PORTLAND – The Republican candidate who’s trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Tom Allen on Tuesday called for the resignation of GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert over the congressional page sex scandal.
Darlene Curley said Hastert has allowed attention to be drawn away from important issues facing Congress through his “failure to investigate the issue properly.”
The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation and the House ethics committee is investigating any potential violations of standards of conduct following the resignation of Florida Rep. Mark Foley’s over his come-ons to male pages.
Regardless of the outcome, Hastert should step down anyway, because he has become a distraction from the important issues of “national security, health care, energy independence, and creating jobs,” Curley said.
“I’m willing to take these kind of stands. I don’t care whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat,” said Curley, who campaigned Tuesday in her mobile office, a Mazda minivan. “This is just an unnecessary distraction.”
Allen has called for a thorough investigation of Hastert’s actions but he has not called for Hastert’s resignation.
“We need a thorough investigation. At that time, we determine who needs to go,” Mark Sullivan, Allen’s spokesman, said Tuesday. “Anyone who had information and didn’t act on it needs to go.”
A third candidate, independent Dexter Kamilewicz, agreed that Hastert should resign if he knew about the accusations and did nothing about it.
But he said he was concerned that too much attention was being paid to the scandal instead of “issues of substance.”
“Not to demean the damage that was done by Foley [but] it does pale next to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed and maimed in Iraq and the trillions of dollars that have been flushed down toilet,” he said.
Hastert announced Tuesday he’ll dismiss anyone on his staff found to have covered up concerns about Foley’s approaches to former pages. “If they did cover something up, then they should not continue to have their jobs,” he said.