Foley Report: Self Policing Fails (again)

Count me among those who think the non-action by the sub committee for Moaning and Sighing is scandalous all by itself.

Howard Berman,
otherwise a good Dem,[notably, except for his Invade Iraq vote in 2003] has soiled his good name with this report. [pdf]

Notwithstanding the concerns regarding the specific conduct of some individuals who learned of certain allegations regarding Representative Foley … the Invesitgative Subcommittee did not find any current House Members or employees violated the House Code of Official Conduct.

Even the NY Times Editorial writers get it: “the bipartisan committee produced a report yesterday that was a 91-page exercise in cowardice.

As Melanie Sloan of CREW says:

“This report is proof positive that the ethics committee is incapable of handling allegations of wrongdoing. To restore the public’s confidence in the congressional ethics process, the new Congress should immediately move to create an Office of Public Integrity to handle complaints against members of Congress.”

CREW Press Release

Aside from the Committee’s failure to find that any House Ethics rules were broken, two other things struck me. Those people directly reponsible for supervising the Pages, in the Residence Hall and at the School, seem not to have been in the loop enough to be the first point of contact for the offended Pages. Those who did complain went to their sponsoring Representative, which makes sense enough I suppose. But the Pages don’t work for their Sponsors; they are not in their offices doing their work. They work the House floor and for many people. Had I been in their shoes I might have thought to complain to someone I saw often, as a mentor or supervisor; a teacher, a Residence Hall supervisor. That didn’t happen.

The second thing that struck me is that although the letter from the Committee to all Representatives said it was “conducting an enquiry regarding any conduct of House Members, officers, staff related to information concerning improper conduct involving Members and current and former House Pages” the only matter of investigation in the report is about Foley. No Page called the 800 number and spoke of improper conduct of any other House Member? I hope it’s true that all the Ladies and Gentlemen are so well behaved but with 17 year olds of both sexes wanting attention and Representatives of all proclivities frankly, I’m surprised. Adult sexual interest in adolesents is certainly not, by sadly long and sadly documented evidence, a perculiarity of homosexuals.

Interestingly, Berman doesn’t make his e-mail public, but here is the DC address and phone. You might want to send him your comments,

Congressman Howard L. Berman
2221 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4695

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