SENATE CANDIDATE MARK FOLEY - Amy Snider08/15/03
Republican Palm Beach Congressman Mark Foley, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bob Graham, made his twelfth trip to Tampa Bay today, where he spoke to members of Tampaâ€™s Tiger Bay Club. WMNFâ€™s Amy Snider has the storyâ€¦
Congressman Mark Foley boasts that he has the third highest record in Congress of supporting President Bush. At todayâ€™s Tiger Bay Club luncheon, Foley both defended the President, and then demonstrated that he actually differs from the Bush administration on several key issues.
When the president addressed the American people and the world to justify his war on terror, he declared: â€œYou are either with us, or against us.â€? He later called North Korea, Iraq, and Iran, the â€œaxis of evil.â€? Foley says, however, that the president is not argumentative.
Foley re:Bush not argumentative
Foley discussed the famous sixteen words that turned out to be false intelligence regarding Iraqâ€™s weapons capabilities, which Bush used to persuade Americans that the US should attack Iraq:
Foley made news recently when he investigated a nudist summer camp for children in Pasco County. He insists this was not a publicity ploy, and spoke of his efforts as Co-Chair of the Commission for Missing and Exploited Children. Foley says he has worked to protect children for years, not just a few weeks. The Pasco nudist camp, for children between the ages of 11 and 18, troubled him.
Foley re: nudist camp
He reports that several arrests for kiddy porn and fondling of children have been made at nudist camps for children across the country. Foley also wants to reinstate the ban on virtual child pornography, which was overturned by the courts because the images are generated by computer and are not real. Foley said that it is impossible to tell that the virtual kids are computer generated, and that all child pornography should be banned.
When asked why the US has not worked in conjunction with the United Nations on war issues, Foley said that the UN demonstrated a lack of assistance to America when we were in the greatest need. He says that the UNâ€™s decision to appoint Libya and Cuba to their Human Rights panel, boggles his mind, as those countries have clear records of human rights violations. However, he seems to differ from the Bush administration as he admits that the US has not done enough to communicate effectively with other countries.
Foley re: UN
While President Bush has had a hands-off policy towards Saudi Arabia, Foley says that the Saudis and Syria have some explaining to do. The Saudiâ€™s, Foley says, have been less than candid in regards to their role in abetting terrorists.
Foley re: Saudis
In addition, Foley admits that Attorney General John Ashcroft may have overstepped his boundaries with the USA Patriot Act.
The Patriot actâ€™s â€œsneak and peekâ€? provision allow law enforcement officials to enter a home or business without notifying the suspect.
Foley re: sneak
Foley has been front-page news in the gay media, as reports surfaced that he is gay. Foley indignantly refuses to discuss his sexual orientation, which he says is private matter, and nobodyâ€™s business. He had blamed the so-called vast left-wing conspiracy of Democratic activists, yet it was Foleyâ€™s Republican opponent in his first Congressional primary race in 1994 who first sent mail informing people in his district that Foley is gay.
WMNF asked Foley who he thinks is behind the effort to â€œoutâ€? him.
Foley re: doesnâ€™t matter
Gay activists are angry. They say Foley should not be ashamed of his sexual orientation. However, a gay Republican may not muster enough votes to win the Republican nomination for Senate, particularly in light of recent comments made by Republican Senator Rick Santorum equating homosexuality to bestiality. Foleyâ€™s Republican opponents for the Florida Senate seat include House Speaker Johnnie Byrd of Plant City and former Congressman Bill McCollum.
For WMNF news, this is Amy Snider.