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Down-and-Out Ex-D.C. Figures Find Second Life on Talk Radio

Former Rep. Mark Foley is trying to master the art of the comeback. 

Three years after the former Florida congressman resigned amid disclosures that he was sending lurid text messages to teenage, male pages on Capitol Hill, a scandal in which Foley was never charged with a crime, he is taking a step back into public life -- this time as a radio personality. 

"Foley on Politics" debuts Tuesday night on Seaview AM 960 in North Palm Beach. 

"We certainly looked at every aspect and every angle, and we thought the information aspect of what he brings to the table, and what he brings to the microphone, can help people," said Joe Raineri, the station's operations director. 

Radio talk shows are hardly a new format for down-and-out political figures trying to regain their footing. 

To F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous lament that there are no second acts in American lives, perhaps no one offers a sharper retort than G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted Watergate conspirator who became a best-selling author, TV pitch man and radio host. 

Add to that list former Ohio Rep. Bob Ney, who served 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery and falsifying forms in the Jack Abramoff scandal. 

Now he hosts "Bob Ney News and Notes" on West Virginia's 1370 AM. 

"Talk radio gives me the ability to debate and be part of the energetic give-and-take of public debate once again," Ney said. 

Florida's Foley is getting back into the public debate as well. 

"Everybody's kind of gaming the system. Democrats want to stay in power, as did Republicans when we were in the majority," Foley says in one edition of "Foley on Politics." 

But other disgraced lawmakers face steep financial problems. 

Former California Rep. Gary Condit, who was cleared in the murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy but tarnished by allegations they had an affair, saw his ice-cream franchise melt. 

He now owes more than $44,000 to Baskin-Robbins. 

And William Jefferson, the New Orleans congressman convicted on corruption charges after the FBI found $90,000 in his freezer, owes lawyers a cool $5 million and has filed for bankruptcy. 

Kiki McLean, a doyen of Washington public relations, urges aspiring comeback artists to show sincere remorse on their road to recovery and not aim too high. 

"Don't all of a sudden try to become the president of the Red Cross," she said. "They need to make wise choices about their future path and they need to do it in a responsible way. Like anything else, you have to put your toe back in the water and prove yourself all over again." 

FOX News' James Rosen contributed to this report. 

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