Conservative Groups Call for Accountability on Foley

Anyone who knew of resigned Rep. Mark Foley's improper conduct should resign and face prosecution, a coalition of conservative groups says in a letter released Tuesday.

Paul Weyrich, an author of the letter from the Arlington Group, a coalition of 70 socially conservative organizations, called for House Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation.

But after speaking with Hastert Wednesday, Weyrich says he changed his mind, and the speaker should not step down. Michele Norris talks with Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.

Christian Group Condemns Foley's Activities

The following release was issued Oct. 3 by the Arlington Group, concerning the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley:

The Executive Committee of the Arlington Group strongly condemns the activities of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), which have been reported by various news sources. We further ask for a full investigation, and should Mr. Foley be found to have broken any laws that he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

We are very concerned that the whole truth concerning this episode be reported, including when House Leadership or other members from either party knew of this situation. It is clear that someone knew. Any person who knew of Mr. Foley's inappropriate contact with a minor child should have reported it immediately, and if laws have been violated due to the failure to report, we urge legal authorities to prosecute.

Let us be perfectly clear: Any sexual involvement with minors is abominable. It is more troubling when a member of Congress uses his or her position to sexually exploit a minor. It should go without saying that all members of Congress are in a position of public trust and must be held to a higher standard, avoiding even the appearance of inappropriate behavior.

We are very concerned that the early warnings of Mr. Foley's odd behavior toward young male pages may have been overlooked or treated with deference, fearing a backlash from the radical gay rights movement because of Mr. Foley's sexual orientation. It appears that the integrity of the conservative majority has given way to political correctness, trading the virtues of decency and respect for that of tolerance and diversity. No one should be surprised at the results of such a tragic exchange.

The leadership must demand the resignation of any member who has acted improperly in this matter. Indeed we call on any member, Congressional staffer, page or other citizen who has information concerning any sexual contact between a member of Congress and a minor to report it immediately to House or Senate leadership. We have heard rumors that other, similar, activity has occurred involving additional Congressmen and will be released prior to the November elections. We ask that House and Senate leadership investigate these rumors. Furthermore, we ask that legal authorities prosecute any person who had knowledge of any such activity but did not report it immediately.

The Foley scandal is just one more reminder that America desperately needs to return to the Judeo-Christian values that have served as a foundation of our nation from its inception.

The Arlington Group, a coalition of over seventy pro-family organizations, joins millions of Americans who pray for a moral renewal in our nation. Arlington Group Executive Committee members include:

Dr. Don Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association

Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values

Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation

Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition

Phil Burress, president, Citizens for Community Values

Richard Bott, vice president, Bott Radio Network

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