Stand up, Mr. Blunt, and tell us what you knew
It’s Monday, and leading Missouri papers like the St. Louis Post-Dispatchand the Kansas City Star have yet to ask GOP Majority Whip Roy Blunt what he knew and when he knew it regarding the Mark Foley predatory email and IM scandal. Where are the investigations from vaunted “news leaders” such as KSDK? Blunt was not only part of the Republican House leadership at the time the story was first broached to that same leadership, he was in the top chair as interim Majority Leader and fighting to keep the position, as the National Journal‘s Hotline reports:
It’s important to note that when the House GOP leadership first apparently learned of something amiss with Foley and a page, the GOP leadership team was in flux. Roy Blunt was the acting Majority Leader fighting with John Boehner to keep the job permanently.Did the House GOP leadership vacuum that was created by DeLay’s departure lead to a situation where no one was calling the political shots? And did that sense of chaos create anxiety, preventing Republicans from taking the steps necessary to protect these underage pages?
Blunt and other GOP leaders are quick to express outrage and call for investigations of Foley now that the story has been exposed, but where is the investigation of their handling of the matter when it was first brought to their attention? Why did they not at the time alert the three-member bipartisan panel that oversaw the page system? Where are the explorations of their connections to Foley? Roy Blunt’s poltical action committee donated nearly $5,000 to Foley this year alone. Foley gave a thousand dollars to the gubernatorial campaign of Blunt’s son, Matt Blunt.
The Republican response to charges that they should have acted forcefully and much earlier has been a weak excuse: they knew only of the initial emails, not the instant messages. That evasion is exposed and quashed by a reader at Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, and given emphasis here:
There’s a weak excuse emerging from Republicans for Foleygate – they might have known about the e-mails to Rep. Alexander’s page, but they never knew about the explicit IMs. Too much of the media coverage right now is centering on that question, as if knowledge of the IMs is the only way to show the leadership was remiss.But that’s irrelevant, and here’s why: Once ABC got hold of the e-mails, it took them one day to flush out the IMs. That’s what an actual investigation looks like. The Republican leadership simply didn’t want to know how bad the Foley situation was. That’s just as morally negligent as if they had started digging and found the IMs.
Roy Blunt’s connections to the disgraced Foley demand an accounting of his role in the coverup of the Foley scandal. At least one Republican has shown the courage to call for a full accounting of the leadership:
Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said any leader who had been aware of Mr. Foley’s behavior and failed to take action should step down. “If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem, they should not serve in leadership,” Mr. Shays said.
Who will hold Roy Blunt accountable? It’s time for the Missouri press to step up and ask questions.