Former Foley Chief of Staff Resigns Over Page Scandal

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Oct 04, 2006 1:53 PM

There's some conflict in reports as to whether he resigned or was fired.

Update: New reports say he resigned.

ABC calls it the first GOP casualty:

The chief of staff for Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds, Kirk Fordham, was reportedly fired today for his role in the handling of the congressional page scandal, according to Republican sources on Capitol Hill.

Fordham, a former chief of staff for Congressman Mark Foley, reportedly urged Republican leaders not to raise questionable Foley e-mails with the full Congressional Page Board, made up of two Republicans and a Democrat.

"He begged them not to tell the page board," said one of the Republican sources.

Fordham's folks say the chief of staff is a scapegoat for Hastert, and that he informed the Speaker of problems, but the same ABC report has this tidbit:

Fordham offered ABC News a deal if it would not publish the content of the instant messages.

"He said we could have the exclusive on the resignation if we did not run direct quotes from the instant messages," said Maddy Sauer, the ABC News producer who dealt with Fordham.

Sounds like, even after the explicit IMs came out, Fordham was shielding Foley instead of the pages. Shady.

And, the liberal blogosphere may be itching to go all "Michael Rogers" on the GOP. You know, because they love gay people and privacy above all, which requires that they start outing gay Republican staffers against their wishes for political advantage. Tolerance.

Update: Background on Fordham, who apparently was chief of staff for Foley and was working with Reynolds at the time of his resignation.  

Update: Fox read a Fordham statement. 

"It's clear the Democrats are intent on making me a political issue in my boss' (Reynolds) race for reelection, and I will not allow that to happen."

I'll look for the whole thing. He also denied blocking or impeding any investigations of Foley's improprieties. Here's the whole statement:

"I have resigned today from Congressman Tom Reynolds' office. It is clear the Democrats are intent on making me a political issue in my boss's race, and I will not let them do so.

I want to clarify a few things: When I sought to help Congressman Foley and his family when his shocking secrets were being revealed, I did so as a friend of my former boss, not as Congressman Reynolds' Chief of Staff. I reached out to the Foley family, as any good friend would, because I was worried about their emotional well-being.

At the same time, I want it to be perfectly clear that I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation of Foley's conduct by House officials or any other authorities.

Like so many, I feel betrayed by Mark Foley's indefensible behavior. Again, I will not allow the Democrats to make me a political issue in my boss's race, and I will fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation."

Update: I wonder if that's what this was all about.

Update: More illicit, elected sex, here. I have a feeling October on this blog is gonna give Penthouse Letters a run for its money.

Also, just an aside. This post went up at 1:53 p.m. Other blogs have been on it since about the same time. The NYT still has nothing on it. It's 2:30 p.m. Just sayin'.

Update: Penthouse Letters, here I come!

So Amber Madison is at the front of the room reading from her new book, sharing the story of her decision to have sex for the first time. The set-up involves out-of-town parents, a condom, tequila shots and slow-dancing to Aaron Neville. The boy tosses her over his shoulder and takes her to the bedroom.

Things are progressing as planned until, well, they're not. (Let's just say that it happens to every boy sometime.)

Then after she is finished reading from "Hooking Up: A Girl's All-Out Guide to Sex & Sexuality," Amber takes questions from the 20 or so people assembled on a recent afternoon in the student union at UNC-Chapel Hill. The candor of her book, which mixes sexual memoir, medical information and relationship advice, leads one young woman to raise her hand and offer this:

"What do your parents think?"

Amber, who is 23, smiles.

"Do you guys want to take that one?"

And with that, heads turn toward the most parent-ish duo in the room, Roger Madison and Jane Leserman, who are sitting about halfway back near the aisle.

Dad, sounding like the research scientist he is, talks about the amount of misinformation floating around about sex, and about how his daughter's book helps to change that by giving young women access to the facts.

Mom takes a more motherly approach.

"We're very proud of her," she says.

To quote my dad, "these people are not normal." I mean, Aaron Neville? Har.

Yeah, I'm not sure discussing your tequila-soaked first time in front of a crowd of college co-eds and your parents is the kind of emotional "health" and "openness" I'm lookin' for.

Also, tequila-- ruining the "first time" and the first day at the Supreme Court for overly sensitive court reporters. It's the devil's wormy brew. Ahh, October.