Currently, the former Parish President of Jefferson Parish and the former Congressman from New Orleans are in prison. The former Mayor of New Orleans has just been convicted and will likely spend many years behind bars.
Once the reality TV star and former Governor Edwin Edwards finished his 8+ year prison sentence, he started thinking about how to stay in the headlines. Not surprisingly, he married a woman five decades younger, had another baby and decided to run for Congress.
The leading candidate in the race for Governor, U.S. Senator David Vitter, has been plagued with accusations that he was a customer for prostitutes in New Orleans and his phone number appeared on the call records of the D.C. madam, who committed suicide before her trial could begin. Vitter has never clarified what activity he engaged in, except to say it was a “serious sin.”
Today, another Louisiana politician engaged in serious sin has been exposed. Fifth District Congressman Vance McAllister has been caught on video kissing Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, a 33-year-old-married woman, who previously served as his scheduler. The incident occurred on December 23, 2013, just one month after his election, at his district office in Monroe.
The problem is that McAllister is married with five children and was elected on a family values, conservative Christian platform. His biggest endorsement in his congressional race was courtesy of the Robertson family, devout Christians, of “Duck Dynasty” fame.
To make matters worse for the Congressman, his alleged affair is with the wife of his close friend, Heath Peacock, who now claims McAllister, has “ruined his life.” As a result of the situation, Peacock intends to seek a divorce from his wife.
According to a pastor, the video was purportedly leaked by another staffer in McAllister’s office who might be trying to force the Congressman from office. The disclosure might become a problem whoever provided the information since the security at a federal office was obviously breached in some manner to produce the video.
In another case of incredibly bad judgment, McAllister admitted to the affair to a mysterious individual who texted the Congressman after the incident became public. The texts were released to a website which promptly embarrassed the congressman once again.
Certainly McAllister is a hypocrite and sinner like the rest of us; however, he has been exposed in a very public and damaging way. When the incident broke yesterday, McAllister immediately apologized for his behavior and stated that he intends to run for re-election.
Despite his game statement, it remains to be seen if the Congressman can continue to serve his constituents despite the scandal or if too much damage has been done to his political career.
Vitter was able to withstand his scandal and is now a leader in the race for Governor of Louisiana. However, since his scandal broke in 2007, Vitter has not exactly been the most popular member of the U.S. Senate. Certainly his scandal damaged his ability to build coalitions and craft legislation in the “most exclusive club in the world.”
Similarly, McAllister might be shunned by his colleagues. As the GOP works to retain the solid support of conservative Christians in mid-term elections, the party will not want to highlight a member involved in such a scandal.
If McAllister does not resign, he will face the voters in November. On the bright side, Louisiana voters forgave Vitter for potentially being involved with prostitutes and McAllister committed no crime in cheating on his wife.
Unfortunately, he embarrassed not only his family, but also his congressional district and the State of Louisiana.
It is getting pretty old to see Louisiana politicians in the news for the wrong reasons. Maybe voters should start to demand a higher ethical standard among those they elect for such prestigious positions.