Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), the ex-Congressman who infamously resigned in 2006 as a result of a scandal involving his sexually explicit instant message conversations with male Congressional pages, is making his way back out into the public eye. As the Palm Beach Post reports, he spoke last week — at a meeting of the Palm Beach County Young Republicans.
In addition, the paper notes, he gave an introduction speech this past Tuesday for freshman GOP Rep. Allen West, who hails form a neighboring district, at the grand opening of West’s district office in West Palm Beach.
As the paper reports:
There was criticism when the Young Republicans announced via Twitter and Facebook that Foley would be speaking at last week’s meeting in West Palm Beach.
“Have you people lost your minds?” one critic tweeted.
But Young Republicans President Jackie Fay said Foley was a hit.
“He was amazing. Charismatic. He has a great message and touched on so many different things and seamlessly did it,” Fay said. “He’s enthralling to listen to.”
Foley resigned in late September 2006, just as reports were emerging of his lewd conversations with male pages. The resulting scandal — including prior knowledge by sections of the House Republican leadership — served to make a tough election year for the GOP even more difficult, and potentially lost them several more seats. Foley’s own seat was picked up by the Democrats (due in part to the fact that his name remained on the ballot, though votes for him would go to a substitute candidate), but returned to the GOP in 2008