Sunday, October 01, 2006



Yesterday Daily Kos was exploding with rage and anger over the Republican pedophile-- or at least virtual pedophile-- cover-up. My friend Claire told me that "people are crying out for ads in districts with responsible GOP" culprits. The Republicans are trying to worm out of this by claiming they never saw the undeniably outrageous IMs, but only the less outrageous (at least to them) e-mails. The problem, of course, is that by choosing to protect a congressional seat, instead of protecting the young pages who they were charged to protect, they covered up instead of investigated. Had they launched an investigation-- as was their clear and undeniable duty-- they would have found the IMs last year.

No one is more responsible for this than the Boss of the Republicans in the House, Dennis Hastert. All fingers point to him, particularly those of Republican Majority Leader John Boehner and NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds, two Republican leaders with a good deal of their own culpability to contend with, particularly Reynolds, who seems to have taken $100,000 in hush money from Foley to help make the whole thing go away.

In the past two days there has been a tremendous upsurge in ActBlue contributions for Hastert's Democratic challenger, John Laesch, a big favorite of the Blue America communities at Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars and Down With Tyranny. In fact, it is well worth going back to read through Laesch's July blog session at Firedoglake to see why people have been so excited about the candidacy of this 32 year old All-American, straight shootin' progressive.

We targeted the Laesch challenge to Hastert early on and customized our "time to throw the rascals out" campaign song for him right away. The song is good for radio and the video is great for cable TV. Take a look.

Every day new videos are being customized for our candidates. Local bloggers in some districts have taken it on themselves to raise the money to get them broadcast. We have a Blue America PAC raising money though ActBlue to get radio spots up. We also have an Adopt A Congressional District program for high rollers or, more likely, eager fund-raisers.

You want to see ad spots up going after Republicans? You can check out the ones we've already done at YouTube. A brand new one went one-line this morning urging Pennsylvania voters that it is time to throw Curt Weldon out. There are also videos done for some of the worst Republicans in Congress, like John Doolittle (R-CA), Dirty Dick Pombo (R-CA), Mary Bono (R-CA), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Colbert's friend Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Buck McKeon (R-CA), John Kline (R-MN), and Virginia Foxx (R-NC). I know Mike is working hard to get clips made for other creepy crawly creatures like Randy Kuhl and Don Sherwood.

Will they get onto the airwaves? Well, the DCCC certainly isn't going to pay for the spots-- or for any spots for most grassroots candidates. They're concentrating on a few races hand-picked by Rahm Emanuel for reasons, good or bad, of his own. John Laesch's battle against Hastert? No. Victoria Wulsin's race against Mean Jean Schmidt? Nope. Robert Rodriguez struggle against Buck McKeon? No, again. They must be trying to help Bill Winters and Angie Paccione oust the two KKK-Republicans in Colorado, Tom Tancredo and Marilyn Musgrave, right? Wrong. But you can. Whether you adopt a district for $5,000 or send $25 to buy a 60-second radio spot, you'll be doing your part with everyone else who cares to say you've had enough.

Today (Sunday) Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to the Democratic ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, Howard Berman and to Tom DeLay's and Denny Hastert's handpicked cover-up man, "Doc" Hastings, demanding a serious investigation of the cover-up.

Dear Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Berman:

On Friday, I offered and the House unanimously passed a resolution directing the Ethics Committee to begin an immediate investigation and provide the House with a preliminary report in 10 days concerning allegations about Congressman Mark Foley's highly inappropriate and explicit communications with a former underage Page. The resolution called for an investigation of "when the Republican leadership was notified, and what corrective action was taken once officials learned of any improper activity."

Since that resolution unanimously passed, Republican Leaders have admitted to knowing about Mr. Foley's outrageous behavior for six months to a year, and they chose to cover it up rather than to protect these children.

As the author of the resolution that the House unanimously passed, I am writing to insist that the Ethics Committee act as directed and immediately form the investigative Subcommittee and begin work on the preliminary report in 10 days. Central to the investigation is immediately questioning, under oath, the House Republican Leadership.

It is a nightmare for every child, parent and grandparent to learn that a child is being stalked on the internet by an adult in a position of authority. The fact that Mr. Foley was engaging in this behavior with underage children, that the Republican Leadership knew about it for six months to a year and has characterized the inappropriate behavior as "overly friendly" and "acting as a mentor" and that apparently no action was taken to protect these underage children is abhorrent.

The children, their parents, the public, and our colleagues must be assured that such abhorrent behavior is not tolerated and will never happen again.

Hastings was installed as Chairman to make sure this kind of thing never got anywhere. It won't. It's up to us, when we vote in November and when we help our candidates today.


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