Oct 13 2006

Harpers/Silversteen: More Democrat Fingerprints

Published by at 3:50 pm under All General Discussions,Foleygate

I could care less how far Ken Silversteen of Harpers Magazine attempts to bend over backwards in order to not understand what he is writing, but since his first admission a Democrat operative was the one shopping the Foley email story from November of 2005, he has become convinced there are more Democrat fingerprints on the withholding of this story, and they had hopes to damage Foley politically, if not the Republicans as well. Again, through all of this one has to wonder why one stop for this story was not the FBI and the House Ethics Committee.

As I wrote on Tuesday, the source brought the story to other news outlets late in 2005, and brought it to me in May. Why would he try to spring an October Surprise a year early?

I have no evidence that the source was working in concert with the national Democratic Party. That said, I acknowledged in the story that some Democratic officials may well have been aware of the accusations against Foley and expected supporting evidence to come out in the press. Since writing the original article, I’ve become convinced that was in fact the case; indeed, several well-placed sources have told me that some Democrats—and certainly people affiliated with the campaign of Foley’s Democratic challenger Tim Mahoney—were aware of the accusations at least as early as late Spring.

How much clearer is this? Foley’s challenger knew in Spring of 2006 Foley was a supposed danger to kids in the Page program (according to how the Democrats and media tell the story). So why did he and his campaign leave the risk out there? Why not expose Foley right away? Answer:Political Strategy. Timing the story may allow Foley to snag another kid or two, but timing the story’s release would give Democrats something much more – POWER!

It’s quite possible these parties knew well before then, and were planning accordingly. As Ralph McGaughey, a conservative from Boston, pointed out to me in an email, before the scandal broke, Foley was almost guaranteed to win re-election. In 2004 George Bush won handily over John Kerry in Foley’s conservative district, and the congressman’s last two Democratic challengers only raised about $60,000—total. Meanwhile, Foley was sitting on a vast campaign war chest and had a reputation as a formidable fundraiser.

And yet Mahoney has been able to raise more than $1.1 million for his campaign.

I checked campaign-finance records and found that Mahoney himself provided about half of that amount. But he also pulled in $80,000 from heavily Democratic labor-union PACs and raised about $455,000 from individual donors. What’s more interesting is that some of that money started coming in late last year—around the time that the Foley emails were given to reporters in Florida—and some of Mahoney’s biggest donors were from out of state. The donors include major Democratic donors like John Gorman of Austin-based Tejas, the New York based construction mogul John Tishman, and the Massachusetts-based real estate tycoons Gerald and Elaine Schuster, who have a history of anti-labor and slumlord practices. These campaign finance records certainly suggest that Democrat officials expected Foley’s seat would be in play and quietly steered donors in Mahoney’s direction.

After reporting the obvious message of a cash strapped Democrat party sending large campaign donations to a sure fire losing race, and all that entails in terms of discussions and guarantees the money will be a wise investment, Sliversteen still cannot see the forest for the trees right in front of him. But those of us who are not blinded by BDS and partisanship sure can. To get money to flow is always hard. To get money to flow to what looks like a wasted effort is impossible, unless the effort will not be a waste. The fact the money is flowing about the same time the emails were leaked (10/17-11/30/05) means those emails must have been useful to pry open some donor’s wallets.

Silversteen also cannot understand what an easy alibi he and the early efforts with the St Peterburg Times could make an October surprise. We all know the LA Page emails are not enough to make a scandal. But if only some sources knew about the IMs (which were also in the hands of a Democrat Operative) then one could establish an alibi through a series of media rejections of the benign, half story. This scenario is so easy to understand it is amazing Silversteen cannot see it, except it would mean acknowledging how he was played like a fiddle. As he points out in the piece, all sources have agendas and intentions.

Silversteen even notes how quickly the second shoe (or second act) dropped when ABC finally did post the emails that everyone else on the planet felt were nothing:

ABC decided to publish, which meant that sources (including one die-hard Republican former-page) immediately sent ABC the lethal IMs.

And we all know the stories about how Jordan Edmund, the Republican who was the former Page with the IMs. In fact, I recall (but cannot find) some claim Edmund posted a comment about the ABC News story right around the time it came out – making the timing of all of this suspect. It is quite possible still, that this was a well orchestrated event. But no one once referred this to police? To the Ethics Committee? That is why this looks so rotten. All these Democrat operatives and fundraisers and stories not published – until one month from the election. Not to mention the reporting by The Prowler regarding comments by ANOTHER democrat operative that the timing was thrown off by the sinking poll numbers for Dems.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if the Dems wanted this out, the next questions was how to maximize its impact. Somehow that little bit of logical deduction escapes the gullible Mr. Silversteen.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Harpers/Silversteen: More Democrat Fingerprints”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:


    will have to look back for it but Edmund posted about the abc story, not saying much 6 minutes after the story broke on the pagealumni message board.

  2. antimedia says:

    Forget the “one month” before the election. The story broke ONE DAY after the law stated that Foley’s name could not be replaced on the ballots. Whoever did this knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

  3. MerryJ1 says:

    Fordham and Trandahl were the two staffers that Kolbe’s office went to when the former page from Arizona complained. Fordham at that time was Foley’s chief of staff.

    But Fordham has his own problems with Michael Rogers & company. Rogers went off on Fordham worse than he did on Foley, when Fordham signed on with Sen. Martinez, because the Senator is (in Rogers’ view) rabidly anti-homosexual marriage. Fordham’s name is on Rogers’ “List” of closeted homosexuals.

    So far at least, there’s only one former page who has stated he had a physical thing with Foley, that was after he was 21 years of age, and he claimed that Foley had made certain he was 21, had consistently made references to ‘not getting involved with anyone underage,’ etc.

    What it’s actually starting to look like, and try this on for size:

    Jordan Edmund and pals had a little sport with the IM’s, making fun of Foley after Edmund would bait Foley and lead him on with instant messages (Edmund’s lawyer stated “It might have been a prank,” on CNN in response to questions about the Drudge “prank” report).

    Then Edmund bought into the “book and tv project about the page experience” questionaire posted on the Page Alumni site — this book-tv project seems to have two different author sets, Robin Katsaris (or something close) from California — a Democrat fundraiser and mother of Christopher, a page sponsored by Nancy Pelosi (on Christopher’s “MySpace” page, he describes himself as “I really cheered for the French. I often think of myself as European, rather than as an American.”); Mother Robin does fundraising for a number of Dems, prominently, Detroit-area Wrangle, the Ways & Means hopeful if Dems gain a majority.

    The other “author” is a Laura Grunwald — can’t swear it’s the same person but the same name belongs to a Dem from the vacinity of Wrangle’s stomping ground, and the July to Sept blog “stop sexual predators” — with no traffic nor search tags but suddenly scoops the NYT and WaPo — seems to have an origination point in Royal Oaks, Michigan, which is same general neighborhood — I’m not tech savvy enough to understand how that was determined, and I’m not positive whether it was on Sweetness & Light? Sorry, can’t remember who to credit.

    Anyway, Edmund posted queries, apparently a little more than a year after the Page Alumni solicitation for “page’s stories,” asking if anyone knew how the project was coming or if it had been dropped, suggesting (to me) he had sent along his steamy instant messages — which would also neatly explain why he hired a criminal attorney as soon as news of the IM’s left Brian Ross’ lips. Edmund is now in his late 20’s, I think, and has a decent career in GOP political campaign management. I doubt if he deliberately leaked anything to help Dems, I think he was duped.

    But Foley just might’ve developed a yen for Internet sex AFTER getting into it with Edmund’s IM’s, not realizing Edmund was playing him (Edmund is hetero). Meanwhile, if the 21-year-old has it right, that Foley doesn’t mess around with anyone underage, it would seem the chatty, too-friendly but not overtly sexual e-mails to teen-age former pages are essentially testing for receptiveness or reciprocal interest, but more like entries on a future wish list than predatory overtures.

    Any thoughts?

  4. Sarah Green says:

    The link to the ABC story was posted by Edmund on the page alumni board. Mac posted a link to the google cache on 10/8. Here’s the link:

  5. AJStrata says:


    Wonder if Grunwald is the related to Mandy Grunwald, Clinton operative and I think wife of one Matt Cooper of Plame Game Fame.

  6. MerryJ1 says:

    Thanks, AJ, that’s why the name was so familiar to me! Yes, you’re right, Mandy Grunwald is/was Hillary’s assistant and is married to Cooper. But looking at my notes (in my handwriting, head hanging), the “Grunwald” could be “Greenwald,” I can’t be certain. I am certain, though, that the full “Laura Grun/Green” was cited as the same name of a Michigan Dem or liberal operative.

    I’ll start hunting for my source on that, it’s going to be one of the reliables, you/Mac/AmerThink/etc., so I’m confident of the accuracy, but I’m having some serious computer problems (suddenly just shuts down and/or reboots) so I’ve been distracted for a couple of days trying to figure out where the problem is.

    A couple of other corrections to my theorizing: It’s not Wrangle, it’s Conyers that the Calif fundraiser does the coffee thing for, and it was American Thinker, not Sweetness, that I wanted to credit.