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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 17:17

LAGOP, Vitter on political hotseat due to McAllister scandal

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vitter-gatorOnce again, the Louisiana Republican Party, as well as the national party, finds itself on a political hot seat – thanks to U.S. Rep Vance McAllister.
    The newly elected married congressman from the 5th District was caught on tape kissing a staffer in his Monroe office, who is also married – and to a longtime friend. 

    Because McAllister ran on a platform of Christian and family values, the media is in a feeding frenzy over this development.  And not just the local media.  It has become fodder for national cable news.
    That kind of publicity is certainly not good in an election year. So Roger Villere, chairman of the LAGOP, has called for McAllister to resign.  So has Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
    But that has created another problem and has brought to the forefront the “serious sin” of  Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, whose phone number was found in 2007 in the client list of a D.C. madam who ran a prostitution ring.
    Neither Villere nor Jindal called for Vitter’s resignation at that time, so some journalists and  bloggers are asking if there is a double standard within the LAGOP.
    Vitter didn’t need his situation dredged up again since he is preparing to run for governor in 2015, but it was inevitable that it would be.
    And there are those conspiracy theorists, who believe that McAllister was set up by his own party.  Their reasoning is that he defeated the LAGOP’s establishment candidate, Republican state Sen. Neil Riser, in the special election to replace U.S. Rep.  Rodney Alexander, who resigned to become the Louisiana Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    And McAllister is not exactly in lock-step with Republicans on all  issues. He supports the federal expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana, which Jindal has steadfastly refused to do, and he is not totally against Obamacare.
    Fueling this fire is the fact that Alexander is saying he may consider running for his old seat.
    Reaction  from  his constituents has been mixed.  But it appears they are as intrigued by who leaked the tape and why as they are about the incident itself.
    So far, McAllister is hunkered down with his family and has said through staff that he is not going to resign.  Needless to say, this situation is far from over.

Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.