There have been so many scandals since October, 2006, the month that I launched this blog, that I just about forgot who Mark Foley was.
I got an excited phone call yesterday from two friends, TV producer Richard Ayoub and talent manager Dolores Cantu, who were having lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Sitting the next table over was Foley, who resigned just before the midterms after the revelation that he sent inappropriate e-mail messages to a congressional page.
Ayoub and Cantu didn’t know immediately recognize him until he told them he had once been in Congress. The jist of the conversation then went like this, according to both:
Cantu: "You didn’t have an affair, did you?"
Foley: "Well, I was…"
Realizing who was in their midst, Ayoub, who has a penchant for devilish humor, offered a deadpanned admonishment, "You should not flirt with congressional pages." Foley went on to say that nothing happened, he didn’t realize that the page was only 18, and that he perhaps was a bit tipsy when he sent the e-mails.
What they both said was how great Foley looked, and he was particularly excited about Colin Powell’s endorsement that morning of Obama. Foley said he also favors Obama.
And Foley also expressed some pleasure in watching the latest developments from his old Florida district: His successor, Democrat Tim Mahoney, is now in trouble for a series of extramarital affairs.
Foley was never charged with any crime, and Florida law enforcement officials said last month there was "insufficient evidence" to charge him.
Update: Foley denies that he has voted for Obama. According to Drudge Report, he sent this note: "An online article posted today on Variety’s website innaccurately reported that I was supporting Barack Obama. The story on Variety’s website, based on a second or third-hand account of my private conversation, is incorrect. I have already voted by absentee ballot in Florida. Although I didn’t vote for Senator Obama, I intend to keep my choice private."