Former Rep. Mark Foley
A radical activist on a mission to “out” conservative homosexual lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers held on to information about Rep. Mark Foley’s relationships with underage male pages, suggesting the story would break at the time of mid-term elections.
Blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit points to a campaign by activist Mike Rogers who had Foley on a “target list” of 20 people and shared the information with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Foley abruptly resigned Friday as reports surfaced of inappropriate e-mails with a male page. Later, ABC News released online instant messages of more salacious exchanges. Foley has issued a statement saying he checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation program at an undisclosed location.
In July 2004, the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade reported Rogers helped lead an “ongoing outing campaign on the Hill” ahead of the Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would bar same-sex marriage.
Among nearly 20 names on the “target list” provided to the Blade were Foley and Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
The paper said a spokesman for Foley declined to comment after another homosexual activist, John Aravosis, asserted on his website the previous week that Foley is “gay.”
“Both members of Congress have long been the subject of rumors about their sexual orientation,” the paper said.
Rogers – in a March 4, 2005, post on his website BlogActive.com – declared Foley to be “gay” and, therefore, a hypocrite for voting for legislation against the homosexual agenda. The post said: “MARK FOLEY WILL BE EXPOSED FOR THE HYPOCRITE HE IS THROUGH A MAIL AND INTERNET CAMPAIGN THAT WILL REACH INTO EVERY HOME IN HIS DISTRICT.”
More than a year ago, in a March 2005 post, Rogers said he had thought hard about what kind of action to take and said that while none would be taken at the moment, “When we get closer to the mid-term elections, I am sure more will surface.”
Rogers did his own investigation of Foley, writing that through his recorded discussions with current and former staff members he learned how the congressman “hit on” young men at the Republican convention.
In a post Sunday, Rogers wrote about his attempt to communicate with Democrat officials, saying “the good news is that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is finally getting it.”
Rogers said that prior to the Foley story breaking Friday, he called the DCCC’s director of communications, Bill Burton, to let him know that the information about Foley – and another case – were “coming down the pike.”
Burton had promised to have someone e-mail or return Rogers’ call but apparently didn’t follow though. Now, however, since the story broke Friday, said Rogers, “I am glad he followed up on my call and was ready on Friday to come out of the gate running.”
Rogers added: “The bad new is they are still not paying enough attention. … There are others within reach. … If the Democrats would only fight half as hard as the Republicans.”
Rogers said he posted comments about Foley on the DCCC website, but they were deleted.
In another post, Rogers admitted he had possession of the lurid Foley e-mails before they were posted on the Web.
“As people know, it’s not always possible for me to disclose my role in some of the activities.
I can say this. I had the emails before they were on the net. Additionally, I had the additional emails, written by the page to a friend. The story was being written by a number of outlets and I provided additional information to reporters involved in the breaking of this story.
Was (I) the central figure in reporting on Foley’s latest scandal? Never said I was. Was my work on the case important to helping make sure it came out before the election? Yes.
Did I have any idea that the GOP leadership was engaged in a cover-up? Nope. Do I love the fact that they are trying to spin this as “naughty emails?” Yup. because it shows how out of (touch) they are about queer closet cases.”
Aravosis, in his AmericaBlog in 2004, showed his anger at Foley for keeping his homosexuality hidden while backing President Bush, calling the congressman “our latest closeted gay hypocrite.”
Foley, who at the time was running for the Senate, responded to the “outing” by Aravosis by holding a telephone press conference with Florida media in which he called the discussion about his sexual orientation “revolting.” He refused to answer any questions about the charge and later abandoned his bid for the Senate, citing concerns over his father’s health.
Blogger Hoft believes, however, Foley dropped out of the Senate race “because of pressure by Aravosis and the radical gay movement to make his life hell for being a closeted homosexual.”