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Hastert says he won't quit

  |   Oct. 3, 2006 at 2:34 PM
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A spokesman said Tuesday that U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has no plans to obey conservative calls for his resignation.

"The Speaker has and will lead the Republican conference to another majority in the 110th Congress," spokesman Ron Bonjean said in a statement, CNN reported.

Hastert, R-Ill., faces criticism because of claims that he ignored warning signals about Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. Foley resigned Friday after the publication of sexually explicit instant messages he allegedly sent a teenage House page in 2003.

Some Republicans in Congress say they warned Hastert about Foley months earlier.

Richard Viguerie, chairman of conservativehq.com, called for the "immediate resignation of any House GOP leaders who had knowledge of former Congressman Mark Foley's improper contact with underage pages -- but who took no action."

Tuesday, The Washington Times published an editorial titled "Resign, Mr. Speaker," claiming Hastert had crossed the line.

"Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation ... or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away," the editorial said.

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