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Embattled Rep. Fossella Speaks With House Chaplain

After admitting earlier today that he had an extramarital affair and fathered a child out of wedlock, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), who was nailed for drunk driving last week, was spotted today huddling with the House chaplain in the back of the chamber during floor debate.

Fossella, who is married and has three children with his wife, could be seen standing on the back rail of the chamber, on the Republican side near the center aisle, in deep conversation with Rev. Daniel Coughlin, the House chaplain. One can only assume what they were discussing...

In a statement today, Fossella went so far as to name the woman with whom he has had an affair for several years. Her name is Laura Fay, a retired Air Force Lt. Col. who, as Fossella now admits, is the mother of their 3-year-old daughter.

Fossella's "love child" was exposed in his drunken-driving charge because Fay is the person who fetched Fossella from an Alexandria, Va., police station after he was charged with driving while intoxicated in the wee hours of the morning last Thursday.

Their relationship is problematic politically for Fossella, not just because of the infidelity factor, but because he and Fay traveled abroad together at taxpayers' expense when Fay was working as a military liaison to the House arranging and traveling on congressional delegations trips abroad.

The New York Daily News reports that Fay and Fossella disappeared for hours at a time during a CODEL to Europe in 2003 led by then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Even though GOP officials privately say Fossella has little choice but to step aside for the good of the party, the congressman did not say in his statement today whether he would seek reelection. "Making any political decisions right now are furthest from my mind," he said.

Republican officials already are quietly eyeing other potential GOP candidates to run in Fossella's 13th congressional district in New York.

Observers agree, it would be tough for Fossella to hang on given his troubles. "This is isn't just infidelity, it's a multiple crisis syndrome," says crisis communications consultant Jim McCarthy, president of CounterPoint Strategies. "He's facing three or four accusations at once. Infidelity alone could be managed. A DUI alone could be managed. But if you're careening over the median strip on your way to see your lover and traveling with her on the taxpayer's dime, that's tough."

McCarthy has this advice for members of Congress who like to tip a few back: "Memo to the GOP cloakroom: take a chauffeured sedan to the Mayflower Town & Country bar next time."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  May 8, 2008; 2:19 PM ET
 
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Comments

He and John McCain, both admitted adulterers, will be fine standard bearers for the party of family values. Stand up with pride and talk about how Democrats jeopardize the moral fabric of this nation!

Posted by: billp | May 8, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Take Metro. Even Abu Dhabi is going auto-free and they don't even like to get wasted. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90042092

Posted by: Singing Senator | May 8, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You stay classy, billp.

Posted by: Greg | May 8, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Let me guess - this douchebag voted for a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage, right? Did he hit the House floor to lecture his colleagues on the "sanctity of marriage?" I bet he did. He is another "do who I say, not who I do" hypocrite.

Posted by: Emil Sarcasian | May 8, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I feel like everyone makes mistakes. And drunk driving is a serious crime, but this guy did nothing but good for the people. he really wasnt a bad congressman at all. the only politician i wish would step down is president bush. vito has a good track record

Posted by: carolyn | May 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The morality of morals etc has a great time. Let people live in peace. Adultery or not, no problem.

Go Obama go !

http://allainjulesblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: allainjules | May 8, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Another family values Republican sex and drug (yes, alcohol is a drug) addict gets outed.

Just another day in the life for this corrupt and venal GOP administration. Yawn.

Posted by: reporter1 | May 8, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Another family values Republican sex and drug (yes, alcohol is a drug) addict gets outed.

Just another day in the life for this corrupt and venal GOP administration. Yawn.

Posted by: reporter1 | May 8, 2008 4:28 PM

Guess you missed the article on the former Dem staffer that stole $200,000.

Posted by: They're all in the same pot. | May 8, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about a "Dem staffer who stole $200,000." How about the Republican accountant who stole A LOT MORE than $200,000 from several Republican re-election committees, and exposed the RNC to prosecution for false filings to the FEC (there were no audits).

And I don't care that Vito Fosella is a drunken sexual hypocrite. But whenever a Republican tries to foist their "morality" on the rest of us, that makes his behavior my concern.

Posted by: Beth | May 8, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

WOW!

That's all I can say... WOW!

Posted by: Vance McDaniel | May 8, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered Republican who is big on Family Values and Conservative Morals.

While I'm sick of the hypocrisy of our own Party, I do hope that Mr. Fossella is able to work on his personal life and family issues with earnestness and humility. While Forgiveness is critical to a person's being (and Commanded by God), I do think he has a moral obligation to accept the consequences of his actions and devote his energies toward the higher priorities at stake: His own wholeness and his family.

Do I think that he should be allowed to continue to serve? No. I want my party's leaders to be examples of moral conduct, not examples of moral failure.

Posted by: Mike T. | May 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

More republican family values?

Posted by: str8talk | May 8, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

He should become a Democrat and run for Senate!

Posted by: Go Vito | May 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

To all who are commenting on Vito's track record, anyone who has anything bad to say can shove it. Vito has done nothing but help Staten Island become what it is today. With out him we wouldnt have Federal aid for Parks and Lands. Without him, Staten Island would still be the forgotten boro. So before you all run to the hills with burning torches for a lyching, maybe some of you should do some research before you open you mouths. As a Staten Islander i am proud of what Vito Fossella has accomplished and as one of his loyal constituants, i and many others will stand with him, shoulder to shoulder and do what is best the Party. Vito is a good man who made a poor choice. Let us not be hasty and bad mouth a man that, despite recent events, has done everything right. And to call him a drug addict is completly ridiculous, reporter1. And i bet none of you have ever had a sip of alcohol. Everyone makes mistakes. And for all of you who are saying these things about Vito, i hope one day in a time of need, people treat you the same way you have treated him with your comments.

B

Posted by: BP466 | May 8, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Dennis Hastert knew what was going on. He knew about his fellow Republicans getting dirty with the male pages too. All the while insisting on the Moral Purity and Family values of the Party he was leading in the phony Impeachment charge.

I know a few Democrats do similar things but they don't run around charging their political enemies with being immoral atheist secular humanists who want to force your daughters into marriage with members of the same sex!

The Hypocrisy of Republicans knows no bounds!

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 8, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrisy? Why don't people just act decent. It doesn't matter what their political affiliation is. Just be decent people. If you are married, honor your vows. If you can't, divorce. It is pretty simple.

Posted by: KC | May 8, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

KC,

"If you are married, honor your vows. If you can't, divorce. It is pretty simple."

It's not pretty simple. First of all, where do you get off telling anyone how to live their personal lives? Consenting adults have a right to do as they please. Secondly, it seems like some people who have affairs (Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, etc) still have good marriages. Why should they divorce simply because you say they should? Some people aren't suited to be monogamous.

Why is this even an issue? What does fidelity have to do with being a good political leader? If it's clearly so important, why did nobody in JFK's time consider it important? None of this makes any sense.

Finally, you said that people should divorce if they can't "honor their vows." But most marriage vows include a promise to stay married for life. So if they divorce they'll still be breaking their vows, just in a different way!

Posted by: Lee | May 8, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Fossella speaking to a House chaplain? A little late for that, don't you think?
And Laura Fay (or should I say Lt Col Fay?) gives new meaning to the term military liaison. I'll assume this is some kind of crime. She should lose her retired rank, pension and honorable discharge for this.

Let's see: we've got a drunk driver, a Republican, a cheater and someone who's doing it all at taxpayer expense rolled into one. Yep, this is par for the Bush Administration course!

Posted by: Chris | May 8, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Vito Fossella should be John McCain's running mate!

McCain/Fossella '08: Straight Squawk
(Just don't ask any embarrassing questions)

Posted by: Go Vito | May 8, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

What a fool... He should have taken lessons from the Kennedys. Either Ted or Patrick would have been able to show him the right way to drive drunk, abuse the taxpayers, chase skirts and get away with it!

Posted by: Larry | May 8, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Vito cannnot control his Mondone.

Posted by: jack | May 8, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Vito cannnot control his Mondone.

Posted by: jack | May 8, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

And Laura Fay (or should I say Lt Col Fay?) gives new meaning to the term military liaison. I'll assume this is some kind of crime. She should lose her retired rank, pension and honorable discharge for this.

Posted by: Chris | May 8, 2008 10:17 PM

hey chris,

Have you ever served in the armed services. who do you think you are saying she should lose her rank, pension and everything else. What you have never done anything wrong in your entire life that you asked forgivness for? SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!

I hope you lead a perfect life where you do nothing wrong, even though that is completly impossible.

Seriously, think before you type. Just because you have a keyboard and a screen doesn't make you all powerful. Quit the tough guy routine, because i bet if you were face to face with Vito Fossella, you wouldnt say squat.

B

Posted by: BP466 | May 9, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

If Rep. Fosella was such a great rep. for Staten Island, shouldn't he have avoided breaking the laws of Staten Island (and every other jurisdiction)? Traveling on taxpayer dollars with your mistress is not only reprehensible, it breaks the vow of office that he took. And drunk driving is a miserable, horrible, stupid way to behave. I don't care how common it is, it's reprehensible. Especially from someone who represents the party of "conservative, family values".

Posted by: pauliji | May 9, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

To "B" who touts Vito's help to Staten Island. B is right: Vito has directed lots of federal largese to his district, compliments of a Republican Party that supposedly stands for small government and balanced budgets. All this makes me, a Republican, want to wash my hands. The Dems are no better when it comes to federal handouts; they are just less hypocritical about it.

Posted by: observer | May 9, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

C'mon folks lighten up! See the humor of one con-man (politician) seeking consolation from another con-man(chaplain).

It doesn't get funnier than that!

Posted by: Doubtom | May 9, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

As long as William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson is still around, Democrats cannot claim the high ground on morality or legality.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 9, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Who really cares if this guy is a drunk and committs adultry? I really don't care if he did take his girl friend on a tax payer trip; note she is ex military so she may have had more influence and understanding of the issues then his spouse, thus a more productive juncket.

Remember it's "We the People". Last time I checked people are human beings full of flaws. It's our laws and adherence to them that make our Country great. This guy is just silly.

Posted by: Duffey | May 9, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I love it!!! "One con man (politician) seeking consolation from another conman (chaplain)." Humor in the news is not dead!!!!!!

Posted by: Carl W. Lundquist | May 12, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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