Yesterday afternoon, I asked Louisiana native David Kurtz if I was right that the upstate 5th District, in terms of progressive values and good governance, was basically the Louisiana of Louisiana. He acceded to this characterization. And now we get some taste of why.
Clearly, freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) was snogging with a member of his staff. And no one forced him to do that. (Not to worry, the woman in question has now been fired – so I guess that settles that.) But from the start yesterday, given where the video surfaced, it looked a lot like the local Republican establishment taking the opportunity to take McAllister out.
McAllister, remember, came out of nowhere to beat the hand-picked successor to Republican Rodney Alexander (R). In other words, in professional politico terms, it wasn’t his. And in addition to riding to victory on the coattails of the Duck Dynasty crew, McAllister actually went rogue a bit on Obamacare during the primary – something that got him called a liberal by the local GOP establishment who supported his opponent, Neil Riser.
Now we have at least some suggestion that those folks aggrieved at Riser’s defeat may have helped move things along.
Danny Chance, Pastor of the Christian Life Church in Monroe says another staffer leaked the tape of the McAllister/Peacock smooch, district office manager Leah Gordon. She also, according to Chance, said she was going to take it to two Alexander vets who also worked on Riser’s campaign, Mike Walsworth and Jonathan Johnson. Add to the mix that the tape was leaked to a pro-Riser and very conservative paper.
Gordon isn’t talking – though McAllister’s chief of staff says only she and the building’s landlord would have had access to the tape.
But Walsworth and Johnson are furiously denying the charges. “It’s an absolute lie,” Walsworth told the local paper. “He knows it’s not true. I can’t believe a minister would outright lie like that. Maybe I didn’t go to his church as often as he wanted. I didn’t see that video until (Monday) like everybody else.”
Meanwhile, Heath Peacock, husband of smoocher Melissa Peacock, says McAllister, who ran on his cred as a diehard Christian, is “about the most non-religious person I know.”
So so far we’ve got the backstabbing office manager, the (maybe lying) local pastor, the cheating congressman, the fired co-smoocher, the local politicos who say they had nothing to do with it. And God and his believers and his pastor and right in the thick of it all.