Foley pushed child porn bills, asked: "Do I make you a little horny?

The Florida Republican was outspoken in the fight against child pornography and sexual predators.

Published September 29, 2006 9:16PM (EDT)

Before he resigned from the House of Representatives today, Florida Rep. Mark Foley was the co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and somebody who spoke out a lot about the risks young people face from adults who might sexually exploit them.

When Foley wasn't doing that, ABC News says, he was instant-messaging male House pages with questions like, "Do I make you a little horny?"

Among the other highlights from Foley's congressional career:

In July of this year, Foley's office issued a press release congratulating the U.S. Senate for passing the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, a bill Foley co-sponsored in the House. Among other things, the act expanded the definition of sex offenders who must register with state authorities to include those who "use ... the Internet to facilitate or commit a crime against a minor."

Also in July, Foley introduced the Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Todays Youth (SAFETY) Act, a bill aimed at cracking down on child pornography on the Web. "We have to stop the supply of child pornography by attacking the source," Foley said in the press release. "Authorities tell us the Internet has made child pornography easier to disseminate, easier to produce, and easier to turn a profit on."

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in 2005, Foley said: "Sex offenders are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals and will continue to do it unless stopped. We need to change the way we track these pedophiles. ... It has often been noted that a society can be judged on how it best treats it children. We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our kids from these animals. This bill will turn the tables and make prey out of these predators. Failing to act on this measure is just playing Russian roulette with our children's lives."

In July 2004, Foley celebrated Internet Safety Day by warning parents that the Web had become "a new medium for pedophiles to reach out to our most vulnerable citizens --America's children."

And in 2003, Foley held a press conference to denounce Democratic activists for engaging in a "repulsive" campaign to tag him with the "slur" of being gay.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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