Sunday, December 10, 2006



The "Garden of Eden" legend supposedly places that place in modern-day Iraq, pre-serpent/pre-Bush. But right now I feel like the place I'm in could have been the Garden of Eden. Regular DWT readers know I'm traveling around South America, recovering from entirely too much electoral blogging in the past 6 months. Notice how I've generally stayed away from the computer other than to write a short post every day or two at my travel blog? This morning I got some e-mails that just demand to be addressed. First I went with Maximllian out on the laguna here in Colonia Carlos Pelligrini in the heart of Esterios de Iberà in Corrientes Province. It's an incredibly beautiful and tranquil wetlands-- I was refering to it as "a swamp" before I got here. Anyway, for the last 3 hours I've been floating around and watching alligators and walking in the jungle looking at monkeys. And all the time Rahm Emanuel kept coming into my mind. Elsa, the proprietess of this incredible place I'm staying, Posada de Laguna, is letting me use her laptop. There's no TV here at the lodge but there is a satellite hookup for internet.

I can't paste and copy on this thing so I beg you to read this short CNN story on the Rahm Emanuel/Mark Foley connection.
[Here's the CNN report.--Ken]

Aide: Democrat leader heard of Foley e-mails in 2005

WASHINGTON (CNN)--The head of the House Democrats' campaign committee, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, had heard of former Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate e-mails to a former male page a year before they became public, a campaign committee aide told CNN.

Foley, a Republican, resigned after the scandal broke. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans have suggested repeatedly that some Democrats knew about the e-mails earlier than they have acknowledged, but waited till midterm elections approached to bring up the issue.

Emanuel's campaign committee aide said Friday that the Illinois Democrat was informed in 2005, but never saw the correspondence and did not have enough information to raise concerns. The aide said Emanuel took "no action" because his knowledge was "cursory" and little more than "rumor."

The aide's acknowledgement differs from the flat "no" Emanuel gave in October when asked--during an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"--if he or anyone on his staff knew of the e-mails before the scandal broke.

The e-mails surfaced when House Democratic staffer Matt Miller sent a copy of them to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's communications director, Bill Burton, in fall 2005, according to an investigative report released Friday.

Burton told Emanuel about the e-mails but did not tell reporters, the aide said.

In his deposition to the ethics committee, Miller said he also sent Foley's e-mails to the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, the Miami Herald and Roll Call, according to the report.

Miller also sent the material to Harper's Magazine "and possibly others," the report said.

Miller told the ethics committee he had sent the e-mails to the media because he considered them inappropriate and predicted "nothing would come" from giving them to the ethics panel or the House Page Board, according to the report.

Miller had sent the e-mails to the Democratic campaign committee with the expectation they would be shared with the media, he testified.

It wouldn't be until late September--six weeks before midterm elections--that media reports on those e-mails led to Foley's resignation and a political firestorm that contributed to Republicans' loss of the majority.
How e-mails got to Miller

The report released on Friday outlined how Miller received the e-mails:

* The former page--who had been sponsored by Louisiana Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander--was troubled by the e-mails. He sent them, along with Foley's request for a picture, to an employee in Alexander's office.

* The employee, Daniel Savoy, forwarded them to a friend, Kelley Halliwell, a former House employee who was working for a lobbying firm.

* Halliwell sent the e-mails to her boyfriend, Justin Field, who worked at the House Democratic Caucus with Miller.

Both Field and Miller testified that no one in the caucus office--including then- Chairman Rep. Bob Menendez of New Jersey--received the e-mails or was "involved in the decision to provide them to the press," the report said.

Menendez told CNN last week in a statement that he was never told about the e-mails.

Because Halliwell no longer works for the House, the ethics committee "did not attempt to reach a conclusion regarding whether her conduct could provide a basis for disciplinary action."

The panel only has jurisdiction over current House members and employees.

On Friday, the committee said although GOP leaders were negligent by not protecting teenage pages from possible improper advances but had broken no rules, and no one will be reprimanded.
This is a story I have been looking at since Dave Lutrin started telling me how Emanuel and his bullyboys were trying to drive him out of the Democratic primary. At the time I was very aware that the entrenched incumbent in a very Republican south-central Florida district was gay. But it was no secret from anyone, except of course the suckers and rubes who vote in the district, that Foley was a flaming homosexual who was out of control and couldn't keep his hands off young men. It was over a year ago I started writing about Foley and young military boys. What I didn't know at the time-- but, we now find out (despite his earlier public denials on TV)-- is that DCCC head Rahm Emanuel was aware at least since 2005 that Foley was molesting young male pages. Emanuel, every bit as bad a scumbag as Foley and the GOP leadership who covered up for Foley, did nothing to protect the young pages from predators like Foley and Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe (who was also preying on them). Instead he decided to use the info as ammo in his partisan war to win a seat from the Republicans.

I was scatching my head at the vehemence Emanuel employed in the run up to the primary in trying to drive Dave Lutrin out of the race. Lutin is a school teacher and union member and a good family man. He's also an independent-minded progressive, passionate about Democratic ideals and values-- exactly the kind of Democrat Emanuel loathes. Lutrin opposes the systemic corruption that allows weasels like Emanuel to thrive in DC and he opposed the war in Iraq that Emanuel was warning Democratic challengers to be quiet about.

Last June the current Emanuel-backed congressman-elect, Tim Mahoney, was a rich countryclub Republican and a corrupt businessman, Emanuel's cup of tea. Emanuel, already aware that he could force Foley to resign, convinced Mahoney to switch party registration-- although not values and principles; I mean there is a difference between Democratic values and Republican values... right?-- and voila! all Emanuel and his stooges, like Steny Hoyer and Ellen Tauscher, had to do was drive the real Democrat out of the primary and clear the way for Mahoney. This he did, employing all the dirty tricks he used during the election cycle to attack the campaigns of true Democrats like Jerry McNerney, Christine Cegelis, Carol Shea-Porter, Larry Kissell, Paul Hackett, John Hall and dozens of others all over the country.

When I get back from Argentina in January I plan to invite Dave Lutrin over to Firedoglake to talk about what happened in the district and how progressives can move forward inside of a Democratic Party dominated by slime like Emanuel and his coterie.

Yesterday, there was a run-off in New Orleans. It isn't a district a Republican can win. So Republicans joined corporate-oriented Democrats (plus normal Democrats sickened by the incumbent William Jefferson's barefaced corruption) to back the DLC candidate. Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in cash up his ass or in his freezer or something-- far less cash than Joe Lieberman was passing around in his re-election bid in Connecticut. Jefferson represents a Cunningham-like lone-wolf sort of corruption. The kind of corruption that is the hallmark of the Republican Party and their Democratic counterparts like Emanuel and the DLC is a far worse, far more pervasive systemic corruption that makes good government all but impossible in Washington. Jefferson won re-election. The idea is revolting. Of course, the idea of another DLC shill in Congress is also revolting.

Nancy Pelosi, properly, moved against Jefferson as soon as the $90,000 was discovered. Let's see what she does against her boy Rahm now. He should, at the very minimum, be immediately removed from any kind of leadership position inside the Democratic caucus. He should also resign from Congress, but I don't expect to see that until he's eventually caught for many more crimes than those just involving the Foley scandal. Emanuel is worse for the Democratic Party than anything the Republicans can throw our way.

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At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living in a mostly black major city, the Jefferson vote doesn't surprise me. Black leaders are routinely smeared with or without cause, and their communities tend to rally around them and give them the benefit of the doubt.

If Jefferson is the crook he appears, he'll be convicted and out of office soon anyway. I'm more concerned with how his corruption may be doing a disservice to his constituents in the meantime.

Maybe the LA Dems can use the time before Jefferson may be convicted to find a truly progressive candidate who will wholeheartedly act in their interest.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger ¡El Gato Negro! said...

Emmanuel ees due for a primary challenge (in 08 I believe), and as he ees een a heavily blue district, finding a real liberal to challenge heem could no be too difficult, eh?

Let us hope


At 3:52 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Believe me, we're looking! But remember, Emanuel basically doesn't represent a district with real people as much as he represents the old Daley political machine. You know how progressives are always crying about how Bush and the Republicans stole 2000 and 2004 in Florida and Ohio? They learned everything they know from Daley.

But we are looking for someone who wants to take Emanuel on in 2008. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be clear, I believe people should be able to love and marry whom they wish. My granddaughter married her partner on the day MA made it legal. Any intelligent person knows that gay DOES NOT EQUAL pedophile or predator. Having established my creds, I have to ask WHY Emanuel did not blow the whistle (no pun intended)as soon as he heard the "rumors". I can't believe that this guy who is political down to his bone marrow did not check out these rumors. Maybe he already knew. I may be uninformed, but is Emanuel gay himself? As I said, that's not a problem for me as long as he's not of the same stripe as Foley. Straight OR Gay, I can't stand the guy because of his political machinations against DNC Dean's 50 State Strategy to build the Democratic Party for the future, and his refusal to give that plan any credit for the mid-term victories in unexpected places. I'm also puzzled about his creepy behavior as a guest on The Daily Show back in late November.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

I'll jump in here, Jackie:

• To take the last point first, Rahm's creepy behavior on The Daily Show is easy to explain: He's a creepy guy. Here Howie's analogy with the Republicans' Tom DeLay may hold: For a lot of years the House Republican leadership tried not to let their Tom out in public because HE'S such a creepy guy.

• As to Rahms' motivation for sitting on what he now-clearly knew about Mark Foley, Howie's theory is that he sat on the information (which wasn't that Foley is gay, which everybody in D.C. knew, but that there was evidence of predatory behavior toward minors) until it would be politically useful to him. Presumably, the theory goes, if nothing happened in the interim, all Rahm had to do was line up the candidate of his choice to run as a Dem, and when push came to shove, Foley could be force out of the race, one way or another.

There doesn't seem to be an awful lot of "love" involved in our Mark's sexual predilections, by the way--as seems generally true of these self-loathing closet cases. No, our Mark just seems to like 'em hot and hung, and in the first flowering of their virile manhood.


At 12:19 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Jackie, I never thought Emanuel was gay (nor, for that matter, "not gay"); just a creep. I hope no one infers that he's gay because I have pointed out his previous career as a ballerina. I know for a fact that there are plenty of not gay men who are also ballerinas (ballerinos?) Personally I don't care if he resumes his ballet career or his career of manipulating stocks and bonds and banking deals-- anything so long as he stops corrupting the Democratic Party and the democratic process.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean to jump off topic too far here, but Foley with minors? isn't this a crime and does anyone know if he's been charged, arrested, convicted and sentenced? If not, why not?

At 2:45 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Although it has been suggested that the deal may have been sealed with some young men, even if there were proof, the legalities are blurry. You need to know, for example, the age of consent wherever it is you're talking about. You would also need a complainant, and if such things happened, in all likelihood the young men were using Foley at least as much as he was using them.

In general, though, the pattern seems to have been to establish an explicitly intimate correspondence until the party of the 2nd part reached 18. Even then, it's not as if you have involved parties flocking to tell their stories.

One thing that seems clear is that, notwithstanding careless references to "pedophilia," no one has ever suggested that Foley has any interest in children. That's a whole other thing.


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Mona Neil said...

Quotes from some of these emails suggest, given the boys' ages and his postition of being an adult supervisor of these boys, that some VISABlE line was crossed. Are there no laws defining this type of conduct? At the very least, he must have broken codes of conduct that Congress have established for this program, with penalties for abuse more than just his turning tail and going home. No? Is it at least still being investagated?

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Keith England said...

Rahm is slime, no doubt about it, for a multitude of reasons, but as regards the Foley matter, what if he HAD raised the issue in 2005? The GOP was still riding relatively high, still enjoying relative popularity... is there any doubt that rather than dealing with the issue and Foley immediately, the cover-up would have ensued and immediate GOP damage control would have been implemented to secure the seat... I'm not saying he did the right thing, far from it, but would Rahm Emanuel's raising the issue in 2005 led to greater safety for the House pages or a better cover-up? Just thinking out loud here...

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Keith England said...

Further, had the lid been blown (pun intended) on Foley in 2005, Foley would have resigned and Jebbie would have appointed his successor who'd have run in 2006 as an incumbent rather than a guy whose name wasn't even on the ballot...

At 6:27 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

thatsinger, many observers think that everyone's primary responsibility-- particularly Hastert's, but also the entire Republican leadership and Emanuel (all those who were aware that Foley was either raping the pages or, at the very minimum molesting them)-- was to put partisanship aside for a moment and think about one thing and one thing only: the safety of the underage pages whose care was in their hands. Foley, Kolbe, Hastert, Reynolds, Boehner, Blunt and Emanuel should all rot in prison for the rest of their lives for allowing Foley to continue molesting underage boys while both the entire GOP leadership and Emanuel (the Democrat most like them) plotted partisan advantage. This is NOT about keeping or winning a congressional seat, it is about the safety of these children. Hastert failed these boys and the Republican leadership didn't give a hoot about one of their own molesting underage boys in their care-- so long as they could save the seat. Emanuel is just like them: the hell with the boys, as long as he could win the seat for a make-believe Democrat who would support his personal powerbid. (Newspaper reports during the Hoyer-Murtha battle for the caucus leadership, in which Hoyer was Emanuel's pawn, used Mahoney as the primary example of a newly elected Democrat strongly behind Hoyer. It's beyond me that Pelosi has been so inept as the allow Emanuel to utterly control the Democratic message to the mass media.)

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the republicans stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, how did the Dems get their 2006 elections considering this Emmanual thing. I'm just saying.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the reasons I don't support Hillary is her connection with Emmanuel and his ilk. Each time the Dems have a press conference and he is present, he is the one who makes the poorest case for whatever the issue. In addition, he does what the Republicans do, he just says the same thing over and over. I hope someone will challenge him.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are people surprised when politicians behave like politicians? They are all politicians, Republican, Democrat, Independent. You can't condemn one and not the other, and you can't condemn them for being what they are.
But, if Rahm Emanuel is gay, ballerino or no, lesbian wife or no, should that have affected how he handled the Foley affair, or did he act appropriately for a politician?
It's pointless to attack and complain, because if he left office, he would be replaced by another--politician!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger TheDailyLmo said...

wow, it's 2012 & hardly anything has changed. Closeted Repubs still troll Congress. Rahm went on to be rewarded as Obama's brain & later the reincarnation of Richard Daley. Progressives still moan about the Dem Party establishment that undercuts & loathes them.


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