The resolution stipulates that "numerous confusing and conflicting media reports that House Democratic leaders knew about, and may have failed to handle appropriately, allegations that Rep. Massa was sexually harassing his own employees have raised serious and legitimate questions about what Speaker Pelosi as well as other Democratic leaders and their respective staffs were told, and what those individuals did with the information in their possession."
Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, who earned a House Ethics Committee slap on the wrist in 1990 after using his congressional office to fix parking tickets for male prostitute Steven Gobie, was one of those leaders in the know. After voting for the resolution, he disclosed for the first time that Massa had invited one of his young staffers to dinner. "Although this was not an ethical violation," Frank said in a published statement, one of his senior staffers was informed of the dinner and alerted Massa's Chief of Staff Joe Racalto.
In other words: Frank's office knew it smelled illicit. And Frank would know.
Racalto went on to contact Pelosi's office directly in October. Tick, tick, tick. Five months later, in the wake of Massa's own self-professed proclivity for tickle parties and victim/witness accounts of Massa's alleged sexual assaults on his Navy underlings, Pelosi is pooh-poohing the scandal: "I have a job to do and not to be the receiver of rumors." Translation: Don't bother me with concerns about my members' indiscretions. I'm busy. How quickly we've accelerated from the "most ethical" House ever to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
There was a time when Pelosi the protector held House leaders to the highest standards and expectations in guarding young people working on Capitol Hill. During the GOP Mark Foley scandal, she inveighed: "The children who work as Pages in the Congress are Members' special trust. Statements by the Republican Leadership indicate that they violated this trust when they were made aware of the Internet stalking of an underage Page by Mr. Foley and covered it up for six months to a year."
Yet, she remains silent on the plight of the 20-somethings with whom Massa was keeping house under circumstances that rate an Ick Factor of 10-plus. Massa's alleged targets are someone's children, too.
Deflecting accountability for her own office's violations of trust, Pelosi feigned sympathy for Massa and attributed his impaired ethical judgment to his medical condition (he has cancer). "Poor baby," she said through gritted teeth. He's "a very sick person." So, what's Pelosi's excuse?