The Note: Bugging Indecisions

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5

Here's a Note exclusive, a joint statement from two gentlemen who wish to demonstrate that there is unity and harmony between the Office of the Speaker and the Office of the Majority Leader:

Dearest Gang of 500:

The most common denominator threaded throughout this story is the question: To whom should those of us in the media assign blame? Our answer is simple: the blame lies squarely with Mark Foley. Mark Foley lied. Mark Foley engaged in widespread deception. Mark Foley disgraced the institution to which he was elected to serve. Mark Foley resigned in disgrace before the entire Congress expelled him from office. Mark Foley should be and will be held accountable for his despicable actions.

Additionally, any individual or individuals with knowledge of these explicit instant messages between Mark Foley and underage pages or former pages should come forward and provide this information to the proper authorities. These witnesses must cooperate with law enforcement about their knowledge of these explicit communications. Also any individuals who had prior knowledge of these instant messages and provided them to the media instead of alerting the proper authorities must answer questions about their motives and the possibility that they put others at risk.

House Democrats interested only in tearing down reputations in order to make a power grab will be sorely disappointed. Republicans are unified in our outrage against Mark Foley and resolute in our determination to complete a full and thorough investigation of the facts. That House Democrats have decided to merely resort to crass political maneuvering indicates they are motivated only by their political self-interest.

Ron Bonjean

Communications Director

Office of the Speaker

Kevin Madden

Press Secretary

Office of the House Majority Leader

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) has no public events scheduled for today and was expected to remain at home in Illinois.

But a green town car left Hastert's residence this morning around 6:00 am local time with a woman driving. It was too dark to tell if anyone was huddled in the back but the stake-out crew speculation is the car was perhaps headed to the small local airport and the Speaker may be enroute back to DC.

(If you have never been at a media stake-out, however, you can't appreciate how wild -- and often baseless -- such speculation can be. Still, some have wondered why the Speaker was hanging out at home, rather than getting to DC to huddle with staff and try to fix things.)

Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times has this: "'Denny is reaching out to everyone he can reach out to,' his former spokesman, John Feehery, told me on Wednesday. 'I just don't know how the story plays out, how much oxygen is out there.''' LINK

(In response to yesterday's Note, John Feehery tells ABC News on the record that the Speaker is doing all he can do to address the problem and working to get his message out. And/but he is advising the Speaker on this matters and watching the situation evolve.)

Unresolved: if the ethics committee will move the ball; how bad Republican race-by-race polling data will have to get to move the ball; if any of the House Republican leaders are capable of trust any more; if the base can be sufficiently rallied by attacks on ABCNEWSOROS; and the contradictions between Fordham and Palmer.

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