July 28, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Turning the Page

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Carlos De La Torre (second from right) and Hannah Marrs (right) were among former pages who urged Members' offices to keep the program after Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced in 2011 that it would end.

But while these relationships could play out between pages and staff, one House Member who asked not to be identified said it had been a long time since lawmakers could truly mentor pages. The 2006 scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) sending sexually suggestive email correspondences with a young male page had a chilling effect on even strictly professional relationships between pages and Members.

"All of us had to be on our guard when we interacted with pages individually for fear it could be misconstrued," the House Member told Roll Call. "Who could mentor a page after Mark Foley?"

Of course, not everyone took that approach.

"I would sit back there in the chamber with them and ask what they were doing, about their day. ... I would try to fill the role of a parent," Cleaver said. "My daughter was an intern in [then-Republican Missouri Sen.] Kit Bond's office. I would have wanted someone to take that kind of interest in my daughter."

De La Torre said he remembers the farewell he and his page class received from then-House Minority Leader Boehner.

"I remember the tears from Rep. Boehner as he cried during our graduation ceremony," De La Torre said. "He said he would always go to Starbucks at 6 in the morning, start his day off early, and would see how energetic and ready for the day we were, and that would inspire him to move forward on his day."

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