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"Doubt is Raised About Foley as Secret Drinker" (the Hill)

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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:28 AM
Original message
"Doubt is Raised About Foley as Secret Drinker" (the Hill)
sorry, dude, can't blame the alcohol for your *real* addiction to freshfaced pages:


Doubt is raised about Foley as secret drinker
By Jeffrey Young

When former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) entered alcohol-abuse treatment amid scandal over his relationships with congressional page boys, his attorney said the ex-lawmaker never drank alcohol in public.

Attorney David Roth categorically stated that the disgraced lawmaker hid his abuse by drinking alone.

But the photograph (above) from The Hills archives shows Foley holding a glass of wine at a Capitol Hill reception on May 19, 2004.

He went to the reception with several other House members. This and other evidence suggests Foley was a social drinker and a wine aficionado.

The photograph and first-hand accounts of Foleys public drinking told by acquaintances in Washington and Florida could reinforce doubts about the veracity of the claim that a drinking problem fueled his behavior, which included carrying on sexually explicit instant-message chats with former pages.

Reps. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) also appear in other photographs by The Hill of the 2004 event, which was hosted by the Washington Wine Commission to tout the states wineries and to honor Washingtons congressional delegation and the Congressional Wine Caucus, of which Foley was a member.

Thompson cannot recall seeing Foley at the reception, according to his spokesman; calls to the other lawmakers offices were not returned. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also attended but does not remember seeing Foley, according to her spokesman.

Though no law-enforcement authority has filed charges against Foley, his attorney could cite alcohol addiction as part of a legal defense by arguing that Foley was not in complete control of his actions when he contacted former pages over the Internet.

At a press conference in West Palm Beach, Fla. last Tuesday, Roth said that the former congressman did not drink around other people.

People close to Mark knew that he was a closet drinker, as it is referred to, Roth said, adding, Mark, to my knowledge and based upon all the information that I have, never drank in public, according to a transcript of the press conference. However, at night he did drink and has admitted to that and he has indicated that he strongly believes that hes an alcoholic and is receiving treatment for it.

Roth did not return two calls requesting comment.

In addition to the 2004 photograph, news reports during Foleys tenure in Congress have included accounts of him drinking at public events. Recently published interviews with lawmakers and other acquaintances of Foley also indicate that he was often seen at parties, receptions and fundraisers drinking alcohol.

In a story that ran in the St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) on Sunday, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) is quoted saying that while she saw Foley drink alcohol on occasions, I never saw him inebriated, never saw him even close, never saw him slur a word. Speaking to Fox News Channel after Foley resigned, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) stated directly that he did not believe Foleys claims of alcoholism.

So far, no one has come forward with a specific account of Foley appearing to be inebriated in public. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), however, has pressed for an investigation of allegations that a drunken Foley once tried to gain admittance to the House pages dormitory but was turned away by Capitol Police officers.

The public record seems to belie Roths claims about Foleys drinking habits.

In one well-reported example, Foley was a co-host of two fundraising events for Ways and Means Committee Republicans that used alcohol as a theme.

The D Street Block Party took place in the spring of 2005 and 2006 in the homes of Foley and four colleagues who live on the same city block in S.E. Washington, D.C.

At the fundraiser on May 18, 2006, Foley served wine to his guests, according to the invitation and reports by The Washington Post and others.

Along with Foley, GOP Reps. Chris Chocola (Ind.), Clay Shaw (Fla.) and Nancy Johnson (Conn.) each offered different alcoholic drinks in their homes, while Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) served coffee and dessert. The mandatory contribution to visit each home during the event was $1,000.

One criminal-defense attorney who specializes in alcohol-related cases said that if Roth is angling to use Foleys drinking as a mitigating factor in his behavior with pages and former pages, the approach could work.

From a criminal-defense perspective, somebody being an alcoholic can be helpful, said Darren Kavinoky, whose practice is in Southern California.

If a defense attorney can convince a jury and a judge that the defendant did not have a specific intent to break a law, the penalty could be smaller, even if the defendant did violate that law, Kavinoky said. Roth could be looking to avoid a prison sentence for his client and hoping to persuade a judge to consider an alternative sentence, such as alcoholism treatment.

This could be laying the foundation for that kind of defense, said Kavinoky, who added, I think it would be effective in court against any charges that might be levied against Foley.

Ironically, if Foley has successfully hidden an addiction to alcohol from his friends, family and colleagues, as Roth asserts, the alcoholism defense becomes more problematic, Kavinoky said. Without witnesses to Foley being intoxicated, his attorney would have a harder time establishing his condition as an alcoholic, he said.


http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Fron...
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. I swear, they're trying everything in the book to get him off the hook,
for getting off on teenaged boys. :grr:
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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. you know it's bad when you *wish* people believed you're a drunk.
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 01:36 AM by greeneyedboy
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Tanuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. "Congressional Wine Caucus"?
That's a new one on me! :rofl:
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Bear down under Donating Member (289 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. If he was sending naughty messages during committee meetings......
...doesn't that indicate that he was drunk while on the job? Does he imagine that would be acceptable?
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badgerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
5. Wouldn't there be physiological evidence?
Funky liver, or brain changes that would show up on MRI or CAT scan...
plus stuff that any competant physician or medical person could SEE that would indicate alcohol abuse?
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:22 AM
Response to Original message
6. So if I understand this correctly
Foley was able to keep his drinking a complete secret, but not his many contacts with teenage boys (those of course were just ignored and covered up) and at what point did alcoholism become an excuse for such conduct?? Hmmmm.......Would our good Republican Leaders like to spin again or buy a vowel???
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OllieLotte Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Foley is giving alcohol a bad name.
...and that's just not right.
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