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I wish I could say that I’m surprised to find out that Virginia Sen. George Allen is not only a racist but a crook. Unfortunately, I can’t. I suppose we should expect this from a carpetbagger.
As a Virginian, I’m embarrassed that this sleazeball is a Senator representing our commonwealth in Congress. He’s not the only sleazeball, mind you. We also have Rep. Jim Moran, acknowledged wife beater and notorious user of other people’s money to pay off his investment losses.
But now an Associated Press investigation shows Allen the racist is also Allen the bribe-taker – just another support-for-sale politician willing to sell his soul (and vote) for money.
Seems Allen used his sabbatical between governor and Senator to cash in on contacts made while in the Virginia guv’s mansion, joining three Virginia high-tech companies he assisted while in the commonwealth’s highest job. Those companies rewarded him with stock options.
He laundered some of the money through his law firm but we learned long ago that Allen is not particularly smart and he left enough of a paper trail to nail his inappropriate, and illegal, influence peddling.
Then, to compound the matters, Allen tried to steer federal contracts to these companies after he became Senator and then failed to report his stock holdings in his financial disclosure forms as required by law. He now claims this was an oversight and that he didn’t understand the law – a hilarious claim by a lawyer.
In Congress, we have stupid politicians and corrupt politicians. In George Allen, we get the best of both worlds – stupid and corrupt.
He claims he lost money on at least one of the stocks and uses that to suggest innocence. All it does prove is that he was too dumb to cash in once he sold his vote. Lord, if we’re going to send crooks to the Senate, let’s at least send competent ones.
When I ran the political programs division of the National Association of Realtors and oversaw the nation’s largest political action committee (PAC), I always felt the need to delouse after any meeting with George Allen. In two previous contacts with him (1984 and 1991), I had heard him use racial slurs. I didn’t like the man. In 1991, he was seeking support for his run for Congress and he made it clear that his vote was for sale.
"Support me and I’ll support you," he said. "I remember my friends." But Allen came across as a phony – a Californian who pretended to be a Virginian, an urbanite who wore cowboy boots and chewed tobacco and a glad-hander who tried to be everything he wasn’t.
I didn’t trust him then and I don’t trust him now. Stories have long circulated in Washington about Allen selling his votes and support. He’s always lived high on the hog, much higher than the income he discloses on his financial forms supports. If he didn’t report his stock options on those forms, who knows how much other under-the-table cash he has failed to disclose?
George Allen reminds me of a famous story about a dinner party in London where Winston Churchill conned George Bernard Shaw into the following exchange with his longtime nemesis Lady Astor:
SHAW: Lady Astor, would you spend the night with me for a million pounds?
ASTOR: Why, yes, Mr. Shaw, I suppose I would.
SHAW: How about five pounds?
ASTOR: Mr. Shaw, what you take me for?
SHAW: I’ve established that. What I am trying to establish now is the price.
We’ve long known George Allen is a political whore. What we don’t know for sure is the price. But we should remember that, with any whore, that no matter what we pay the very best we will ever get is screwed.