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Purge of the GOP Gays

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BUCK STOPPER Hastert House Speaker Dennis Hastert took full responsibility for the Mark Foley debacle at a press conference Thursday afternoon, boldly declaring "the buck stops here." But that isn't stopping certain GOPers on Capitol Hill from engaging in a whisper campaign to deflect blame away from him and put it where it really belongs: The Gays!

Republicans on the Hill are spreading word that three staffers in Hastert's office, and one in the office of Rep. John Shimkus, who heads the page board, are big fans of The Golden Girls (if you catch our drift).

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Toss in the fact that Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff to Rep. Tom Reynolds—who attempted to protect Foley by cutting a deal with ABC News to keep the scandalous IMs under wraps—is openly gay, and that Jeff Trandahl, the former House Clerk, who met with Foley and quietly told him to knock off the creepy e-mails, is on the board of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, and the implication is clear: A "gay cabal" of staffers (as one Republican insider put it to Radar) conspired to protect Foley.

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