I’m Angie Paccione, a state representative from Colorado who is running for the Fourth Congressional District against Marilyn Musgrave. Like the rest of the country, I am absolutely appalled that the powerful politicians in the U.S. Congress sheltered the predatory behavior of Mark Foley. This morning, I called on Marilyn Musgrave to join me in demanding that Speaker Dennis Hastert step down from his leadership post. Speaker Hastert is presiding over a culture of corruption, and this is the last straw. The moral crisis into which the House leadership has thrown the Congress is not the product of yet another partisan fight; it is a question of honoring the values of decency and service that all members of Congress ought to value. The special interest protection racket that shielded Foley needs to be dismantled.

I applaud members like Geoff Davis, who donated the $1,000 he received from Foley’s PAC to a child advocacy agency in his district. I hope that every other campaign committee Foley supported has or will join Congressman Davis. This is not the time to cave in to powerful politicians. When a powerful institution like the U.S. Congress passively tolerates abusive and predatory behavior like Mark Foley’s, it has betrayed the trust of the people.

I am asking Marilyn to help me in urging Foley to transfer his campaign funds to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Predatory behavior like Foley's ought to teach her how important the center is, given her past opposition to it. I hope Marilyn seizes this opportunity to champion a vital program and do the right thing for vulnerable children who are victimized.