In his time of trouble, disgraced Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) has turned to fellow Louisianans who know a thing or two about public scrutiny: the stars of A&E’s Duck Dynasty.
Video was recently published of McAllister, a 40-year-old first-year congressman, kissing his 33-year-old staff scheduler, Melissa Hixon Peacock. Since the controversy began, McAllister has issued a number of apologies and called for the FBI to investigate who leaked the video of his marital infidelity. As the scandal gained intense media coverage, it was reported Wednesday, McAllister sought the advice of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, who campaigned for the congressman during his election bid. The two made headlines together this year when the television star accompanied the congressman to the State of the Union Address in January.
“Willie told me that he was a friend and that I needed to work things out privately,” McAllister told the The News-Star, a newspaper based in Monroe, Louisiana. Robertson refused the paper’s request to comment for the story.
The irony of this scandal is that McAllister campaigned on a “family values” platform, consistent with the fundamentalist Christian message espoused by the stars of Duck Dynasty. And the irony appears to have not fallen on deaf ears.
For starters, Melissa Hixon Peacock’s husband never bought the Christian message McAllister was peddling on the campaign trail to gain votes. “I know his beliefs,” Heath Peacock told CNN. “When he ran one of his commercials, he said ‘I need your prayers,’ and I asked, ‘When did you get religious?’ He said, ‘When I needed votes,’” Peacock recalled. “He broke out the religious card and he’s about the most non-religious person I know.”
To make matters worse for McAllister, the Louisiana GOP on Thursday publicly called for the disgraced congressman to resign
“The Republican Party of Louisiana calls on Vance McAllister to resign his seat in Congress. Mr. McAllister’s extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics,” Louisiana Republican Party chairman Roger Villere said in a statement. “A breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation.”
If the embattled congressman does not resign, he will more than likely face a number of primary challengers. McAllister was elected in a 2013 special election to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), who stepped down to take a job with Governor Bobby Jindal. Now, he could face a primary challenge from Alexander in the upcoming midterm.
And there’s sure to be more Republicans jumping into the race. The solidly Republican district has a late filing deadline for the November election: August 22, 2014.
Photo: centralmarylandphoto via Flickr