Mark Foley, Ousted by His Own Sex Scandal, Recalls Anthony Weiner's Creepy Bill

Now, says former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, it all makes sense!

In late 2005, Republican Mark Foley found his Democrat ex-colleague Anthony Weiner's enthusiasm for a bill he was trying to introduce a little misguided.

"He came up to me over and over again for me to cosponsor his bill," Foley said. "The way in which he was excited about it was pretty weird. He'd corner me in a hallway and say: 'Mark, how 'bout it? You've got to get on this with me.' I'd rarely been lobbied like that for anything. He kept at it for months."

What was Weiner's life-changing legislation about?

Weiner, according to congressional records, wanted to alter immigration laws to make it

easier for foreign fashion models to live in the United States.

"If you tie that to his porn girlfriend, now it all makes sense," Foley said.

Last week, Weiner, who represented the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, resigned the congressional seat that had been his for 12 years after tweeting sometimes-obscene photos of himself to women, including an ex-porn star.

Newlywed Weiner -- who was known to be very active on the D.C. dating scene -- also carried an online sexual relationship with a Las Vegas casino worker.

Ironically, blue text messages also felled Foley in 2006. He resigned the Palm Beach and Martin counties seat he held for 11 years when his sexy electronic exchanges with young male congressional pages surfaced.

But now, Foley says, he understands why Weiner wanted to endear himself to the fashion industry by letting as many as 1,000 foreign models a year into the United States.

"More dates, I guess," Foley said.

According to congressional records, Bill H.R. 4354 would have created a new temporary visa category specifically for catwalkers who could demonstrate "distinguished merit and ability."

The bill stood out that year for several reasons. First, Weiner's main focus in legislation he introduced was strengthening ties between the United States and Israel as well as making it harder for Arab countries to reinforce their relations with America.

And then, unlike Weiner's other bills, H.R. 4354 didn't find any cosponsors -- except, briefly, for Miami Beach-based U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen withdrew her support as the bill reached an immigration committee in 2006 and died.

So why didn't Foley let Weiner have his fun?

"It's very dicey to pass industry-specific legislation," Foley said. "Next thing you know, gardeners and lumberjacks want their own visas. He wanted my support because of the Florida connection to the fashion industry.

"But my thing was: Aren't there enough hot women in the United States? It's not like our runways are empty!"

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Jose Lambiet
Contact: Jose Lambiet