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Tough Times for Hastert After Foley Scandal

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The scandal involving former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley brought some unfavorable attention on Illinois’ most powerful congressman.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is fighting off claims he didn’t do enough after learning of some questonable emails Foley wrote to former House pages.

But Political observers agree it’s very unlikely Hastert’s bid for an 11th term in Congress will be affected by the scandal. He routinely waltzes to reelection with about 70 percent of the vote.

Chuck Todd, editor of the political tipsheet, The Hotline, says Hastert has something else to worry about this year.

“I think what’s very much in question is whether Hastert’s going to be speaker of the House come January of 2007,” Todd says. “And I think, even if Republicans hold the House, I think at this point, you wonder if there’s some question about that.”

That question was reinforced this morning when the editorial board at the conservative Washington Times called for Hastert to step down as speaker.

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