Vance McAllister

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Vance McAllister
Vance McAllister.jpg
U.S. House, Louisiana, District 5
Incumbent
In office
November 21, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 1
PartyRepublican
PredecessorRodney Alexander (R)
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 16, 2013
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolForest High School (1992)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1992-1994
Personal
BirthdayJanuary 7, 1974
Place of birthOak Grove, Louisiana
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Vance McAllister (b. January 7, 1974, in Oak Grove, Louisiana) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. McAllister was elected by voters from Louisiana's 5th Congressional District.[1][2] He was elected in a special election on November 16, 2013.[3]

He defeated Tom Gibbs, Peter Williams, Eliot Barron, S.B.A. Zaitoon, Henry Herford, Jr., Weldon Russell, Jamie Mayo, Robert Johnson, Marcus Hunter, Phillip Weatherly and Clyde Holloway in the open primary on October 19, 2013. He then advanced to a runoff election on November 16, 2013, where he defeated Neil Riser (R).[4][5]

In the 2013 special election, McAllister had the support of the popular "Duck Dynasty" television series celebrities, Phil and Willie Robertson.[6]

McAllister initially announced on April 28, 2014, that he would retire at the end of his term in 2015 after calls for his resignation.[7][8] The decision came after McAllister was caught on video kissing a married campaign staffer.[9]

On June 30, 2014, McAllister announced he would instead leave the decision up to the voters and run for re-election in 2014.[10]

Biography

McAllister was born on January 7, 1974, in Oak Grove, LA. He graduated from Forest High School in 1992 and attended the University of Louisiana, Monroe.[11]

Career

He served in the United States Army from 1992 to 1994, and later in the Louisiana National Guard. Prior to entering Congress, McAllister was a business owner.[11]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

McAllister serves on the following committees:[12][13][14]

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[15] For more information pertaining to McAllister's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[16]

Economy

Farm bill

Voted "Yes" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[17] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[18][19] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[19] McAllister voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[20][21] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[21] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[22] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. McAllister voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[20]

Issues

Controversy

Votes for money

A report in June 2014 alleged that McAllister told the Northeast Chapter of Louisiana CPAs an unidentified colleague on the House floor told him he would receive a $1,200 contribution from the Heritage Foundation if he voted against unidentified legislation related to the Bureau of Land Management.[23]

McAllister was quoted as saying he voted no but never received a check.[23] He claims that the quote “was taken completely out of context.”[23]

He said in a statement, “I have never cast a vote with the expectation or anticipation of receiving any money for a vote. I was just trying to illustrate how much money controls Washington, D.C., and the reporter took the comments totally out of context."[23]

Video kissing staffer

McAllister was caught on video kissing a woman believed to be on his congressional staff just before Christmas 2013.[9]

Surveillance video from inside his district office in Monroe, Louisiana, showed McAllister kissing a woman identified by the newspaper as a congressional staffer for McAllister.[9][24]

McAllister's office issued a statement on April 7, 2014:

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you're a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed. From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man. I ran for Congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done."[25][26]

McAllister's office said it planned send a letter to House Speaker John Boehner on April 9, 2014, requesting an FBI investigation concerning the leak of the video.[27]

McAllister missed a scheduled campaign appearance on April 14, 2014, and reportedly was instead attending family counseling.[28][29]

GOP reaction
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said April 8, 2014, that McAllister’s constituents “deserve an apology.”[30]
    • “I think that his constituents deserve an apology. I’m glad he issued an apology,” Cantor said.[30]
  • On April 29, 2014, Cantor called for McAllister to resign.[31]
    • “When we took the majority, I had said that I believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And I think what has happened in his instance doesn't meet that standard. So I told (McAllister) that I thought he should resign,” Cantor said.[31]
  • Speaker John Boehner said on April 10, 2014, that McAllister has "decisions he has to make. I expect all members to be held to the highest ethical standards.”[32]
  • Roger F. Villere, Jr. Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana publicly called on McAllister to resign on April 10, 2014.[33]
    • "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. 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. 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. We are praying for Mr. McAllister and the families that are involved. I attempted to resolve this matter privately and directly with Mr. McAllister, but his chief of staff chose to make this information public. Therefore, I have chosen to release this statement today."[33]
  • Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal (R) called for McAllister to resign on April 10, 2014.[34][35]
    • "Congressman McAllister’s behavior is an embarrassment and he should resign. 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."[34]
Other reactions
  • Potential challenger and state Rep. Bob Johnson (D) called on McAllister to resign on April 8, 2014.[37][38]
    • "This is another embarrassment to Louisiana. I think he needs to resign, and I don't think he can be effective."[37]

Gov. Jindal's comments

McAllister issued a statement following Gov. Bobby Jindal's speech in Washington D.C. on February 24, 2014. In the speech Gov. Jindal said that President Obama was "surrendering" to the Democratic agenda and also spoke out against a federal minimum wage increase and Medicaid expansion.[39]

In the statement McAllister said:[39]

"I thought, ‘You know what, I'm not going to skirt the issue. Republican, Democrat, it don't matter. Those working poor have paid that money in. That money's going to Washington. It's their money. For me to say I'm against Medicaid expansion makes me the best congressman California and Massachusetts could ever have, because that's where that money's gonna go. It's about doing what's right. You keep your people healthy, they'll continue to work. They'll do better. The money's there. As a business guy, I don't like Gov. Jindal standing up there and trying to use political points to argue that the state can't afford the small fraction it would eventually have to pay to draw down billions in benefits. It don't take Einstein to figure out that's a pretty darn good return on your investment.'"

Congressional position

At a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Monroe, Louisiana, on January 23, 2014, McAllister shared some blunt initial impressions of his position in Congress.[40]

“It sucks. It ain’t no fun. But, the day I start enjoying it in Washington, D.C., is the day that I should come home,” McAllister said[40]

Elections

2014

See also: Louisiana's 5th Congressional District elections, 2014

On June 30, 2014, McAllister announced he would leave the decision up to the voters and run for re-election in 2014.[41]

"Without a doubt this decision comes after much thought and prayer. This district has been home to me and my family all of my life. I know the needs of this congressional district very well. I also know that this district needs a strong, conservative voice in congress. I plan to continue to stand up for our veterans, bring common sense solutions to our nation's problems and most importantly I will fight to get our fiscal house back in order."[42]

McAllister initially announced on April 28, 2014, that he would retire at the end of his term in 2015.[7][43]

John Fleming, Representative for Louisiana's 4th Congressional District, said McCallister “absolutely” did the right thing by declining to run for re-election.[44]

“When something like this happens, there is huge pressure to tell it all and reveal it all, and you’re hounded until you do. After he announced his decision not to run again, which I respect, you’re not having that level of discussion. I think it’s best for both he and his family,” said Fleming.[44]

In June 2014, McAllister first indicated that he might reconsider another run. “I would imagine [I’ll decide] in the next couple of weeks. I’m leaning 55 to 45 percent for running. There is overwhelming support asking me to reconsider [and] it’s up to the people to decide,” he said.[45]

2013

See also: Louisiana's 5th Congressional District special election, 2013

McAllister won election to the U.S. House representing the 5th Congressional District of Louisiana.[1] The election was held to replace Rodney Alexander, who announced his resignation in order to take a position as the next Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs at the end of September 2013.[46]

He defeated Tom Gibbs, Peter Williams, Eliot Barron, S.B.A. Zaitoon, Henry Herford, Jr., Weldon Russell, Jamie Mayo, Robert Johnson, Marcus Hunter, Phillip Weatherly and Clyde Holloway in the open primary on October 19. He advanced to the runoff election on November 16, 2013, where he defeated Neil Riser (R).[47][5]

U.S. House, Louisiana District 5 Runoff General Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngVance McAllister 59.6% 54,450
     Republican Neil Riser 40.4% 36,840
Total Votes 91,290
Source: Louisiana Secretary of State, "11/16/2013 Special Election Results,"
U.S. House, Louisiana District 5 Special Election Open Primary, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngNeil Riser 32% 33,045
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngVance McAllister 17.8% 18,386
     Republican Clyde Holloway 10.9% 11,250
     Republican Phillip "Blake" Weatherly 0.5% 517
     Republican Jay Morris 6.9% 7,083
     Democratic Marcus Hunter 3% 3,088
     Democratic Robert Johnson 9.6% 9,971
     Democratic Jamie Mayo 14.8% 15,317
     Democratic Weldon Russell 2.5% 2,554
     Libertarian Henry Herford, Jr. 0.9% 886
     Libertarian S.B.A. Zaitoon 0.1% 129
     Green Eliot Barron 0.5% 492
     Independent Tom Gibbs 0.3% 324
     Independent Peter Williams 0.3% 335
Total Votes 103,377
Source: Official results via Louisiana Secretary of State

Campaign donors

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are McAllister's reports.[48]

Vance McAllister (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year End Report[49]January 31, 2014$15,493$90,048$(52,305)$53,236
April Quarterly[50]April 15, 2014$53,236$46,955$(91,766)$8,425
Running totals
$137,003$(144,071)

Substantial debt

At the end of March 2014 – before the revelation of McAllister’s extramarital kiss with a congressional staffer – his campaign owed $207,275 to a variety of political consultancies and law firms. His campaign also owed $395,000 to McAllister, who took out a massive personal loan in the midst of his self-funded special election campaign.[51]

It’s unclear whether McAllister, who made a fortune in the oil business, has repaid any of his debts since the latest political and personal disclosure forms were filed with the Federal Election Commission.[51]

The congressman reported having $8,425 in the bank for his campaign at the end of March 2014.[51]

April 2014

In April 2014, after the release of a controversial video that featured McAllister and an aide kissing, McAllister's campaign account dropped to just $8,425.[52]

Personal

McAllister is married and has five children.[53]

Recent news

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External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 KATC, "14 candidates in 5th District congressional race," accessed August 22, 2013
  2. Roll Call, "8 Things to Know About Rep.-Elect Vance McAllister," accessed November 19, 2013
  3. WAFB, "5th Congressional District Vance McAllister sworn in," accessed November 21, 2013
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, "November 16, 2013, Election Results," accessed November 16, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Louisiana Secretary of State, "U. S. Representative -- 5th Congressional District," accessed October 19, 2013
  6. The Republic, "Riser and McAllister headed to November runoff for Louisiana's 5th District congressional seat," accessed October 19, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 NOLA.com, "Vance McAllister won't seek reelection, The News-Star reports ," accessed April 28, 2014
  8. The News Star, "UPDATE: McAllister won't seek re-election, will finish term," accessed April 28, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Politico, "Report: Video shows Vance McAllister kissing staffer," accessed April 7, 2014
  10. NOLA.com, "Rep. Vance McAllister will run for re-election," accessed July 2, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bioguide, "MCALLISTER, Vance M., (1974 - )," accessed November 25, 2013
  12. NOLA.com, "Vance McAllister, Louisiana's newest congressman, get his committee assignments," accessed December 17, 2013
  13. Insurance News Net, "Congressman McAllister Announces Subcommittee Assignments on the House Agriculture Committee," accessed March 18, 2014
  14. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
  15. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  16. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  17. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  18. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Shreveport Times, "Vance McAllister says comments were taken 'out of context'," accessed June 9, 2014
  24. The Ouachita Citizen, "VIDEO: Rep. Vance McAllister in extramarital embrace," accessed April 8, 2014
  25. Yahoo News, "Congressman apologizes after compromising video posted," accessed April 8, 2014
  26. NOLA, "Vance McAllister on video showing kiss with staffer: 'I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness'," accessed April 8, 2014
  27. The News Star, "McAllister to ask for FBI probe on leaked video," accessed April 9, 2014
  28. The Town Talk, "Congressman McAllister seeking family counseling," accessed April 15, 2014
  29. The News Star, "McAllister cancels appearance, undergoing counseling," accessed April 15, 2014
  30. 30.0 30.1 The Hill, "Cantor withholds judgment on McAllister," accessed April 12, 2014
  31. 31.0 31.1 The Advertiser, "McAllister rejects Cantor’s call to resign," accessed April 30, 2014
  32. Politico, "Vance McAllister’s new problem: His own party," accessed April 10, 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 Louisiana GOP, "Statement from Roger F. Villere, Jr. Chairman, Republican Party of Louisiana," accessed April 12, 2014
  34. 34.0 34.1 Washington Post, "Jindal: McAllister an ‘embarrassment,’ should resign," accessed April 12, 2014
  35. NOLA.com, "Bobby Jindal calls on Vance McAllister to resign," accessed April 12, 2014
  36. 36.0 36.1 Politico, "Walden declines to say whether McAllister should resign," accessed April 14, 2014
  37. 37.0 37.1 NOLA.com, "Vance McAllister should resign, says state lawmaker," accessed April 15, 2014
  38. Huffington Post, "Vance McAllister's Potential Challenger Calls On Him To Resign," accessed April 15, 2014
  39. 39.0 39.1 KNOE TV,, "McAllister speaks out after Jindal episode in D.C.," accessed February 25, 2014
  40. 40.0 40.1 Shreveport Times, "U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister: Congressional job 'sucks'," accessed January 24, 2013
  41. NOLA.com, "Rep. Vance McAllister will run for re-election," accessed July 2, 2014
  42. Washington Post, "Embattled Rep. Vance McAllister is running for reelection," accessed July 2, 2014
  43. NY Daily News, "Smooching Congressman Vance McAllister won't run for reelection," accessed April 28, 2014
  44. 44.0 44.1 Shreveport Times, "John Fleming: Vance McAllister right not to run for re-election," accessed June 10, 2014
  45. Politico, "Vance McAllister might un-retire," accessed June 23, 2014
  46. Nola.com, "Rodney Alexander to join Jindal administration, departure from Congress will trigger special election," accessed August 8, 2013
  47. Louisiana Secretary of State, "November 16, 2013, Election Results," accessed November 16, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Vance McAllister 2014 Summary reports," accessed April 8, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed April 8, 2014
  50. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Politico, "'Kissing congressman' Vance McAllister heavy in debt," accessed July 2, 2014
  52. Politico, "McAllister campaign coffers: $8,425," accessed April 19, 2014
  53. Washington Times, "Married Rep. Vance McAllister caught kissing staffer: “I’ve fallen short’," accessed April 8, 2014


Political offices
Preceded by
Rodney Alexander (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Louisiana, District 5
2013–present
Succeeded by
'