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Your e-mails: 'Betrayal of trust'

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(CNN) -- Rep. Mark Foley resigned Friday amid allegations that he had exchanged inappropriate e-mails with teenage congressional pages. Foley, a Republican from Florida, leaves his house seat vulnerable in an election year when Democrats hope to regain control of one or both houses of Congress.

We asked our readers whether the fallout would affect their vote this November. Here is a selection of the responses, some of which have been edited.

"Clean" house. We need to send a message that the American people will not tolerate corruption and deceit.
Terry Stroh, Crofton, Maryland

Once again, another case illustrating the sad sense of privilege that some of our legislators have. While it is not all right for us, the common man to engage in such immoral behavior, it is all right for our so-called leaders to do so. Either that is the case, or it illustrates the sad and compelling nature of the sexual offender. At the very least it is a betrayal of the trust that Americans have long had in their leaders by sending their young and vulnerable children to experience life in the nation's capitol. I think that the only honorable thing that that Mr. Foley could do would be to resign.
Mary Johnson, North Branch, Minnesota

I am 53 as of today, and I am appalled at what our country represents. I am a voting citizen. But I wonder why I waste my time anymore. Blaming alcohol for what people do is a Joke. What are these Democrats and Republican' thinking? Why aren't you protecting our children? When they know what's going on, and keep letting it happen, to me they are just as guilty.
Dara Stone, Col, Ohio

I would like to think that I would not rush to judgment. However, if the allegations against Foley are true, I can only think what twisted irony, and how fleeting and relative safety and security are. To have those we entrust to represent us, to guide our country, and to uphold our laws, morals, values, so utterly lacking in their own moral conscience and values is an insult of the worse kind. It is abominable. And worse yet, if it is true that other members of the Congress in a position to sound the alarm did in fact effectively turn the other way, then they are no better than Foley himself. Foley must be prosecuted for his actions, and those that knew what he was up to and didn't say anything should be as well. Time will tell, but I have little faith that justice will be served. Will it affect my vote? I tend to vote Republican, but they have sadly disappointed me lately. Having said that, though, I don't have much more faith in the Democrats either. I think the whole lot should be summarily voted out. A fresh start is what we need, but I think politics is rotten to the core. I probably will vote Independent.
Margaret Waid, Houston, Texas

The actions of Congressman Foley are disgusting. The inaction of the Congressional Leadership, however, is intolerable. Americans should not tolerate a Congress that is unable to protect children who are entrusted directly to Congress. The good news is that we don't have to tolerate it. I don't believe this is a partisan issue; leaders failed to act because they were focused on their self-interest - maintaining and increasing power. The same would be true for the other party.
Jeanne Blue, Arlington, Virginia

Here we go again. If anyone gets caught for anything they just check in to an alcoholics treatment center. This is starting to give drunks a bad name.
Earl Bjurstrom, Buena Vista, Colorado

Just because one Republican does something mortally wrong that does not mean other Republicans should be asked to step down. Is that the way the Clinton scandal was handled? As I recall he lied in front of the entire country about it and then remained in his position. Did anyone step down as a result of that scandal? Right and wrong do not change.
Marjorie Heide, East Prairie, Minnesota

Dennis Hasert was a public school teacher in Illinois. He took mandatory reporter training according to Illinois law and was required by law to report all cases of child abuse or endangerment. He knows what constitutes abuse. Congressmen should be held to the same standards as teachers and health care workers. If he knew about the abuse and did not report it, he is guilty of a crime against children.
Stephanee Jordan, Hampton, Illinois

Foley should not have had to resign. He should have been kicked out of office months ago when news of his inappropriate behavior first surfaced. I don't know what this world is coming to. We are all human, we all have our flaws, and we all have our weaknesses. However, any adult -- and certainly someone elected to represent our society -- should know better than to prey on our youth.
Melissa Karnes, Garland, Texas

Wow!!! I am infuriated by the alleged reports of how Mark Foley was handled by the leadership of Congress and his colleagues. What a travesty. I do not believe House Speaker Hastert. He would have us believe he does not recall a report of inappropriate lurid behavior that potentially could have been dangerous behavior towards a child. How absurd. Adults must protect our children from sexual predators no matter where we find them. The parents who reported the behavior may have been led to believe that the issue would be addressed but once they learned that he remained in office what was their responsibility to the other children. I realize that they were protecting their child but what about the children of other parents. At every level adults let these kids down.
Alesia Brooks, Stone Mountain, Georgia


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