A senior congressional aide said Wednesday that he alerted the House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office in 2004 about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages -- the earliest known alert to the GOP leadership.
Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had "more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene."
The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House GOP leadership have acknowledged.
Fordham was forced to resign today as NRCC head Tom Reynolds chief of staff -- the most immediate impetus seems to be his attempts to kill the story and protect Foley as late as last Friday. As Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC when the explosive news broke, now there's "blood in the water."
Now Fordham's talking, and this is only going to get worse.
One thing all parties agree on -- the honest conservatives, the dishonest conservatives, the media -- is that the GOP leadership is in complete chaos, here. The "honest" conservatives are genuinely infuriated at the betrayal, yet again, of the most basic tenets of ethics and morality, this time right in the very building. The dishonest conservatives are furious at the hamfisted, disasterous responses still happening from Hastert, Reynolds, Boehner, and the others. Hastert has almost no remaining support from any quarter.