Kissing Congressman from Louisiana not stepping down - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Kissing Congressman from Louisiana not stepping down

Posted: Updated:

Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister stayed out of sight as calls grew louder from Republicans back home demanding the GOP congressman's resignation after he was caught on video kissing the wife of a friend.
    
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office - for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
    
Married and the father of five children, McAllister has not been seen in public since the video surfaced. He has missed several votes in the Capitol, including an important one on the Republican budget for the coming fiscal year.
    
His absence came as the state's Republican governor and party chairman sought to pressure McAllister to step down. Gov. Bobby Jindal called the congressman's behavior an embarrassment.
    
"Congressman McAllister 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," Jindal said Thursday.
    
Party chairman Roger Villere accused McAllister of "extreme hypocrisy" in a blistering statement that said "a breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation."
    
There was milder pressure from Washington, where House Speaker John Boehner said after talking to McAllister: "He's got decisions that he has to make." The nation's top Republican officeholder added, "I expect all members (of Congress) to be held to the highest ethical standards, and this is no different."
    
In an email Thursday, a spokeswoman for the congressman, Jennifer Dunagin, said that, despite the call for McAllister to step down, "as of now, there are no plans of resignation."
    
But asked about his plans beyond the current term, she said, "The congressman is not focused on re-election right now. His family is his No. 1 priority at this time."
    
No prominent Republicans have leapt to McAllister's defense since a video surfaced Monday showing him in the arms of Melissa Peacock, who was on his congressional payroll until resigning after the recording's existence became known.
    
The congressman had few allies within his party to which he could turn. Most of the GOP establishment had backed the state senator who was surprisingly defeated by McAllister in last year's special election.
    
McAllister, a political newcomer, put his family and his faith at the center of his campaign for Congress, appearing with his wife, Kelly, and their children in one commercial and vowing to "defend our Christian way of life" if elected.
    
In his statement, Villere said, "Mr. McAllister's extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics."
    
"A video showing him engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of Congress, on public time, in a public office, with one of his employees, was the focus of the national press for days. I call on Mr. McAllister to put the interests of his nation, state and party above his own and step aside," Villere added.
    
The husband of the woman seen kissing McAllister, Heath Peacock, told CNN in an interview that McAllister has "wrecked" his life.
    
The two couples were friends, and both Peacock and his wife were listed as donors on campaign reports McAllister filed with the Federal Election Committee.
    
Although Boehner declined to discuss the conversation he had with McAllister, he has shown little tolerance in the past for wayward lawmakers. In 2010, Republican Rep. Mark Souder quickly resigned at the speaker's private urging after admitting to an extramarital affair with an aide in his office in Indiana.
    
For their part, Democrats were bystanders. The congressional seat appeared to be unwinnable for them, even if McAllister were to run again.
    
Whatever the pressure on McAllister, there is little or nothing the party or the congressional leadership can do to force him from office.
    
McAllister's political fate could be left to voters in the fall election. One resident of the congressional district suggested that was proper.
    
"We elected him, and it should be up to us to decide in November," said Pamela Nolan, a hospital pharmacist from Richland Parish.
 

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Teenager arrested for murder after 3 month search

    Saturday, August 23 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-23 12:47:10 GMT
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
    After months without a break, a teenager is in jail, charged with a murder from May. Michael Gaston Junior is behind bars this morning. Toledo police and a swat team took him into custody yesterday. The murder itself happened in the middle of the day on Joffre in Toledo. In June, police charged Gaston with murder in the shooting death of Sheymarr Noble. Three others were wounded in that midday shooting.
  • Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Motorcycle crash at Dorr and Byrne

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:09:43 GMT
    Police were called to the scene of a motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m. Dispatch could only tell us that a car and motorcycle were involved in the crash. We're still waiting on information about injuries.
    Police were called to the scene of a serious motorcycle crash Friday night. It happened at the intersection of Dorr and Byrne just after 10 p.m.
  • 20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    20,000 people expected at Toledo Pride Fest

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:49:06 GMT
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...
    The fifth annual Toledo Pride Festival runs August 22-24. The festival features more than a dozen local and national bands, more than 75 food and merchandise vendors as well as a number of faith and community organizations.The goal of the event is to promote unity, acceptance and awareness of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The main event is Saturday, August 23 at Promenade Park. Other events throughout the weekend include the Pride Parade on Saturday morning, and ...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!