Republicans: 'Kissing Congressman' McAllister Should Resign

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 06:44 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Fellow Republicans think Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister is finished in Congress after being caught on video kissing a member of his staff.

McAllister, who admitted to the romantic encounter with his now former direct scheduler Melissa Hixon Peacock at his office in Monroe, La., might not weather the storm that has been gathering around him since The Ouachita Citizen broke the story earlier this week.

"Congressman McAllister's behavior is an embarrassment and he should resign," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told Politico.  "He says he wants privacy to work on his issues with his family. The best way to get privacy and work on putting his family back together is to resign from Congress."

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McAllister was elected late last year after Rodney Alexander left his post in the middle of his sixth term to take a job in Republican Jindal's administration. On Thursday, Alexander said he's open to stepping down as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and reclaiming his old congressional seat.

"I would never say anything is off of the table," Alexander told The News-Star.  "If I felt like the people of Louisiana and the 5th District wanted me for a particular purpose or office, I am willing to serve them.

"The people of the 5th District deserve the best because I believe they’re the best."

Speaker of the House John Boehner also chimed in, although he stopped short of saying McAllister should give up his seat.

"I expect all members to be held to the highest ethical standards," Boehner told reporters in Washington. "This is no different. He's got decisions that he has to make."

Perhaps the strongest backlash came from Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere Jr. In a statement, Villere condemned McAllister's actions and recommended he resign from Congress.

"The Republican Party of Louisiana calls on Vance McAllister to resign his seat in Congress," the statement says. "Mr. McAllister's extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics. A breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation. He has embarrassed our party, our state and the institution of Congress.

"I call on Mr. McAllister to put the interests of his nation, state and party above his own and step aside."

Villere said he tried to come to a resolution with McAllister, but McAllister's chief of staff Adam Terry responded to Villere in a phone call — a conversation that become "heated," according to Politico.

McAllister earlier in the week told The News-Star he plans to stand for re-election "unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."

Peacock is married, and she and husband Heath Peacock have one child. Heath Peacock told CNN on Wednesday that the situation has ruined his marriage.

"He has wrecked my life," the 34-year-old Peacock said of McAllister.  "We’re headed for divorce. It was just a kiss, that was all it was, but it embarrassed me and my family. This guy has turned my life upside down."

McAllister, 40, and his wife have been married for 16 years and have five children. He spoke about his Christian faith during his campaign last fall, even asking voters to pray for him in one TV commercial.

Heath Peacock said McAllister is not as religious as he made himself out to be.

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"I know his beliefs," Peacock said on 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.' He broke out the religious card and he's about the most nonreligious person I know."

McAllister and his family apparently have been friends with the Peacocks for years. Heath Peacock and McAllister grew up three miles apart, according to the Citizen, and graduated from Forest High School during the 1990s.

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