Debbie Schlussel: Mel Reynolds: Worse Than Mark Foley, Pardoned by Clinton

By Debbie Schlussel

Since the Mark Foley scandal broke, I've been getting a torrent of e-mails from readers who cite Rep. Mel Reynolds as a contrast in the way Democrats and Republicans treat their child molesters.

No, my dear readers, I did not forget Congressman Reyolds. I wrote about him in early 2001.

Reynolds was a liberal Democrat Congressman who actually did what Mark Foley--as far as we know--only talked about. The difference is that Mel Reynolds' "affair" with an underaged girl got him a Presidential pardon and a job with Jesse Jackson.

Congressman Mel Reynolds: Clinton Pardoned Dems' Mark Foley

From my 2001 column:

While he represented inner-city Chicago, Reynolds was a good friend of the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan. They were such close friends that Reynolds had no problem spouting some of Farrakhan's various anti-Semitic incantations against Jews while in office.

But all of this vicious hate couldn't help Reynolds when he helped himself to regular illegal sexual relations with a 16-year-old "campaign worker," Beverly T. Heard. A tape of an explicit June 6, 1994, phone conversation between Heard and Reynolds was exhibit number TR-1 in People v. Melvin Reynolds, a trial that ended in Reynolds' conviction. Reynolds was sentenced to several years in federal prison for this and fraud and corruption convictions; his wife and three children went on welfare in Boston.

A sampling of Reynolds' phone conversation rivals the lurid detail of Clinton's lewd behavior in the Starr Report. Various underwear choices and sex acts are graphically described by Reynolds to his youthful female target. This includes a planned threesome with a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl named Theresa. Awestruck with the prospect, Reynolds rhetorically asks, "Did I win the Lotto?" It's enough to make Reynolds' pardoner, Monica's boyfriend, blush.

And not only was Reynolds pardoned by Clinton, but he was hired by Rev. Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH to decrease the number of young blacks going to prison. Given its new employee -- teen "romance" king Reynolds -- it's ironic that Jackson founded PUSH to persuade minority students to avoid, among other things, teen-age pregnancy. Until Clinton's pardon, Reynolds, like any other convicted child molester, was required to register as a sex offender in each place he lived.

No-one's saying Mark Foley should not have resigned. He's a disgrace, and it's good he's gone. But let's have some fair play here. What's good for the Goose is good for the . . . Democrats.

Posted by Debbie on October 3, 2006 03:34 PM to Debbie Schlussel