Thursday, May 22, 2003

Gay or Not Gay

Foley has issues:

U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Senate, took the unusual step Thursday of calling a news conference to denounce what he says are rumors spread by his political opponents that he is gay.

But the fifth-term congressman from West Palm Beach refused to answer questions about whether he is a homosexual, saying his sexual preference had no bearing on his duties as a lawmaker. He accused Democratic activists of trying to derail his candidacy for the Senate.

"In recent weeks, a number of Democratic activists have taken it upon themselves to push rumors about me," Foley said. "It is becoming apparent to me these Democratic activists have only one motive: They don't want me to run or have to run against me."

"Whatever their motives, I can only say I find these tactics revolting and unforgivable," Foley said during a 20-minute conference call with a handful of Florida political reporters. "These attempts to spread rumors about me I think will backfire."

Foley said he called the news conference in response to a column earlier this month in an alternative South Florida weekly paper and because he feared a major Florida daily was preparing to publish a story Friday about the matter.

Foley is seeking the GOP nomination for the seat currently held by Democratic presidential hopeful Bob Graham, who hasn't said whether he will seek a fourth term. Foley enjoys a large fund-raising advantage over Bill McCollum, his party's unsuccessful nominee in 2000.

While he lashed out at Democrats, Foley was not specific about his accusers.

Foley said he should be evaluated by voters on his work record, not his sexuality. He said everyone deserves some privacy, even public officials.

"People can draw whatever conclusions they want to," Foley said. "There are certain things we shouldn't discuss in public. "Some people may think that's old fashioned, but I firmly believe it's a good rule to live by."

Your record is that you joined with the bigots (Republican and Democrat) to support DOMA. And calling someone gay isn't "revolting."