Reader RiverRat has a potentially solid take on the Foley page scandal:
I believe we'll find the Republican Leadership knew Foley had been "overly friendly" with the teen and that the parents didn't wish to go public in any way with the matter. They questioned Foley who lied about the extent and nature of the contacts and gave him a stern cease and desist order.
Subsequently, a Democratic Legislative Aide friendly with the teen urged him to provide further details of the contacts which he ultimately did. These details were held until recently and then provided to the left-wing ethics watchdog group which leaked them to ABC. October Surprise!
The Republican Leadership may have been remiss in not initiating further investigations but given the facts at hand at the time (the teen was no longer a Page and had no immediate opportunity for direct contact with Foley) I'm not sure how they could have done so without infringing on the privacy of both parties. Neither the teen, his parents, or Foley could be compelled to provide additional details.
Remember, the teen was a legally consenting adult is all jurisdictions mentioned. DC, LA, FLA, & GA all have laws setting the age of consent at 16. Also it's not clear the teen was still a Page when the advances started thus eliminating any claims of workplace sexual harrassment.
So, who was more craven? The Democratic Aide who leaked a year later rather than report the matter to the Ethics Committee or the House Leadership who thought the matter resolved having reached such conclusion based on Foley's lies and incomplete information?
Seems a matter of who knew "how much" and when. Given the spin, it's unlikely we'll ever know...at least not before the election. That's how October Surprises are meant to work.