It has recently been suggested in the media and by members of Congress that because of Rep. Mark Foley’s inappropriate and disturbing contact with congressional pages that the 200-year-old program should be terminated. I served as a Senate page in the spring of 1993 for our former U.S. senator, George Mitchell. It was an incredible introduction to our federal government and it was partof what inspired me to run for the Legislature at the age of 24.
That the reprehensible actions of a certain Republican congressman would spark a serious discussion of terminating the program is the most irrational response I can imagine. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., recently offered the solution of abolishing the page program on CNN. The reporter asked, “In essence, what you’re saying is that members of Congress can’t be trusted to be around young people.”
Rep. LaHood responded, “Well, that’s pretty obvious.”
That, frankly, is shameful. If there are people in Congress who can’t be trusted around young people, or who neglect to report serious abuses of the public’s trust, they shouldn’t be in Congress! Instead of allowing a worthwhile program to be destroyed, we need to demand more of those in power in Washington.
Rep. Hannah Pingree