04 October, 2006

Reynolds Aide Resigns, Says He Warned Of Foley's Actions Long Ago

Kirk Fordham, chief of staff of Buffalo-area Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds, resigned today, but denied he played any role in trying to cover up the sex scandal involving former Florida congressman Mark Foley.

Acording to the Associated Press , Fordham, who was Foley's chief of staff until last year, said he told House Speaker Dennis Hastart's office three years ago of Foley's questionable actions in relation to teenage pages. Fordham would not say who he spoke with in Hastert's office.

Fordham has been accused of offering ABC News exclusive information in exchange for supression of some of the more lurid IMs it had in its posession when the story broke late last week.

The New York state Democratic Party, which has been weighing in frequently via e-mail on the Foley matter, said Fordham's resignation is all well and good but...

"While this aide's behavior was clearly inappropriate, this scandal was, is, and will continue to be about Tom Reynolds and the reprehensible way he put politics over the safety of children. The buck stops with Mr. Reynolds and he personally needs to be accountable for his actions -- and lack thereof." That comment came today from Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the New York state Democratic Party.

A local Democratic candidate for Congress is weighing in on the matter as well.

John Hall, who is trying to take away Rep. Sue Kelly's seat in New York's 19'th District,
said Kelly, a Republican, should answer "relevant questions" about the Foley affair.

Kelly chaired the Congressional Paige Board from Feb. 1999 to Jan. 2001. Foley was in Congress at the time, but one-plus-one doesn't necessarily ad up in this instance.

Still Hall claims Kelly has some answering to do.

" Rep. Foley's perverse actions may have taken place under Sue Kelly's watch," Hall said. "When it seems that so many others knew of Foley's lewd and entirely inappropriate behavior, why didn't Sue Kelly? And if she did know, why didn’t she do anything to protect these children?"

Reynolds campaigned today in Amherst, N.Y., with first lady Laura Bush and Gov. George Pataki. The AP questioned voters there about Reynolds' role in the Foley matter and found many voters think his response came up short.

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