Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Page modified April 12, 2014 at 6:07 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Disappointment, forgiveness mix in Louisiana kiss scandal

While some Republicans have urged Louisiana faith-and-family politician Vance McAllister to resign from his U.S. House seat, he has said he will respect the verdict of his constituents this fall, when he seeks a full two-year term.


The Associated Press

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
We're so uptight & obsessed with this sort of thing in this country, especially the GOP; a waste of time. A simple... MORE
And if it were Fox news, it would just get swept under the rug. MORE
You have to admire the hipocracy of the Religious Right. One of their own violated one of the Ten Commandments, (the... MORE

advertising

MONROE, La. — To Louisiana voters accustomed to tawdry scandals involving elected officials, disappointment with an eye toward forgiveness is the prevailing sentiment about their new congressman, caught on video kissing an aide married to one of his friends.

Republican Vance McAllister was a wealthy businessman without political experience when he won a special election last fall, trouncing his party’s establishment candidate in a conservative district that comprises northeast Louisiana.

While some Republicans have urged the faith-and-family politician to resign, McAllister has said he will respect the verdict of his constituents this fall, when he seeks a full two-year term.

McAllister’s “main thing now is to get straight with his family,” said Jackie Coleman, a retired law-enforcement officer from Olla.

“Then, this should be over,” said Coleman, one of McAllister’s constituents.

Many are as eager to speculate how a local newspaper got video of McAllister kissing Melissa Peacock as they are to offer an opinion about what it shows.

And they’re sure there’s more than enough hypocrisy and political intrigue to go around. For example, they note the histories of former President Clinton, former Louisiana governor and current congressional candidate Edwin Edwards (who served eight years in prison for a felony conviction arising from the licensing of riverboat casinos in his fourth term), U.S. Sen. David Vitter (who survived a prostitution scandal).

There’s been little subtlety in the response from Republican powers.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said McAllister should quit. So did the state Republican chairman, who said McAllister had become an “embarrassment.”

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said McAllister has “decisions that he has to make.”

The closest thing to support McAllister has found among his colleagues are statements of concern for his wife and five children.

Many voters seem more inclined to forgiveness.

Wearing a T-shirt from her Baptist church in the community of Start, Pamela Nolan made it clear she abhors marital infidelity. But, the hospital pharmacist added: “What laws has he broken? What trust has he violated, other than his wife’s? ... The next election should be the determinant of how we feel about it.”

McAllister hasn’t appeared publicly since the weekly Ouachita Citizen posted online a grainy security tape showing McAllister and Peacock kissing in the congressman’s district headquarters.

McAllister’s Washington, D.C.-based spokesman said Peacock resigned voluntarily, but the lawmaker had no plans to step down.

McAllister won a special election last fall to succeed Republican Rodney Alexander, who resigned to take a spot in Jindal’s Cabinet.

McAllister spent his own money and got a boost from endorsements by his most famous constituents, the bearded Robertson men of the cable-television hit “Duck Dynasty.”

McAllister sought support from social conservatives. For example, the Robertsons are outspoken Christians, and McAllister appeared in ads with his family, promising to “defend our Christian way of life.”

But he defied Republican orthodoxy by calling for Medicaid expansion under President Obama’s health-care law.

Terry Parker, who owns a painting company in Start, said he voted for McAllister because of his emphasis on biblical morals. “He did this to himself,” Parker said. “But it’s dirty, dirty politics being done to him, too.”



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times Historical Archives

Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

The power of good manners


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►