Killjoys Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner announced the end of the 200-year-old House Page program for budgetary reasons, because it was somehow costing the government $5 million a year to educate and employ 70 high school students. That is what, the same as the budget for all of America’s thousands of other crappy public high schools combined? How about that! Anyway, this is all Very Sad. Everyone remembers creepy predator Mark Foley for his technologically pioneering use of instant messaging to sexually harass minors, but does everyone know that it was a poor idea to place nubile minors within reach of America’s top elected officials even before IM and Twitter and Facebook? Here is ABC News reminiscing, in 2006:
In 1983, two lawmakers were censured by the House of Representatives for having sexual relationships with teenage pages. Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., admitted to sexual relations with a 17-year-old female page, while Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., admitted to sexual relations with a 17-year-old male page.
The ways each lawmaker handled the scandal — and the consequences they faced afterward — were very different. Crane apologized for his actions, saying, “I’m human” and “I only hope my wife and children will forgive me.” He was subsequently voted out of office in 1984.
Studds, who was openly gay, said the relationship was consensual and charged that the investigation by the House Ethics Committee raised fundamental questions of privacy. He won re-election the following year — in a more liberal district than Crane’s — and served in Congress until his retirement in 1996.