So once again, another “family values” politician has been busted for committing adultery – but are we really surprised at this point? In a video leaked to a previously obscure website The Ouachita Citizen (who I hope invested in a good web server, and a lawyer), first term Congressman Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught on the surveillance cameras in his own office kissing a married female staffer, Melissa Peacock, who just happens to be good friends with his family. Oh, and both she and her husband were big time donors to his campaign in the special election that he won to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander. But come on now, whether it’s David Vitter (R-Pampers) or any of the others who preach about conservative family values, we’ve already learned by now that these people are little more than
two-faced hypocrites politicians. So what’s the big deal with this story? All we’ve seen is a kiss and it’s unclear if there was anything beyond that. Certainly with all of the headlines screaming “HYPOCRITE Married Christian Values Politician BUSTED!!!” you’d think that maybe someone would have spent the time to dig a little deeper into the story other than to post about how yet another politician who ran on conservative family values (whatever the hell that means anymore) got exposed for being a hypocrite. Fortunately, my friend Lamar White who writes for cenlamar.com actually did that and found that there’s far more to this than just a kiss.
But while the national media gawks over the lurid details and focuses on Congressman McAllister’s rank hypocrisy, they’re missing the real scandal here: Who leaked the video, and was this leak purposely timed? After all, this video was recorded nearly four months ago, from inside the Congressman’s own district office…
The story was first broken at 12:19PM by The Ouachita Citizen, a fledgling website that claims to have a paid readership of more than 5,200 people but, based on third-party web traffic analytical data, likely has a daily audience of between 200-300 unique visitors. An hour and a half later, the story was on the front page of Politico. An hour later, it was covered by almost every national news outlet in the United States- Fox, CBS, The Washington Post, NBC.
With all due respect to John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman, the two Politico journalists who broke the story nationally, it defies logic that they somehow randomly stumbled on a story published on a website that even most Louisianians have never heard of and verified the authenticity and provenance of a blurry surveillance video (which, by the way, was behind a paywall) all within a span of 90 minutes. No, this leak was coordinated and planned, and more than likely, considering it was recorded nearly four months ago, it had been in the works for a long time. (Source)
Yes, this smells like a political hit job, but why? Why would Congressman McAllister’s own party try to take him down? Because while he’s very conservative on nearly everything and enjoys a close friendship with the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty who endorsed him, he wasn’t the GOP’s golden boy to replace Rodney Alexander in Louisiana’s 5th district. Oh, and he also happened to say this in response to Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal’s remarks on Medicaid expansion:
“I thought, ‘You know what, I’m not going to skirt the issue. Republican, Democrat, it don’t matter. Those working poor have paid that money in. That money’s going to Washington. It’s their money,’ ” he said. “For me to say I’m against Medicaid expansion makes me the best congressman California and Massachusetts could ever have, because that’s where that money’s gonna go.”
“It’s about doing what’s right. You keep your people healthy, they’ll continue to work. They’ll do better,” he said. “The money’s there. As a business guy, I don’t like Gov. Jindal standing up there and trying to use political points” to argue that the state can’t afford the small fraction it would eventually have to pay to draw down billions in benefits. “It don’t take Einstein to figure out that’s a pretty darn good return on your investment.” (Source)
Many people in Louisiana, including a number of conservatives like Congressman McAllister, are absolutely sick of Bobby Jindal who seems to be spending more time flying around the world than he is spending in Baton Rouge. Louisiana has a huge oil and gas industry, yet remains the 49th poorest state in the nation and a lot of folks are getting tired of saying “At least we ain’t Mississippi.” So when you’re taking flack from both the left in the form of MoveOn.org’s sign which sits just outside Baton Rouge visible to everyone headed eastbound into the city on I-10 AND members of your own party, perhaps leaking a scandalous video of a dissenting politician from your own ranks through a previously obscure website might just be the way to exact a little revenge. And what a coincidence that video just happened to be released on the very same day that a federal judge ruled against Jindal’s administration in their fight to take down the sign from MoveOn.org?
At the end of the of the FBI investigation which is likely already under way, I will not be surprised if there is a trail leading back to Bobby Jindal’s administration and/or his opponent in last year’s special election, Neil Riser, who most certainly would like another shot at the 5th Congressional District seat this fall. While it is now alleged that that Rep. McAllister’s Monroe District Office manager Leah Gordon (who just happened to work previously for Rep. Alexander, who endorsed Riser, not McAllister) leaked the video, I’m sure that there were deals made in exchange for this footage which has, if nothing else, embarassed Rep. McAllister and made him more vulnerable this year to a party-approved challenger.
Sure, we can rant and share stories over and over again that point out another politician from the other side is a hypocrite and that just shows how they’re all a bunch of shmucks with the morals of a weasel on speed – or maybe we can come to the realization that politics isn’t just “I’m right, they’re wrong, and everyone who disagrees with my bumper sticker beliefs is evil” and it’s a complex, multi-level game of cloaks and political daggers. This isn’t just about a hypocritical Congressman who got caught kissing his friend’s wife on a surveillance camera he was unaware of, step back and take a look at the bigger picture. This is a level of politics that is rarely observed by the general public in which backroom deals and power struggles abound. Congressman McAllister was a rising star who was politically savvy enough to invite Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty to the State of the Union address which managed to put him in the national spotlight thanks to the outrage of hundreds of liberal pundits over that invitation – and now his party has put him in his place, so to speak.
“For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy.” – Frank Underwood in House Of Cards