Talk:Dennis Hastert

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English teaching in Osaka, Japan[edit]

I have read from several sources in Japanese that Dennis Hastert taught English in Osaka, Japan in the 1970s, an experience that may have influenced his pro-Japan stance later on. If anyone has a good citation for his term there in English, it would be much appreciated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC).

This sentence is chronologically challenged: "After a stint teaching English in Osaka, Japan, in the early 1970s,[6] he moved to Yorkville in 1964, 55 miles (89 km) west of Chicago, and took a job as a government and history teacher at Yorkville High School from 1964 to 1980." Should that be 1974 instead of 1964? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


I added the section on contributors, making every attempt to be balanced. Noted local support (i.e. McDonald's, Allstate), support from the business community, medical community, and agricultural interests. I imagine these are all perceived as positives. Also noted returned donations to the tobacco companies. Again, likely to be perceived positively. On the negative side noted ties to Accenture and the law firm Winston and Strawn, which have both attracted considerable press attention. Also noted ties to Enron & Arthur Andersen, but mentioned their issues were not yet at the forefront. Overall, I hope this is a fair presentation. I welcome any informative additions to this section; however, I remain concerned that some "editors" might be tempted to delete certain aspects. 04:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


Actually, Dennis Hasters ancestors are ***not*** from Rosport but from Osweiler (Uesweller in our language) which is part of the municipality Rosport, close to Echternach, Luxembourg, Europe. Some days ago, he was here again. Thorben - Luxembourg

Tenure as Speaker of the House[edit]

His tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives lists three separate periods, each of which is separated only by a few days. While I'm sure this is useful information, perhaps simply listing his tenure as "1999–" and adding the details in a footnote, might make things clearer for readers? -- Vystrix Nexoth 06:05, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

New Orleans Rebuilding Controversy[edit]

This paragraph seems dated and not really relevant to the rest of the commentary (Speaker Hastert's comments regarding the rebuilding): "On September 2, Hastert was in Indiana attending a fundraiser for Republican Rep. Mark Souder rather than being in Washington leading the House of Representatives in voting on the Hurricane Katrina emergency appropriation bill. Nancy Pelosi has stated that Hastert refused to call a special session of Congress on Katrina as late as August 31."

I think it would be more appropriately located in an overall review of the Katrina response. Any objections / counterarguments? RB McLeroy 13:02, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't mind if you update to make it seem less dated, but Hastert's record on Katrina at the beginning of September is relevant to his role as speaker. --SeanO 16:07, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Presidential ambitions?[edit]

Someone please verify this. The running for president part threw me off:

He leads a quiet life in Yorkville, IL, at his home set on the Fox River. In fact, Hastert's code name is "Fox." Hastert still meets with his friends for breakfast when he is in Illinois.

Once learning that he would be the next Speaker of the House, Hastert set-out to create a dream-team staff. Using Scott Palmer as his base (Chief of Staff), he included John Feerey in his press-shop for spin control and Ted Van Der Meid to handle the Floor. Van Der Meid's experience with former Majority Leader Bob Michael helped Hastert turn the tables in his favor. Feerey has stopped literally all negative press.

Hastert clearly intends to run for the presidency in 2008 and has already amassed a war chest in excess of $70 million (for perspective, Bush spent about $100 million in 2000). Insiders say that he should have it wrapped up since Cheney does not intend to run.

One difficulty for Hastert is lack of name recongition with the general electorate. To remedy this, Hastert's campagin office is planning a preliminary "Balloon campaign." In late-2005, Americans for Hastert plans to fly 5000 hot air balloons saying "HASTERT!" over every major city (pop.>100,000) in the united states. The campaign will begin by flying all 5000 balloons in Miami, FL then moving all 5000 to Tallahasse, then to Atlanta and so on. The goal is to "Shield the sun from every city so that Americans can't help but know who Hastert is." Plans are also being made to take legislative action so that the FAA cannot prohibit such balloon activity.

It seems pretty likely, and - as of teh last day of 2005 - hasn't yet happened. There is no such group as "Americans for Hastert," and I'd like a source for the suggestion that Hastert as accumulating funds for a Presidential race before I believe it. I don't have a problem with Denny running, it just seems inordinately unlikely. Simon Dodd 20:19, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Hastert is retiring, has said so. He had to pushed hard by Reynolds just to run this year. -- 23:48, 21 July 2006 (UTC) Jacob Waalk

Hastert has made no comments about retiring, but he is not running for POTUS.

Term Limits[edit]

From wiki's Speaker of the House page: "Speakers are elected following each biennial general election, and serve two-year terms. A rule adopted by the House in 1995 sets a limit of four terms."

Since Hastert was elected in 1999, wouldn't that make this his last term, to be replaced in 2007?

Hastert began serving as Speaker in the 106th Congress, 1999-2001; that would make his second term of four the 106th Congress 2001-2003, his third term of four the 107th Congress 2003-2005 and his fourth term of four the 108th Congress 2005-2007, which does indeed mean that this is his last Congress as Speaker, meaning that he will be inelligible to stand to be Speaker in the 110th Congress. The 110th Congress will be elected fall of '06, and will convene Jan of '07, exactly as you say. Simon Dodd 04:14, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

not aware of any decision to retire, and the Presidential stuff sounds strange. someone should correct the retirement expectation on the front page, that's someone's opinion

a couple of changes[edit]

I removed "ultra" from in front of right-wing religious organizations. It sounded a bit loaded. Also, I changed the wording for the organizations so it was clear that they were rating his voting record.--Hbutterfly 19:09, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Now that I think about it, does any other politician have ratings from interest groups listed on their page? Do we really need these at all?--Hbutterfly 19:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

NSA Investigation[edit]

The Turkey section indicates that an NSA investigation is underway. The NSA does not normally investigate this sort of activity, as it cannot bring cases for prosecution. It would simply turn over documents to a special prosecutor or ethics committee if ordered to do so by POTUS and perhaps by SSCI or HPSCI, but this would be very, very unusual. Also, it would generally go against agency policy to comment on or even confirm or deny its activities. (The FBI would be a different story.) What's described here, though certainly possible, would be very unusual. Can someone provide a reliable source for this? DavidGC 12:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Voting record[edit]

This looks cut and pasted, and is anyway too vitriolic for Wikipedia, but there's some good info:

Right now, much of America envisions Dennis Haster as a man who is chummy and modest, a friendly midwesterner, a former wrestler and high school teacher, a father of two grown boys, raised in farm country. The more accurate image is of a right-wing extremist; a rabid anti-choicer; or an evangelical Christian rarely materializes. A little investigation reveals that Hastert’s voting history on a variety of issues is far to the right.

The media has introduced us to Dennis Hastert as "A lumbering man with an easy smile"[Washington Post, 5 Jan 99, p. A01], and have shared with us unassuming reflections from the new Speaker such as "It’s a very humbling experience...I’m just going to try to pull up every ounce of courage and strength to do the best job I can."[Ibid.] Congressional colleagues eagerly encourage this cozy facade of Speaker Friendly, with comments like "People look at Denny and say, "This is a guy who might be running an auto parts store downtown" (Rep. Rick Lazio [R - NY]) [Ibid.]. While the Washington Post did briefly mention that Hastert is an evangelical Christian and a strong conservative, it quickly neutralized any negative impact by pointing out that "Hastert offers himself as an honest broker who respects the institution of the House" [Ibid.].

Website after website confirms that not only is Speaker Hastert conservative, he is more right wing than almost any member of Congress. Hastert voted prochoice 0% of the time on votes relating to women’s reproductive freedoms []. Hastert has a whopping lifetime voting record of 7%[]. For comparison, Henry Hyde [R - IL] voted with 16% of the time throughout his career. To the ACLU website []. From the 109th Congress Hastert had an ACLU rating of 0%. On to the Human Rights Campaign [], in the 108th Congress, Hastert voted against HRC’s positions 100% of the time.

Early Life[edit]

Does his first term in office really count as "early life"?

--User At Work 21:37, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Report of connection to Abramoff[edit]

I deleted two words that supported the POV that Hastert *is* under FBI investigation. Wikipedia does not know this for a fact. It knows only that ABC reported it, based on unnamed sources. --Uncle Ed 18:26, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Then I added the Justice Department denial. Whoever put this together did rather a one-sided job of it. --Uncle Ed 18:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia can't refer to "the investigation" until and unless we know that there is one. Who knows, maybe we'll find out three hours or three days from now that the DOJ denial was a knee-jerk reaction and was false. Until then, we have to remain neutral on the question of whether there is an investigation. --Uncle Ed 18:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Cut from article:

Mr Abramoff has pleaded guilty to providing gifts and trips to members of Congress and their staff members in exchange for favourable treatment for his clients. He is co-operating with government investigators as part of his plea agreement.

Shouldn't this be in one of the articles about Jack Abramoff? If so, which one? And what's the best way to direct the reader to it? --Uncle Ed 18:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the couple of sentences related to Jack Abramoff that were cut probably should remain in the Hastert article because they highlight the possibility that Abramoff is naming names, maybe Hastert. I think it's relevant. Your thoughts? 02:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
If you can find a source which speculates that "Abramoff is naming names, maybe Hastert" then please quote and cite that source. Otherwise, it's just your own idea. --Uncle Ed 16:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

argubably the most Republican district in the state[edit]

I'm non partisan, just so you know. I deleted that because it was false information. According to the CQ Politics map, IL-14 is nowhere near the most Republican district in the state. Looking at Bush's percentages, a good indicator, Democrat Mellisa Bean, Bob Shiminkus, Ray LaHood, and Tim Johnson's districts all gave Bush more than the sturdy, but not impressive 54% IL-14 gave him.

2006 Mark Foley scandal[edit]

Should this have a more prominent role in the article? Hastert's role in the cover-up of this pedophilia within his own party, if it does not bring down his speakership, will surely be a black mark on his record in the history books!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 22:34, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to expand it, but let's keep to the facts, which are not conclusive on either a "cover-up" or how serious this matter will become. John Broughton | Talk 15:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
John, its good to see you again. Perhaps we can do a better job with this than with the Ney Article.
It was a liberal group which put children at risk by sitting on the im's for 1-3 years. Not Hastert or any republican. The committee mentioned in the article saw one email - asking how he survived Katrina - and requested that Foley stop. They took no further action at the child's families request. The liberal group (maybe CREW) who held the leud im's 1) may have put children at risk in order to maximize political gain and 2) may have violated the explicit requests of the family involved.
Of the emails known before last Friday, both the FBI and the major news outlets took a pass - saw nothing in them. At any rate, the claims on Hastert are wholly unsubstantiated and should be removed. --Ej0c 13:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I thought the Bob Ney article was pretty good, looking at how events transpired.
I'm not aware of ANY evidence that a "liberal group" or anyone else "sat on IMs" for any length of time. I know CREW has denied leaking email info to ABC News (they reported it to the FBI in July, as soon as they got it); I doubt very much they had anything to do with the IMs. I know that there are people out there speculating that this was a deliberately engineered "October surprise" [wouldn't October 2004 have been better?), but I think that gives way too much credit to Democrats to be able to engineer this scandal as it has fallen out.
Apparently members of the house page alumni association have known of this for years. How it came to public light now, I have no idea. Either way, Hastert didn't know of it; only (perhaps) of an email that now looks bad but would not have then. -- 22:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
My read on this is that the Republican leadership wasn't particularly proactive on this, and is paying the price. Here's an op-ed that talks about what was done in 1982, saying the approach was quite different (admittedly, after a TV "expose", not just some marginal emails): [1].
"Studds chose to stay on and was retained in office by his constituents for 13 more years." You recommend this solution? Yech. -- 22:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
But I don't really have a horse in this, so if you want to chop out the speculation, have at it. I'm hoping to have time to go in after things have died down and make the narrative a bit more compelling. It doesn't really discuss the oddity that Hastert's staff knew in 2005 about the emails (but not IMs, of course), per the press release from his office, but (apparently) didn't tell him (!); or contradictory info from other Republican Representatives about when he was told about this and what he said, for example. John Broughton | Talk 16:21, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh ye of little faith--I could see from day 1 this would cost Hastert the Speakership.... only question now is will he be succeeded by Roy Blunt or Nancy Pelosi!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 02:41, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

"..calls are growing for Speaker Hastert to resign for his involvement in the Page scandal." This seems like a misleading statement, considering only the Washington Times and some Democrats have called on him to resign. It makes it seem like there is more pressure on him to resign than there actually is. 18:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Not so misleading. Here is a quote from CBS from 10/6/2006:<> "I'm deeply sorry this has happened and the bottom line is we're taking responsibility," Hastert said at a news conference outside his district office in Batavia, Ill.

That seemed to quiet rumblings about Hastert's resignation as the week drew to a close and House and Justice Department officials launched separate investigations. Trishm 13:05, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

How long until he passes Sam Rayburn?[edit]

Now that Speaker Hastert has become the longest serving GOP Speaker, how long will it be until he passes Sam Rayburn as the longest Speaker to serve ever? I think this would be good for the article. - Thanks, Hoshie 07:44, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Living arrangements[edit]

The article for Scott Palmer says "When they are in Washington, Palmer and Hastert live together in a townhouse.[1]" Another source said "When in Washington, the speaker lives in a group house with his chief of staff, Scott Palmer and top deputy, Mike Stokke. I asked her if she (Mrs Hastert)is bunking with the guys. She is not. She stays in a hotel."[2] Is this "encyclopedic" or just one of those random facts we leave out? Edison 21:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

i'd say it IS encyclopedic, especially as this fact is sparking controversy within the blogosphere about whether hastert might be gay himself or not.... reference:  ;

For some less encyclopedic discussion of this (but great satire), check out A. Whitney Brown's piece at Daily Kos: ; Denny Hastert is NOT Gay (and neither is his boyfriend)] (Corby 23:57, 3 November 2006 (UTC))

Still House Speaker[edit]

Hastert is still the House Speaker, should be listed as such. We won't know (for certain) until Jan 2007, who'll be elected Speaker by the House of Represenatives. Please don't add 'Nancy Pelosi' or anyother person's name, until then. GoodDay 18:14, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House by the Democrats on November 16, 2006 so I have put Nancy Pelosi in as the successor. Please do not remove it, as she IS his successor. - Brandon Rhea 19:45, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
She was elected speaker designate by the Democrats. She still has to go through a full House vote in January before officially becoming speaker. Gdo01 19:48, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Finally, after countless premature edits (since November 7th, 2006) Hastert has ceased to be House Speaker (with the expiration, of the 109th Congress - Noon EST January 3rd, 2007). GoodDay 20:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Longest-serving GOP speaker?[edit]

I don't understand this math:

Joseph Cannon served as speaker, 1903-1911. That's 8 years.

Dennis Hastert served as speaker, 1999-2006. That's 7 years.

Please explain to me how Hastert's tenure exceeded that of Joseph Cannon's. 20:14, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Cannon was November 9, 1903March 4, 1911 which is about 7 years, 4 months.
Hastert was January 6, 1999January 3, 2007 (not 2006) which is 3 days shy of 8 years.
That's 8 months more than Cannon. Cburnett (talk) 23:58, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Info Box Error[edit]

I was just reading the article about Hastert and think I noticed an error. Nancy Pelosi is named as the successor for both Speaker of the House and his actual seat. The latter should read incumbent should it not? If someone can take a look I'd appreciate it. Davidpdx 10:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Labeling of newspapers[edit]

" JamesMLane (Talk | contribs) (38,315 bytes) (→2006 House page scandal - the reader deserves to know, at least, that the Washington Times isn't always anti-Republican (that's relevant to this point), so cite the fact of its Bush endorsement)."

JamesMLane feels it is important to note that The Washington Times is not anti-bush, but the Rolling Stones Magazine (who's opinion on congressmen isn't news worthy) is very anti-republican. So if we must label TWT, then we should also Label Rolling Stones Magazine.Mantion 17:30, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Announced plans to retire[edit]

He has announced his plans to retire from Congress at the end of his present term, today. Bearian 17:32, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Controversies section[edit]

This section creates a POV against Hastert by labelling everything "wrong" he did as Speaker or whenever as controversial. Instead, such material should be presented within a main biographical section. Remember: Show, don't tell, the reader! --Andrewlp1991 (talk) 06:42, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Did a quick word count and believe that the controversies section is far too long. Currently as the article stands right now, controversy section is 2200 words, and the article is 4600 words. I am going to venture a guess and say that 1/2 of his article as a controversy is POV. (talk) 19:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
It might raise a problem of WP:Undue weight, yes.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 23:02, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course, there's a huge WP:UNDUE and WP:POV problem in this article. The only thing is that Hastert isn't worth the effort to correct it, so I'll just mark it as an example of agenda-driven article composition. The agenda here being: the anti-Republican/presumtively-anti-Hastert editors are motivated and the Republican/presumptively-pro-Hastert editors are not as motivated. We don't get the Wikipedia we deserve, we get the Wikipedia the editors are motivated to create. patsw (talk) 16:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

As of right now the controversies section is non-existent, as is any mention of Mark Foley or any other criticism of Hastert. It still seems VERY PoV, just in the other direction. Kevinatilusa (talk) 23:47, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Little Rock Trust 225[edit]

I'm surprised there's no mention of this scandal in the article. It was well-covered by Chicago newspapers and others, so there's no lack of sources. The Sunlight Foundation did an entire series on it. (talk) 22:27, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Washington Post, October 7, 2006
  2. ^ The scoop from Lynn Sweet, "Just ran into: Jean Hastert, wife of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert," Chicago Sun Times, Feb 14, 2006