J. Dennis Hastert, Republican, US Representative from the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. He served as Speaker of the House from 1999-2006, and surpassed Joseph Gurney Cannon as the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history on June 1, 2006. Hastert did not run for Minority Leader after Republicans lost control of the House in the 2006 elections. He retired on November 26, 2008.
Hastert's home page prominently features articles about the emerald ash borer and soybean rust.
Hastert was born on January 2, 1942 in Aurora, Ilinois.
Hastert knew that Congressman Mark Foley (R) was sending sexually explicit emails to underage pages for months, but did nothing to stop him. (Source: Hastert's letter to the DOJ advances the cover-up and worsens the scandal - Glenn Greenwald, Oct. 2, 2006)
Hastert personally made $1.5 million on a series of land deals connected to the Prairie Parkway project, a highway built with $207 million of Federal money, which Hastert inserted into the budget. (Source: Think Progress).
Alleged involvement with Turkish criminals
On August 3, 2005, Raw Story published an advance report on a then-upcoming Vanity Fair article by David Rose about Sibel Edmonds, "the FBI translator who has been gagged by the Bush Administration from revealing information about conversations she translated surrounding a seemingly major corruption scandal involving Turkish nationals and U.S. lawmakers." Parts of the report relevant to Hastert follow:   
- Edmonds was fired from the FBI after trying to persuade her bosses to investigate a Turkish family, the Dickersons, she said was trying to trade on her status as an FBI operative. She suspected that the American Turkish Council, which the family tried to persuade her to join, was a front group for criminal activity.
- Using a rarely-invoked "states-secrets" provision, the Bush Administration has gagged Edmonds from talking at all, or being heard in Court.
- Edmonds' attorney, who works for the ACLU, told the magazine: "It also begs a question: Just what in the world is the government trying to hide?"
- "It may be more than another embarrassing security scandal," writes Rose. "One counterintelligence official familiar with Edmonds's case has told Vanity Fair that the FBI opened an investigation into covert activity by Turkish nationals in the late 1990s. That inquiry found evidence, mainly via wiretaps, of attempts to corrupt senior American politicians in at least two major cities-Washington and Chicago."
- Sources familiar with this testimony suggest the FBI overheard conversations about a senior Republican leader taking bribes.
- Edmonds "reported hearing Turkish wiretap targets boast that they had a covert relationship with a very senior Republican indeed-Dennis Hastert, Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House since 1999," Rose writes. "The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
- "For many years, attempts had been made to get the House to pass a genocide resolution, but they never got anywhere until August 2000, when Hastert, as Speaker, announced that he would give it his backing and see that it received a full House vote," Rose notes. "Thanks to Hastert, the resolution, vehemently opposed by the Turks, passed. Then on October 19, minutes before the full House vote, Hastert withdrew it. He attributed it to a letter from President Clinton."
Reporter: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."
Reporter: "John McCain."
Hastert: "Where's he from?"
Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."
Hastert: "A Republican?"
Reporter: "Anyway, his observation was never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes and his question was, 'Where's the sacrifice?' "
Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."