Congressman Steps Down After Questionable E-Mails

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Representative Mark Foley resigned from Congress today after questions were raised about e-mails he sent to a 16-year-old former congressional page.  Excerpts of the e-mails were published by ABC News and then were posted on a Washington ethics group’s website, after the boy contacted officials.

According to those reports, Foley first referred in the e-mails to another page that both he and the boy apparently knew, saying "he’s such a nice guy … acts much older than his age…and hes in really great shape…i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym…whats school like for you this year?"  In other e-mails, Foley wrote, "I am back in Florida now…its nice here…been raining today…it sounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks…how old are you now?" and "how are you weathering the hurricane…are you safe…send me an email pic of you as well."

As you can see, these shocking emails display serious inconsistencies in capitalization, punctuation, and even sentence structure.  Foley, who is 52 and so should know better, showed a severe lack of judgment especially in the use of apostrophes and ellipses.  The congressman’s aides initially said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchanges, but were forced to withdraw that claim after the extent of Foley’s degraded syntax became clear.

In a statement issued today, Foley said "I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."  The statement showed that Foley regretted his previous capitalization errors but had learned little about punctuation or the avoidance of run-on sentences.  In Washington, House Speaker Dennis Hastert made a statement saying that Foley had "done the right thing" by resigning.  Hastert also said he had asked for an investigation, stating that "[w]e want to make sure that all our pages are safe" from these kinds of grammatical offenses.  Asked if he found the matter "disturbing," Hastert said, "None of us are very happy about it."

He did not clarify the antecedent of the pronoun "us."

Link: New York Times