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The NYDailyNews reports that Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) took $100,000 from the political PAC of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in July of 2006.  Which would just be GOP business as usual but for one thing — Reynolds had been informed months before that Foley had a certain e-mail problem.

You tell me — which was more important to Rep. Reynolds:  principle or politics?  I'd say Reynolds has some explaining to do, not just about the money trail, but about how "in the loop" on all of this he has been all along, given that his Chief of Staff is the former CoS for Rep. Foley…and that said CoS has been very actively involved in the Republican CYA over the last few days.  (via TPM)

The Chicago Trib reports that the GOP leadership is scrambing to do damage control in the wake of the public finding out about this mess:

Republican House leaders, including Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, scrambled Saturday to distance themselves from a scandal involving a Florida lawmaker's conduct with congressional pages, disavowing responsibility for investigating the matter when it came to light months ago.

Aides to the speaker say he was not aware until last week of inappropriate behavior by Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who resigned on Friday after portions of racy electronic messages between him and current and former underage congressional pages became public. But the aides conceded they could not be conclusive on the timing.

In the chaotic hours after news of the scandal broke, GOP leaders offered confusing versions of events about how much they knew and when. One top House Republican said he relayed to Hastert his sketchy understanding of the situation months ago, and another said he "cannot say with certainty" whether he passed along the information or not….

"Obviously, there was more to this," he said. "Foley basically lied to him."

Hastert's office declined requests for an interview with the speaker, but in a two-page narrative it offered an account of what happened. According to the narrative, a staff assistant in Hastert's office got a telephone call in the fall of 2005 from the chief of staff for Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-Louisiana) saying he had an e-mail exchange between Foley and a former House page that had raised concern….

Oh, I see. Now it is all Foley's fault that the Republican leadership doesn't know how to do their damn jobs properly.

Let's look at the facts: the GOP leadership was informed of an inappropriate pattern of conduct with one of the members of the leadership team (Foley was a Deputy Whip). They confront Foley, he denies wrongdoing, they let the matter drop with a "don't have any more contact with this kid" sort of slap on the wrist, with seemingly no further investigation, no information being given to the Democratic member of the page supervision committee, no notification to the Democratic leadership whatsoever, and no warning issued to other pages that I have seen anywhere. 

Except there are rumors that Foley has been doing this for quite a while, apparently, and yet he was left in the Republican House leadership, he was left in charge of the committee that deals with protecting children from internet predators, he was left to his own devices without any follow-up investigation or notification of outside authorities…what in the hell is wrong with these people?!?

I swear, I could not write this much idiocy into one story and sell it as fiction.  Reality truly is strange and, in this case, it's emblematic of a very big Republican problem:  where is the accountability? 

If the GOP won't hold themselves accountable, it's up to the public to do so.  Had enough?

(Photo of Tom Reynolds with a uniform police officer from his own website.  H/T to reader BQ for the Palm Beach link.)