As the Mark Foley scandal began to unfold earlier this month, there were rumblings on Capitol Hill about another shoe's dropping -- a rumor and a worry that a member of Congress other than Foley might have had a problem with pages.
Michigan Rep. and House Page Board member Dale Kildee added fuel to that fire Monday when he told reporters that the Page Board had just held a conference call to discuss allegations of page-related misconduct that had nothing to do with Foley. "It was about other allegations and I'd like to leave it at that," Kildee said, reiterating that the allegations in question were "not about Mr. Foley."
So who was the subject of the conference call? As we noted last week, the FBI is reportedly looking into allegations that retiring Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe may have engaged in inappropriate conduct with a former page or two during a raft trip in 1996.
Could Kolbe be the one Kildee was describing? Maybe. But at this point -- with each day bringing new news of members of Congress in legal troubles -- we can't say that we'd be surprised to hear that there's yet an additional member involved in a scandal. Ohio Rep. Bob Ney, who once vowed to run for reelection even if he was indicted, pleaded guilty last week to charges that he was corrupted by Jack Abramoff's lobbying team. Pennsylvania Rep. Curt Weldon, who just last week said it was "crazy" to suggest that he might be under investigation for steering business to his daughter's lobbying firm, is now trying to spin away the news that the FBI raided his daughter's house Monday. (Short version: The Democrats are conspiring against me.) And a spokeswoman for California Rep. John Doolittle, who has long said that he hasn't been contacted by the FBI or the Justice Department regarding the Abramoff investigation, is now acknowledging that he has paid a law firm nearly $40,000 to talk to prosecutors in the hopes of expressing "the congressman's willingness to be helpful" and persuading them that he has "done nothing wrong."