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Beware The New "Foley/Massa" Rule

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Newscom

That appears to be what lead so rapidly to the resignation of Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). As our Justin Elliott reports, Rep. Mike Pence, a fellow Republican and Indianan, and a member of the Republican leadership, was approached last Wednesday by a reporter about Souder's alleged affair. Pence went to Souder, who confessed the affair. But, according to Pence, Souder didn't mention that the affair was with a staffer until Sunday, at which point Pence told Souder to resign and reported it to the ethics committee the next day.

Likewise, Minority Leader John Boehner reportedly talked to Souder on Monday, and after hearing about the affair with the staffer, also alerted the ethics committee. By Tuesday, news of Souder's affair was out, and he resigned within hours.

Poor Souder obviously didn't recognize the new rules of the game. The old House was self-protective and insular. In the new House, the leadership rats out their own to protect themselves and the rest of their caucus.

About The Author

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.