06b: Jaime Pressley / Corinne Bailey Rae
An Address From Dennis Hastert
Speaker Dennis Hastert.....Darrell Hammond
Blue background with the House of Representatives seal.
Announcer: The following is an address from the Speaker of the United
States House of Representatives: Dennis Hastert.
INT. HASTERT'S OFFICE - EVENING
Speaker DENNIS HASTERT, in suit and tie, remains seated at his office
desk, hands folded, and nods.
SUPER: REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R) IL -- SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
Dennis Hastert: Good evening, my fellow Americans. Throughout the past week, our
nation's media has been filled with sensational stories concerning a
certain member of Congress - Representative Mark Foley of Florida. And his
e-mail correspondence with several young men - all formal Congressional
pages. Without question, these e-mails were highly inappropriate and
accordingly, Mr. Foley has resigned his seat in Congress. Some have
criticized the way this issue was handled by House Republican leaders, but
let's be honest, a number of individuals share some responsibility here.
Former President Clinton, The Washington Post, Al-Qaeda Number Two Man
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and her daughter
Chelsea. There's plenty of blame to go around.
So rather than indulge in partisan finger-pointing, let's move on. That
having been said however, it would be wrong to close the books on
Congressman Foley's career without first acknowledging the singular
contribution he made during his 12 years in the House. In particular, his
work with the Congressional Page Program. More than any other member of
Congress, Rep. Foley cared about these kids. Their interests, their plans
for the future... even the kind of underpants they wore.
For many pages, his office became a home away from home. Where the
overwhelmed, the homesick, or those insecure about their bodies were sure
to find a sympathetic ear. Perhaps a shoulder to cry on or even a playful
pillow fight, followed by a soothing alcohol rub down. His genoursity was
legendary. It might be a bewildered 16-year-old living away from home for
the first time who looked like he could use some assistance putting on his
trousers. Or a shy youngster unfamiliar with clothes shopping, overheard
to say he needed "new swimming trunks". Mark Foley was there to help. And
unlike most members of Congress, he didn't wait to be asked.
But once a young man was back at home, his time as a page over, was he
forgotten? Not by Mark Foley. Whether it was a high school swim meet,
wrestling match or even a wrestling practice, you were sure to find him
there - video camera in hand - to lend his support. Never one to draw
attention to himself, he usually did his filming while in an elaborate
disguise or sometimes from a parked car. And he sought no thanks or even
acknowledgement for his thoughtfulness. As a matter of fact, in most
cases, he didn't even tell the young men he was filming them.
As often as not, former pages would be surprised even astonished to learn
about the hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage he had shot of them.
All meticulously labeled -- indexed according to hair color, body type,
and style of underpant. And carefully maintained his self-storage unit in
suburban Maryland. That's the kind of guy he was.
Congressman Foley may have had his eccentricities, even his faults as do
we all, but we in the House are going to miss this man. Because now that
he is gone, there is no one in Congress quite like him... I mean maybe on
the Democratic side, definitely no Republicans. We're absolutely certain
about that. We've checked. So thank you. And live from New York, it's
Submitted by: Cody Downs