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Rep. Shimkus "is toast"

No Quarter Blog | October 3, 2006

Along with news that the FBI is "examining former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mail exchanges with teenagers to determine if they violated federal law," Americablog (via Hunter's front-page post at Daily Kos ) reports that "GOP Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) let Foley spend 'a lot of time' with pages, including private dinner with one," after the GOP knew Foley was a problem. By the way, according to Roll Call , Rep. Shimkus, Chairman of the House Page Board, never informed the board's one Democrat, 20-year board member Rep. Dale Kildee, about Foley.

Shimkus is toast. There's even video [ at C-Span ] of Shimkus letting Foley talk to the pages AFTER the GOP knew Foley had page-issues.

You'll recall [he] runs the Page Board ... You'll also recall that tonight we learned on ABC News that GOP House staff warned the page class of 2001-2002 to stay away from ex-Rep. Mark Foley.

[O]n June 6, 2002, well after [pages] were warned to stay away from Foley, Shimkus notes approvingly that Foley has spent a lot of time with the Page Class of 2001-2002 ...

[Photo of Shimkus from " Republicans covered up Mark Foley's sex scandal for almost a year ," Media Girl's Blog , Sept. 30, 2006]

At the pages' June 2002 farewell ceremony, Rep. Shimkus says , "Now someone who spends a lot of time with you also, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Foley], would like to say a thank you."

Below, the story gets darker ... on the bright side, there's Shimkus's Democratic opponent, Danny Stover , a Centralia City Councilman and political science professor, still a longshot, who cites as an example of reprehensible action the Bush administration's attempts "to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson by outing his wife Valerie Plame." Today, candidate Stover attacked Shimkus's involvement in the Foley scandal:

From " Candidate alleges Foley case cover-up ," Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat , October 1, 2006:

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, took part in a "cover-up" orchestrated by senior Republicans to protect a fellow GOP member of Congress accused of sending sexually graphic e-mails to underage male pages, Shimkus' Democratic opponent charged Saturday. [...]

Shimkus, the chairman of the House Page Board, failed to probe allegations that surfaced last year that U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, of Florida, had sent inappropriate messages to several male pages, said Dan Stover, who is seeking to unseat Shimkus from the congressional seat he's held for the past 10 years.

"It looks like a deliberate cover-up to either get past the election, or to ride it out, or at the very least not do their central job of Congressional oversight," said Stover, a Centralia City Council member. [...]

Stover, the Democrat seeking to unseat Shimkus, said the scandal involving Foley is another example of the Republicans' poor oversight over Congress.

"Well, they haven't kept the president on a short leash," Stover said. "And now they haven't taken care of business in the House of Representatives, either."

Rep. Shimkus, as Chairman of the House Page Board, not only didn't protect the pages, he acted as Rep. Foley's enabler despite knowing of Foley's improper contacts with pages. Americablog 's report continues :

Foley then gets up in front of Shimkus [at the pages' farewell event] and tells a special little story of how he took one male page to a private dinner in downtown Washington, DC. Put the page in his BMW and "cruised" - Foley's word - to dinner.

And now for the kicker.

Foley told the kid he had to get permission from his mom and he had to notify the Clerk of the House, Jeff Trandahl, the Republican staffer who works for Republican Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R-IL). You'll also recall that Trandahl is the Clerk who joined Shimkus in 2005 to talk to Foley about the creepy email exchange with the first child who got this scandal started.

Why did Shimkus let Foley spend so much time with the pages after GOP staff already knew Foley had a "page problem"? Did the Clerk of the House approve of this dinner? Did Shimkus? Clearly Foley had no fear in the kid going to Clerk and asking for permission - so Foley seemed to think the Clerk wouldn't mind. And clearly Foley had no fear in telling the story in front of Shimkus, so he obviously didn't think Shimkus would mind either.

Shimkus then introduces Foley. Read what Foley has to say to the pages of the 2001-2002 class in his speech wishing them goodbye.

FOLEY: John [one of the pages] was the highest bidder on lunch with Mark Foley. Maybe you all do not know this story, but John had paid considerable sums to dine with me. I had offered to take the winning bidder to lunch in the Members' dining room. Then I heard how much John Eunice paid. And I said, ``John, there is no way in the world after you committed so much money to have lunch with me that I would dare take you downstairs to eat in the Members' dining room.'' I said, ``Where do you want to go?'' He says, without reservation, ``Morton's.'' I said, ``Morton's? Like in Morton's Steakhouse?'' He said, ``Oh, would that be too much?'' I said, ``Oh, no, we'll go.'' I said, ``Call your mother, get permission, make sure she notifies the Clerk and we will go to Morton's.'' And so we proceeded to cruise down in my BMW to Morton's.

[The transcript is at MyDD blog .]

Putting aside the creepy notion of children bidding on dinner with an already-suspected child sex predator, what in God's name were Shimkus and the Clerk doing approving of Foley taking a kid in his BMW to a private dinner in downtown Washington? The GOP staff already knew that Foley was trouble. They had already warned the kids. Yet Shimkus let Foley spend lots of time with the kids, by Shimkus' own admission. And then they let Foley cruise the kid to dinner in his beamer.

It's clear that Shimkus doesn't deserve to be reelected to Congress. Check out his opponent Danny Stover :

Danny L. Stover, Centralia City Councilman and political science professor at Kaskaskia College, has announced his candidacy for United States Representative in Illinois District 19.

Stover currently has over 1,200 signatures from residents of the 19th District in support of his nomination to be on the Democrat ballot for the March 2006 primary.

With over 30 years of public service as an educator and in elected office, Stover has fought for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility while still advancing the cause of children, the poor and the elderly. A press release from Stover states that, as an educator he understands the need to adequately fund schools, and as a city councilman he has fought the battles to build the roads and maintain the infrastructure without wasting money on pork and pet projects.

Stover sees the poor economy in the area and the growing deficit as motivations to his run for office.

According to Stover, “Keeping jobs in Southern Illinois is my top priority.”

He adds, “Our government should strive to represent the interests of the American people — not to represent political cronies, greed and spite. Our nation is over $8 trillion in debt, and our children and grandchildren's future has been mortgaged by Republican policies which only favor the rich.” ...

Salem Times-Commoner newspaper

From Stover's issues page , under "Ethics and Corruption in Government":

  • From Halliburton to Tom DeLay to Scooter Libby to Duke Cunningham, an atmosphere of corruption and scandal seems to be creeping into our national conscience and awareness.
  • The Bush administration attempted to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson by outing his wife Valerie Plame , as a CIA operative because he was critical of the administration's polocies in Iraq. Not only was this action reprehensible, it was also dangerously irresponsible and reflective of an atmosphere in Washington and American politics that we could do without.
  • Corporate influence over our foreign and domestic policies should be investigated, from the prosecution of the war to conflicts of interest to no bid contracts and disaster relief contracts, all of which Americans have grown to view as "politics as usual."
  • Our government should strive to represent the interests of the American people - not political cronies, greed and spite.

Let's spread the word about Danny Stover and ask our friends to support his campaign.



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