A 16-year-old male congressional page concerned about the appropriateness of an e-mail exchange with a congressman alerted Capitol Hill staffers to the communication.
Congressman Mark Foley's office says the e-mails were entirely appropriate and that their release is part of a smear campaign by his opponent.
In the series of e-mails, obtained by ABC News, between the page and Rep. Foley (R-FL), Foley asks the page how old he is, what he wants for his birthday and requests a photo of him.
The concerned page alerted congressional staffers to the e-mails. In one e-mail, the page writes to a staffer, "Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."
Foley's office acknowledges that Foley wrote the e-mails to the page but says they were completely innocent and that Foley is only guilty of being overly friendly.
The e-mails were sent from Foley's personal AOL account. In one, Foley writes, "did you have fun at your conference...what do you want for your birthday coming up...what stuff do you like to do."
In another Foley writes, "how are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me an email pic of you as well..."
The page forwarded that e-mail to a congressional staffer saying it was "sick sick sick sick sick."
Aravosis has the emails (follow the link above to read them), and has one in which Mark Foley emails the page to tell him how hot his (the page's) friend is.
I just emailed will...hes such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now headed to the gym...whats school like for you this year?
This story has hit the district press. Bizarre? Yeah. But it has legs.
What a crazy election this has become.
On the web: Tim Mahoney for Congress (Democratic candidate in the district)