Disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley might go down in the annals of Washington, D.C., scandals with his recent resignation over lurid messages to underage Congressional pages, but he also had a hand in the entertainment industry as an anti-piracy advocate as well as a former honorary roadie for the Allman Brothers Band.
Foley chaired the House Entertainment Task Force, a caucus he co-founded with the late Sonny Bono, and was a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, which will always be a footnote after “co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus” and his instant messaging moniker, Maf54.
But for his work with the entertainment and arts panels, the Florida Republican was feted September 6th along with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein during the sixth annual Grammys on the Hill, a Recording Academy event honoring lawmakers and artists who have made significant contributions to the music industry.
Foley was chosen to receive an honorary gong because of his support for RA campaigns advocating music education and against piracy. He was the keynote speaker at a Grammys on the Hill event earlier in the day called “Making the Record” at which he and other politicos “jammed” in a simple recording session with
Entertainment execs expressed shock at the news of Foley’s sexually graphic e-mail and instant message exchanges with teen pages. Many considered Foley an effective representative for them particularly on the GOP side of the aisle, usually considered hostile to Hollywood.
“He was very effective,” Motion Picture Assn. of America exec VP John Feehery told The Hollywood Reporter. “We saw him as an effective champion for the industry. It’s tragic for a whole lot of reasons. There’s the personal reason that it’s tragic, especially for the pages.
“It’s politically tragic for Republicans, and in the entertainment industry, we lost an ally.”
And according to the Herald Tribune newspaper in southwest Florida, Foley even traveled with and occasionally lugged trunks around for the