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Where Are They Now? This Week: Mark Foley

Occasionally we wonder where they are now, disgraced or ousted members of Congress who have disappeared - or not - from the scene. In this week's installment of our new feature "Where Are They Now" we first look at former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who will forever be remembered for his tawdry instant messages to teenage male House pages.

Foley has been paying visits recently to Beverly Hills, where he was spotted just last weekend. We figure he may be looking for a job in Hollywood. Because in addition to his cringingly ironic role as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, Foley - until he resigned on Sept. 29, 2006 - also served as head of the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus. In that role, he cultivated lots of contacts in Hollywood.

Foley and his close associates won't say what jobs Foley is contemplating until the former congressman can be sure he's cleared of any criminal liability. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still investigating charges that Foley sent electronic messages to pages while he was in Pensacola. The Justice Department investigation has fizzled out, though it technically remains open.

We're told Foley is quietly plotting a comeback in some form, political or not. "He's talking about how to re-emerge publicly after the investigation is over," a source close to Foley tells the Sleuth.

The same source says Foley sometimes stays with one of his sisters who lives in the LA area. And in Palm Beach, Foley and his longtime partner, a dermatologist, go to dinner parties where old friends "seem to be welcoming [Foley] back into the fold."

After he was nabbed in the page scandal, the last straw that cost House Republicans their majority, Foley came out of the closet as a gay man. He and his partner, Layne Nisenbaum - who, as you can see here, specializes in cosmetic surgery - live in Palm Beach in a nice house on the Intercoastal Waterway. (Foley sold his house on Capitol Hill but still owns beachfront property in St. Lucie County, Fla.)

No word on whether Foley is continuing his treatment for sexual addiction and alcoholism. After he was busted sending inappropriate emails to teenage pages, he checked himself into a luxurious rehab in Arizona.

Foley and Nisenbaum are such a fixture on the Palm Beach social scene that, according to the Palm Beach Post, an upcoming art fair in West Palm Beach is being promoted with "Warholized" portraits of "well-known locals, including Palm Beach dermatologist and former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley's partner, Layne Nisenbaum."

Also in the "where are they now" department, former Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) can probably kiss his political career good-bye. He was charged with drunken driving this week and state GOP party officials say he's, well, pretty much toast.

According to the Albany Times Union newspaper, a 23-year-old woman was in the car with Sweeney when he was pulled over at 1:19 a.m. Monday.

Sweeney and his wife divorced in September. Her allegations of spousal abuse in the run-up to Election Day led to his defeat by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. Of course, it really didn't help matters that Sweeney took a trip to the Mariana Islands with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and - woops - forgot to report it, as required by congressional ethics rules.

Also, Sweeney didn't fare well from the bad press he got for attending a drunken frat party at Union College. Pictures of the party featuring Sweeney with drunk college kids didn't go over so well with voters in his district.

If he's convicted, Sweeney faces up to a year in jail. So, any comeback he had hoped to make in the political arena is looking more and more unlikely.

UPDATE: New details have emerged about former Rep. Sweeney's DUI. When police pulled him over, they found not one, but TWO people sitting in the driver's seat: the unidentified 23-year-old woman traveling with Sweeney was sitting on his lap, according to this story in the Albany Times Union.

The story also notes that Sweeney, who lost his '06 re-election race to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, was a "one-time STOP-DWI coordinator for Rensselaer County."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  November 14, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
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Next: Sen. Frank Lautenberg, From Hottest to Coolest


Foley ought to fit right in with fruits and nuts on the left coast despite his (ex?) Republican politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I did not hear about Sweeney on Fox News, so the story must have been made up by the liberal MSM.

Posted by: Steve | November 14, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course he'll fit in on the left coast. After fraternizing with the closeted fruits and nuts of the GOP (just don't ask what the G stands for, at least not before the sun's down) dealing with Hollywood phonies must feel refreshing.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ugh! Why does this remind me of John Wayne Bobbitt?

Posted by: Scooter964 | November 14, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't send your Repuglican hypocrites to us in California. No, Foley will not fit in here. He'd be much happier with the bigots in Alabamy.

Posted by: Mike234 | November 14, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Carson used the "fruits and nuts" analogy back in the late 70's. I know there's a writers strike and all, but sheesh... get some new material people. :rolleyes:

Posted by: Bingo | November 14, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's some deep investigative reporting there. I almost feel like I'm right in the White House watching Republican Spiritual Leader Pastor Ted Haggard polish off a sausage with Karl Rove's intern and the bagel twins at prayer breakfast. Thanks to the Washington Post's insightful inside coverage which practically makes this administration open and transparent, we don't need to worry about missing White House emails, right? WaPo doesn't need to worry about protecting whistleblowers from burglaries, right?

Posted by: Singing Senator | November 14, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Bingo, er, Bingo. :)

Posted by: Mike234 | November 14, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | November 14, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

God bless you Mary Ann. My only regret is that the untimely death of Gerry Studds during the whole Mark Foley blow-up distracted us from the real issue of porking underage pages. Bless Gerry; screw Mark.

Posted by: Neal | November 14, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm usually a fan of Washington Post reporting, but who wants to hear what a disgraced, power-hungry hypocrite who preyed on teenage boys and obviously going to escape justice, is doing these days? Mr. Foley should stay in CA and FL and mix with the beautiful people. Here in real America, nobody cares!

Posted by: afam212 | November 14, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought Foley dried out at a Scientology rehab center in Clearwater?

Posted by: Ken | November 15, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

He's advising on The Larry Craig Story.

Posted by: sawargos | November 15, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Nisenbaum is not a dermatologist (M.D.), he's an osteopath (D.O.) who somehow relates that to dermatology. He's not a physician.

Posted by: rj | November 15, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

To the Anonymous Jerk re. "Fruits & Nuts":
We don't want him either out here in California. Foley fits in much better in your deeply closeted -"down-low"-"I have sex w/other men; but I'm not gay-married Christian family man-potty-cruising-hypocrite state such as yours (probably Virginia I'm guessing.) Got that?

Posted by: LeftCoast | November 16, 2007 4:25 AM | Report abuse

mark foley has every right to be inducted into the Larry Craig Wing of Toilets Anonymous. "My name is Mark and I've got a problem". Everyone, "Hi, Mark". He will be in good hands, just make sure you wash them first. R. Seacrest

Posted by: restless with seacrest | November 16, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

This gay man's question about l'afaire Foley is why he was hitting on congressional pages when he had that hunky cutie waiting for him at home. For those who missed the link, here it is


Does this mean that all those wealthy Rebublcrites in Palm Beach knew all along aboyt Marky-poo and Pretty Boy? Didn't this filter up to The Republicrite power elite on Capitol Hill?

Ading and abeting pedophilia they were!

Posted by: Athanasius | November 16, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The anonymous poster who just gratuitously bashed California as the 'left coast' full of fruits and nuts ,needs to grow up. I wonder if he has spent anytime in that state.I lived and worked in California for over 30 years,before moving here 4 years ago.As one who has lived in both places, I can tell you that there are more serious nut cases right here in good ole virginny than in ca. As to numbers of fruits(assuming the writer is using a metaphor for a gay human being) I can't say, because they hide in bathrooms here.Let me remind readers of a time some 30 years ago, when the radio- right found it fashionable to refer to democratic gov. jerry brown as gov. moonbeam for his far- sighted,and now seen as visionary, ideas on energy conservation and mass transportation.Too bad we did not listen to him then.Thanks Rush.....

Posted by: theopaine | November 18, 2007 6:51 AM | Report abuse

What is so terrible about people especially like Foley or Craig is that there is nothing wrong with being gay, but their damned denial and actually working against people who are gay (or of whatever sexuality whatsoever) is so terribly harmful to this country's citizens. It keeps people in the closet and makes it an impossible place to come out, or to get help with addictive behaviors, or to even give sex education and birth control to people who need it. This has got to stop, this denial and self righteousness. If you believe in God it is like he is saying, "I'm not going to let you lie anymore about the nature of the human creature. I'm going to out all of you." Enough is enough - start acting like human beings already. Stop your preachers from preaching hate. And stop passing legislation that makes it impossible for good people to live decently!

Posted by: Xtina | November 18, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thank you WA Post and MA Akers for this great column. It is very very good to know where these guys land once they are out of their senatorships and congressional posts. Most of them go to these seats drooling over the use of the contacts they make, and their future use once they are out of office. This is something that should be watched anyway, for actionable offense. Yes, maybe one day lobbying on the hell will be curtailed - I would love to see Tom Foley working at my local Jiffy Lube, provided he could pass the felony screening.

Thanks again. I love the Post. :)

Posted by: Xtina | November 18, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

We already know about the Gay Old Perverts that were outed. What I want to know is what happened to Rove. The guy looks like a fat Heinrich Himmler (kind of reminds me of Major Arnold Toht, the Nazi SS Interrogation officer from Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Posted by: Michael | November 19, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

How I wish that the problem with some of our politicians in Lebanon the tiny country is that of alcoholism and homo it would have been easier on us than secterianism.Certainly the clean - headed persons,and those devoted to the well being of their countries are what every country need.

Posted by: Aouni el Danaf -Beirut | November 20, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

The Country is in a hysteria and every politician has some pet "Save the children" bill (designed to help no one except there campaign)... But here we sit worrying about Foley being gay or what job he's going to get.

How about "Why isn't Mark Foley treated like EVER OF US CITIZEN who has their rights taken away because of bill like the one he endorsed? Why does he go scott free and others are branded for life.

Run for office again? Why not a felon who has no right to vote, just like all of those his laws have branded?

Yes, I've said branded twice. Because we now live in a country were a drug dealer selling dope to kids, can do his time and (in the unlikely event) he reforms can go back to a normal life, get his right restore, become a citizen.

Or where a murder can do the same thing. Or a wife beater.

But do something like Foley and you become a registered sex offender FOR LIFE... except if you're Mark Foley.

Isn't that a little more important that "he's gay"... woo-hoo, who cares. How about He's PROVEN GUILTY, but getting off scott free.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 23, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Foley snagged a hottie. Wonder how he did that!? What did the dr see in him? Also, he's a wee bit older than 16. Chairman of the congressional entertainment industries caucas??? WTF! And heh's panhandling for a job within?! Why not? I'm sure he's got plenty of connections. O, the priceless irony of his previous job as Chairman of Exploited Children caucas??? Can you imagine him on that show "to catch a predator?!"

Palm Beach has its own unique and indiosyncratic couture culture: it goes well with it's commonly threadbare POVs. Enough said. What better way to absorb a club member's flash-in-the-pan notoriety than to enshrined him in andy warhol-ish
portrait. If they paid any attention, they'd know that the warhol portrait thing is so like yesterday. Phew!

Posted by: boredwell | November 26, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

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