham is gay. In the aftermath of the Foley scandal, there have been several articles written in recent days about the difficulty of being prominent in the Republican Party and being gay.
The Reverend Mel White used to serve the Evangelical community as a ghostwriter for such fundamentalist leaders as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Heâ€™s written a new book about the Christian right â€“ â€œreligion gone bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Rightâ€?. He talked to WMNF about being gay and being with a group that overall, looks â€“as a whole - sparagingly at homosexuals (roll tape#1 o.q.â€? and thatâ€™s a shameâ€?)
Meanwhile, the Foley Scandal has helped increase the number of Republicans facing competitive challenges from 37 last week to 43 now â€” a shift that includes four lawmakers who were considered safe but have now moved into the danger zone, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report's weekly analysis that came out over the weekend.
Even before the Foley scandal, Republicans and conservative pundits â€“ concerned about l osing the House of Representatives this fall â€“have seemingly demonized certain Democrats, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as being out of touch with mainstream voters. New Yorkâ€™s Charles Rangel and Michiganâ€™s John Conyers â€“ who would become Committee Chairmen, are also invoked as a reason for independent voters NOT to vote Democrat this year.
WMNF asked the Reverend Mel White if the depiction by Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Nancy Pelosi as a San Francisco Democrat â€“ Is in its way â€“ a coded slap at the gay community?(roll tape#2 o.q.â€?closeted gay manâ€?)
Thatâ€™s the Reverend Mel White, author of â€œReligion Gone Bad: The hidden dangers of the Christain Rightâ€?.
Republicans are clearly nervous but remain hopeful that the scandal will recede in the month leading up to election day. They take heart from a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that found that the scandal had not had discernible impact on whether voters planned to vote Democratic or Republican