The Democrat challenging Republican Congressman Tom Latham in November says Latham should return the campaign cash he has received from GOP leaders in the U.S. House.
Dr. Seldon Spencer says if Latham “wants to demonstrate a respect for the institution,” then Latham “should not be taking money from leaders that have participated in…what appears to be a cover-up, of a member that has disgraced the institution.” Spencer is talking about Mark Foley, the Republican congressman who resigned last week after lurid “electronic messages” Foley sent a teenager were disclosed to the public.
Latham, a Republican who is seeking a seventh term in the U.S. House, has received over $60,000 in campaign contributions over the past four years from political action committees connected to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and two other top House Republicans. Latham received a $1000 donation from Foley’s PAC in 2002 and Latham campaign officials say in reaction to the recent disclosures about Foley, the congressman just wrote a one-thousand dollar check to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Spencer, the Democrat running against Latham, says that’s not enough and Latham should return the money he’s gotten from the top three Republican leaders in the U.S. House. “I see the Washington machine as being on the wrong track and this current episode with the Republican leadership is just one more example of that,” Spencer says.
Jennifer Crall, Latham’s campaign manager, says Latham supports “a full criminal inquiry” into Foley’s actions and she accuses Spencer of “playing politics with an issue that deserves serious attention from law enforcement.”