Monday, October 09, 2006


A couple of days ago, Americablog reported rumors of another secretly gay Republican congressperson involved in scandal. John Aravosis refused to divulge the name (even in private correspondence -- yes, I was nebby enough to ask), although his published piece cleverly hinted that the "mystery gay" was House Speaker Denny Hastert himself. Now, a number of web sites -- and even Randi Rhodes! -- have reported that Hastert is indeed the man on the hot seat.

(The nature of this scandal is such that avoiding double entendres is tougher than coming up with 'em.)

Here is Lawrence O'Donnell, writing on Hastert's Chief of Staff Scott Palmer, who is seen as the real power behind the Speaker: ("Heh heh. He said 'staff.' And 'Palmer.' And 'behind.'" "Shut up, Beavis...")
Many chiefs of staff are close, very close, to their bosses on Capitol Hill. But none are closer than Scott Palmer is to Denny Hastert. They don't just work together all day, they live together.

There are plenty of odd couple Congressmen who have roomed together on Capitol Hill, but I have never heard of a chief of staff who rooms with his boss. It is beyond unusual. But it must have its advantages. Anything they forget to tell each other at the office, they have until bedtime to catch up on. And then there's breakfast for anything they forgot to tell each other before falling asleep. And then there's all day at the office.
What about the irresponsible rumor that Hastert's wife, when in DC, maintains Denny and Scotty's privacy by staying at a hotel? Turns out that "rumor" found ink in no lesser source than the Chicago Sun-Times -- in a column published on (get this!) Valentine's Day:
Just ran into Jean Hastert, the wife of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in the hallway outside the speakers' Capitol office suite. She just dropped in on her husband.

It's a rare D.C. appearence for Mrs. Hastert. She was here a few weeks ago for President Bush's State of the Union address. She was off to an afternoon tea, at an ambassador's residence, sponsored by some international group.

When in Washington, the speaker lives in a group house with his chief of staff, Scott Palmer and top deputy, Mike Stokke.

I asked her if she is bunking with the guys.

She is not. She stays in a hotel.
Repeat: Valentine's Day.

Okay, so we have Denny and Scotty and Mikey under the same roof. Anyone else? Well, according to Mike Rogers -- who may be the person behind the "Stop Sex Predators" blog -- Sam Lancaster, a $150,000 Director of Speaker Operations for Denny Hastert, is also gay. I do not know if this allegation is true; feel free to ask Rogers for confirmation.

Wayne Madsen
, as is his wont, takes this story into very strange territory. Apply all the usual qualifiers and disclaimers to the following.
WMR has also learned of additional Senate links to the Pagegate scandal. There is much focus on GOP Sen. George Allen's predominantly white male staff. There is also interest in the activities of a senior GOP Senator from a Rocky Mountain state.
I've heard rumors about Allen from another source. So far, nothing substantial has surfaced, even if we allow for the loosest definition of the word "substantial."
WMR's State Department sources have also reported that the visits of Hastert and other congressional leaders and staff members to certain Southeast Asian nations and the Northern Marianas should come under the scrutiny of the House Ethics Committee, now officially investigating "Pagegate." The Northern Marianas became infamous in the scandals involving Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff because of the presence in the US slave labor territory of Asian children being used as prostitutes. Conveniently, Foley co-chaired the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, which would have had authority to investigate charges of child prostitution in the Northern Marianas.
Madsen has more, including the wildest theory on the John Mark Karr affair ever mooted.

All of which leaves humble bloggers such as myself in something of a quandary. Is it ethical for a progressive writer to discuss Denny Hastert's unusual living arrangements?

I can't pretend that writing this post has made me feel comfortable.

And yet...if Madsen's vague allegations pan out into something tangible, the Marianas angle may prove of genuine importance. We have every right to ask why this Republican congress has done nothing to staunch -- and much to enable -- enforced prostitution and child abuse on what is, after all, American territory.

Beyond that, I must confess that I became really, really, really pissed off by the recent G.O.P. attempts to blame Foley-gate on Nancy Pelosi, George Soros and Bill Clinton. Those damnable lies have expanded my definition of permissible return fire.

Beyond that, we have the undeniable facts that Hastert is Bush's enabler, and Bush would not have his job without the votes of this nation's gay-bashers. Force that constituency to see how the world really works and history will change.


Anonymous said...

Check out this on Yahoo answers.

Anonymous said...

Let's see.
Gay prostitute reporter with hundreds of visits to WH.

Bi Jack A with multiple visits to WH.

Bi Carl.

Homosexual Republicans selling children for power.


Bye Bye

Anonymous said...

lots of stuff about Kolbe coming out. anything that exposes hypocrisy is fair game, they do ask to elected because of their "supposed " integrity, so it is okay to call them on it.

Anonymous said...

There's been rumors for YEARS that Victor Ashe, former mayor of Knoxville, TN, current ambassador to Poland (?), and Yale roomate of GWB himself, is not only gay, but FREQUENTLY visits southeast asia for some fun with (very) young boys.

Someone, somewhere needs to dig HARD to get to how many of these phobes are actually homosexual-oriented pedophiles (I REFUSE to call these people "gay" as I, as a gay man, want NO association with these predators).

Anonymous said...

Since it's not so much about Foley anymore, can we call this scandal "Hastergate"?

SadRep54: George Soros made me a pedophile.

LilPage16: If I get him the wood, can he make me one?

gary said...

From AmericaBlog, May 10, 2006:

"it's quite the irony,as we hinted before, that the Republican National Committee, of all places, is gay-baiting. If they had a liquor license, the RNC would be the biggest gay bar in Washington. But hey, I guess those right-wing Christians don't really care if the RNC laughs at them behind their backs. As long as the RNC pretends to be anti-gay in public, then embraces the queers (quite literally) in the hallways of the RNC and Congress (ahem, Senator Allen), the Republican party figures it can have its cake and it eat too."

Anonymous said...

It has been a curiosity to me why Jeff Gannon - "gay prostitute/right-wing reporter" - had so many documented visits, as was reported two or three months back, to the White House before he became persona non grata. Who was giving him so much access? And why? Its gratifying to see GOP hypocrisy finally exposed. I've never been a fan of outing people, but in this case, or these cases, it seems like the responsible thing to do...

madhaus said...

Hastert is NOT the only House member to live with his Chief of Staff. Haven't you guys been following David Dreier and his staffer Brad W Smith?

Well here it is:
first part (LA Weekly)
second part

Smith was the highest paid staffer in just about the entire House.

Anonymous said...

Has no one herad of the Franklin Coverup?
The Franklin Coverup Scandal is a conspiracy theory which began on June 29, 1989, when the front page of the Washington Times bore the headline "Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush". The article, by Washington Times journalists Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald, alleged that key officials of the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations were connected to an elaborate Washington, D.C male prostitution ring, and reported that two of these prostitutes even entered the White House late at night. The investigation also included, among other things, "abduction and use of minors for sexual perversion". [1]

Key persons named in the investigation were Craig J. Spence, a Washington lobbyist, and Lawrence "Larry" King, then manager of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Nebraska. According to the December 15, 1989 New York Times, Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers came forward with reports of "boys and girls, some of them from foster homes, who had been transported around the country by airplane to provide sexual favors, for which they were rewarded." [2]

King — not to be confused with the talk show host — was one of the Republican party's rising stars, performing the national anthem at the 1984 and 1988 Republican Conventions. According to testimony of children rescued from the child prostitution ring, they were forced to have sex not only with King and other officials, but then-Vice-President Bush. This story was met with considerable skepticism, especially after some of the kids recanted their story. Others maintain that they were harassed and frightened into changing their story. [3] [4]

On January 10, 1989, the Nebraska State legislature constituted a special committee to look into the allegations with State Senator Loran Schmit as Chairman. On January 30, 1990, Nebraska State Attorney General, Robert Spire, called for a grand jury to investigate allegations. February 6, 1990, former County District Judge Samuel Van Pelt was appointed a special prosecutor for the Douglas County Grand Jury, which convened on March 12, 1990. On July 23, 1990, after hearing many hours of testimony, the grand jury threw out all of the allegations concerning sexual child abuse and labeling the charges a "carefully crafted hoax".

Former Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp wrote a book, The Franklin Coverup, and continues to research the subject today.

The Franklin Coverup was the subject of Conspiracy of Silence, a 1994 documentary that never aired, allegedly due to either defamation issues or as claimed by the films supporters, "pressure from unknown members of Congress." Copies of the film have circulated around the Internet. The documentary, produced by Britain's Yorkshire TV, was scheduled to have aired on May 3, 1994 — and appeared in TV Guide as such — but disappeared. [5] [6]

Gannon is supposed to be tangentially involved.