WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There's a surprising new voice in the world of political talk radio as former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley returns to the spotlight three years after a lurid scandal ruined his congressional career.
Foley taped his first stint behind the mic for "Inside the Mind of Mark Foley" on Tuesday. It will air Sept. 22 on WSVU out of North Palm Beach, Fla. On it, he tackles topics such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and its role in the Bernie Madoff scandal.
There's even hope for eventual syndication of the show, which will explore Washington politics.
"I don't see anything stopping it," said Joe Raineri, the show's producer. "I can tell you, he's very good."
Foley, who represented parts of Palm Beach County in Florida, resigned in 2006 after sending salacious Internet messages to male teens who had worked on Capitol Hill as congressional pages. Criminal investigations ended without charges.
The popular politician was seeking his seventh term in his South Florida district, where he kept busy attending lavish parties and fundraisers in glitzy Palm Beach.
His sexual orientation was a poorly kept secret, but he cloaked himself in a false public persona and kept his personal life hush. Upon resigning, Foley announced to the world he was gay.
He has since been working in real estate investment and has shied from the spotlight – until now.
Raineri said Foley approached the station a few months ago with the idea for a show. Station honchos then huddled to discuss the pros and cons – the main con being whether listeners would be turned off by Foley's past.
"We weighed the informative aspect of it against everything else and determined that what he has to say is much more important," Raineri said.
And it won't cost them a dime. Foley is working for free, and has said he'd bring his own advertisers.
Raineri described it as a "conversational 'Meet the Press' type of show."
The first hour-long episode will be an interview with Foley by the station manager. As he gets comfortable, Raineri said, the show will go live, take calls, and have guests.
Foley did not respond to telephone messages from The Associated Press.
"So do you want to know what's inside the mind of Mark Foley?" an announcer says in the show's promo.
Foley then expounds on Bernie Madoff, the SEC, and life as a politician.
Asked why the SEC didn't catch Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme sooner, Foley said SEC members have more on their minds.
"Members who work for the SEC, and not all of them are bad, but all of them are hoping to parlay their government service into a big paying, New York, Wall Street job," Foley says.
"A real insider's view into the inner workings of Washington, D.C.," the announcer continues.
On The Net:
WSVU 960am: http://www.seaviewam960.com