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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Latest scandal an argument against single-party rule

Rep. Tom Reynolds, the House Republican campaign chairman, says he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert in the spring about questionable e-mails sent by disgraced GOP Rep. Mark Foley to underage males working as congressional pages.

Mr. Hastert said he does not recall the conversation with Mr. Reynolds, but he does not dispute the account.

The fact that Republicans were aware of Mr. Foley's alleged sexual predatory behavior, but did nothing about it until pages came forward to authorities with their concerns, is inexcusable.

Why did Mr. Hastert not call for an immediate investigation? Why did the GOP leadership allow the inappropriate e-mails and instant messages to continue?

Could it be because revelation of Mr. Foley's behavior would threaten the political power that the GOP has enjoyed as a majority in both halls of congress? Did Mr. Hastert let continued political power trump the safety and welfare of children?

If that is indeed the reason the Republican leadership apparently covered up Mr. Foley's alleged lurid behavior, it would not be the first time the party in power had abused it.

Democrats were guilty of the same shenanigans when they enjoyed single-party rule a little more than a decade ago. The House banking scandal and congressional post office scandal resulted in the conviction of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., and the GOP "Contract with America" swept in a new ruling party.

Apparently, neither party is capable of policing itself.

When one party controls the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is too easy to abuse the system.

The latest House scandal is a persuasive argument against single-party rule in Washington.

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