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Ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R) official portrait
Are you in your boxers, too?
My jaw dropped open when I read this. That's not some kind of exaggeration—I went slackjawed and speechless, and I think you will, too:
Early this year, shortly after launching his reelection campaign, the congressman sought out a surprising figure—former GOP Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid revelations that he had sent sexually-charged electronic messages to House pages. Foley, who had represented much of the southwestern Florida district, counseled West to run to the middle—advice the congressman didn't take issue with.

Foley thought highly of West—at one point, he even advised the freshman to run for Senate in 2012, reasoning that his fundraising capabilities and national profile would make him a strong contender. But as Foley watched the House race play out, he saw West embracing much of the same conservative rhetoric that he had in his previous races.

And instead of presenting his compelling life story—West rose from an upbringing in the Georgia slums, eventually becoming a military commander before running for Congress—the Republican seemed intent on tearing down Murphy in harshly personal terms. One West TV ad blasted Murphy for his underage drinking arrest a decade ago, showing a mug shot of the intoxicated then-teenager.

"I think Allen might have been a bit too conservative for the district," Foley said in an interview. "The district was extremely center-focused."

Mark Foley! Yes, of course, that Mark Foley—because you can't write a story about Mark Foley without reminding readers about who Foley is. Of course, Politico just squeezes in the capsule summary—and they neglect a key detail (think "jailbait"). But I'm only too happy for the chance to bring up the full story once again:
Florida Rep. Mark Foley’s resignation came just hours after ABC News questioned the congressman about a series of sexually explicit instant messages involving congressional pages, high school students who are under 18 years of age. In Congress, Rep. Foley (R-FL) was part of the Republican leadership and the chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children. [...]

But, according to several former congressional pages, the congressman used the Internet to engage in sexually explicit exchanges. They say he used the screen name Maf54 on these messages provided to ABC News.

Remember those messages? Immortally revolting:
Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.



Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you.



Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.
And there's a nice little bit of "coming full circle"-ness here as well: Foley's debacle turned this seat (previously numbered the 16th) over to the Democrats, who promptly lost it one term later to Republican Tom Rooney. (Our own guy, Tim Mahoney, had some sexual peccadilloes of his own—but at least with women his own age!) After redistricting, Rooney decided to seek re-election in the new 17th instead, leaving what had once been Foley's old seat open for Allen West, which he of course just lost to Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Amazingly, though, Foley's advice to West was actually on the money—stop being such a crazy mofo—though I'd imagine West could have picked up that tip from someone less grotesquely disgraced. Of course, I'm delighted that West wound up ignoring Foley, since West's inability to control what he said was key to his loss. Actually, maybe West did follow in Foley's footsteps, because Foley's inability to control what he said was also key to his own destruction. Like I said, we've truly come full circle!

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