What is it like to (unexpectedly) be at the center of a national scandal?

I have some experience on the matter, and Politico Magazine was generous enough to give me ~7,500 words to tell my side of it all. It was their cover story on Friday, November 20, and I encourage you to give it a read. (Link.)

Here’s a brief excerpt:

I was a congressional page in 2001 and 2002. During that year, [Florida Congressman Mark] Foley sent sexual instant messages to at least three of my classmates. The messages weren’t flirtatious—though some started that way—but out and out lewd. Two of those recipients continued to receive them well after their time in the page program had elapsed, extending into our college years. Many of us who were pages at the time knew that the conversations had taken place. Some of us even shared copies of the message logs among ourselves. But how the conversations went public, and who gave them to reporters and started the avalanche that ended Foley’s career and dealt a blow to the Republican congressional majority, has never come out.

It was me.

I didn’t do it to sink the Republicans, though as an aspiring Democratic politico, I wasn’t sorry to see it happen. I did it because I realized just how easily Rep. Foley had been evading accountability for repeat offenses, and that the House leadership was either unwilling or unable to solve the problem. I had no idea what I’d eventually learn about the speaker in whose hands the problem was placed.

Check out the whole piece over at Politico Magazine; I think it’s worth your time.

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