The complex nature of the “dirty trick” against the Republicans over the Mark Foley scandal is beginning to emerge. It doesn’t involve a George Soros-funded group or emails that had been in the possession of the media or shopped around by Democratic operatives. Instead, the GOP has played a trick on itself. The party brought so-called gay Republicans into positions of power in Congress only to realize that the confidential information they held about a secret gay network was political dynamite that could backfire.
At this point in the scandal, the issue is not whether there was such a network, but how big it is. CBS Evening News correspondent Gloria Borger reported the emerging belief that “a group of high-level gay Republican staffers were protecting” Foley. A New York Times story by Mark Leibovich confirmed that gay Republicans have occupied “crucial staff positions” in Congress and “have played decisive roles in passing legislation, running campaigns and advancing careers.”
The mystery man at the center of the scandal, Jeff Trandahl, is supposed to be a “lifelong Republican” who is gay. But Trandahl, who supervised the congressional page program as House clerk and knew about the controversial Foley emails many years ago, has a strange way of showing his Republicanism. A search of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records over the last six years shows no financial contributions to the Republican Party or Republican candidates. Instead, Trandahl in 2000 gave $1,200 to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which gives over 80 percent of its political campaign money to Democrats.
Trandahl is so much of a Republican that he joined the board of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, another gay political action committee that commits most of its funds to electing Democrats. Its latest list of “winning candidates” is all Democrats, except for Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, who admits not voting for President Bush in 2004.
If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.
In response to the scandal, a representative of the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual activist group, has been on cable channels like CNN and MSNBC expressing the fear that the Foley scandal will be used to root out homosexual influence in the Republican Party. But the Log Cabin Republicans are so Republican that its board voted 22-2 against endorsing President Bush in 2004 because of his stand against homosexual marriage.
So if the gay Republicans are not really Republicans, what are they? One veteran observer of this network told AIM that the Foley scandal should make it crystal clear that the gay Republicans are in reality “liberal activists” who want to use the party to advance the same homosexual agenda embraced by the Democrats.
Ominously, the Foley scandal suggests that this network has inside information about the sexual behavior of members of Congress and their staffers that can be exploited in order to create scandals at a moment’s notice. Only now are House Republican leaders like Dennis Hastert beginning to understand the trap they may have gotten themselves into. They thought they were being tolerant and diverse and constructing a “big tent” when they were giving gay Republicans important positions of power. It is now apparent that this power has been used to sabotage the party from within. Conservatives who blame Soros, the media or the Democrats for this debacle are whistling past the graveyard, which happens to be near the place where Hastert made his statement the other day that staffers will be fired “if there was a cover-up.”
It is extremely significant that Rep. Jim Kolbe, an openly gay Republican, has emerged to play a key role in the Foley scandal. Embraced by Hastert in a video tribute at a Log Cabin Republican event earlier this year, Kolbe was the first closeted gay Republican to have been threatened and blackmailed by radical gay activists into coming out of the closet and embracing key parts of the gay agenda.
Now we find out that Kolbe, a former page himself, knew about Foley’s emails as far back as 2000. That is when he was a member of the House Page Board. Kolbe, according to the Washington Post, served as a “mentor” to the pages and “invited four former pages to make use of his Washington home,” supposedly when he was out of town. In the most recent revelation, it has been reported that Kolbe took two former pages, both male, on a trip to the Grand Canyon.
Kolbe says that a former page told him that he was receiving emails from Foley that made him feel uncomfortable. Instead of passing this information on to House leaders or other authorities, Kolbe says that he provided it to Foley’s office and Trandahl. In a statement, Kolbe said that he assumed the email contact ceased “since the former Page never raised the issue again with my office.”
How about that for accountability? The information about a former page being sexually harassed by Foley is turned over to Foley and Trandahl, two of Kolbe’s fellow homosexuals. It’s no wonder the young man didn’t raise the matter again with Kolbe. He saw that it was a dead end.
Kolbe also declared, in his statement, that he believed this was the “appropriate way to handle this incident given the information I had and the fact that the young man was no longer a Page and not subject to the jurisdiction of the program.” Such a statement seems to suggest that Kolbe viewed the pages as fair game for Foley, or at least a private matter for the disgraced Congressman, once they became former pages. That is exactly the modus operandi that Foley seems to have used. He targeted and cultivated the young men when they were working for Congress and then made his move when they had left the page program. Foley’s progression from “friendly” to “explicit” Internet messages was part of his pattern as a homosexual pedophile predator.
Some liberal and left-wing groups, in addition to the gay Republican organizations, seem fearful of what the investigation might uncover. But radical gay activists sympathetic to the Democratic Party’s pro-homosexual agenda are already naming the names of members of the secret network, reaching from Congress into the White House and the Republican National Committee. One such activist is Michael Rogers. Another is John Aravosis, who worked for Republican Senator Ted Stevens from 1989 to 1994.
Trandahl, who was appointed by Hastert as House Clerk in 1999 and resigned on November 18, 2005, figures in almost every important account of the Foley scandal as someone with inside information. David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal noted that Trandahl was “an adviser and friend” to Foley and was “in a unique position to recognize the implicit danger in the fact that Mr. Foley wasn’t just close to pages on the House floor but was pursuing contact via email.” Although Trandahl has hired a lawyer and hasn’t talked publicly, numerous reports portray him in a flattering light, saying he tried to warn various Congressional officials about Foley’s conduct. Calls to Trandahl and his lawyer were not returned.
It seems appropriate to note that one of the few Republicans financially supported by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the pro-Democratic group to which Trandahl made his contributions in 2000, was Rep. Jim Kolbe. Was the first “openly gay” Republican member of Congress a closeted Democrat as well? It’s certainly the case that he started acting more like a Democrat once his secret life was exposed. He has, for example, become a prominent advocate of gays in the military and has denounced the proposed federal amendment protecting traditional marriage.
It is also beyond dispute that the current scandalous state of affairs will outlive the Foley scandal unless the secret network of bludgeon and blackmail is exposed.
An investigation of Kolbe, 64, is obviously warranted. He may be retiring from Congress, but his camping trip with 17-year-old male pages seems to be at least as questionable as the Foley Internet messages. Let’s hope knee-jerk Republican defenders don’t try to defend that trip as just a “friendly” excursion.
It’s early in the probe, but we may be looking at emerging evidence of a homosexual recruitment ring that operated on Capitol Hill. It’s time to get beyond partisan politics and follow the evidence wherever it leads. Our media should not be intimidated by charges of “gay bashing.” They must lead the way in getting to the bottom of this terrible abuse of power.