Former House Speaker Tom Foley, veteran Democrat
politician and longtime member of the House of Rep-
resentatives from Spokane, Washington, passed away
recently after being weakened by a stroke. He was 84.
Foley served thirty years in Congress, culminating in
becoming the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He lost his seat in the House in the 1994 elections,
which saw the Republicans rout the Democrats in many
races across the country, including gaining a majority in
the House for the first time since 1952. It is a very un-
common happenstance to see a House Speaker voted out
of office; such was the magnitude of the GOP victory
that year in which the party roared its displeasure with
Democrat President Bill Clinton and his policies.
But Foley was no radical; solidly left-of-center to be sure,
but he broke with his party on some key issues such as
gun control. In fact, Foley was an NRA member. The man
at least had some consistency in his approach to politics,
which is more that can be said for too many people in
both political parties, who demand that the people do one
thing while they themselves do another.
May the former Speaker of the House rest in peace.