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Kissin' Congressman Vance McAllister Gets Honest on His Way Out

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You may remember Vance McAllister, the family-values Republican from Louisiana who made sexxxy kisses all over one of his staffer's faces, and then fired that staffer because her sluttiness was contributing to a hostile work environment or whatever.


Welp, Vance has decided that he's not going to run for re-election, and he's also apparently decided to take his coffee with a splash of truth serum.

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) openly acknowledged on Thursday that members of Congress expect to receive campaign contributions for voting a certain way on bills.[...]

McAllister discussed a bill related to the Bureau of Land Management, which he voted against. McAllister told the crowd that an unnamed colleague told him on the House floor that if he voted "no" on the bill, he would receive a contribution from Heritage, a conservative think tank.

Gasp, pearl clutch, shocked, shocked, gambling, blah blah blah. But hold on a second, says the Washington Post, that's not what he said, or what he meant, or whatever, just please, will you let us finish?

Donors cut checks in response to votes they like. Donors also give warning that they will exact various levels of punishment if politicians don't vote the way that they want, punishments that can include withholding donations or targeting a politician for ouster. These threats aren't idle, but there's little reason to think that in most cases they're particularly severe.[...]

McAllister, were he staying in Congress, would certainly want to preserve a good relationship with the Heritage Foundation, but mostly because he's a conservative Republican who would like their endorsement. But he could probably survive without it.

Sure, WaPo's Philip Bump, that's a thing we are sure Congresscritters say to themselves all the time: "This massive, powerful, well-connected group is maybe going to stop giving me money and endorsements if I do what they want, but also I could probably survive without it." That is a thing they say to themselves right up until the last vote is counted in their primary, and their better-financed challenger has taken their job, and then they just sort of wander around in a haze, wondering why Philip Bump's reasoning didn't translate into a few thousand more votes in their favor.

Bump is on much more solid ground when he points out that McAllister wasn't speaking about a vote he cast in exchange for a check. McAllister was simply relaying something he claims was said by another Congressman, and McAllister's story actually includes the fact that he didn't receive a check from Heritage. For its part, Heritage Foundation sent out its spokesman to claim it does nothing of the sort.

“If he (McAllister) is wondering why he didn’t receive a check from the Heritage Foundation, which does not make political expenditures of any kind, it is because we do not do it,” Weidman said. “The Heritage Foundation is a think tank and does research and education, but does not get involved with political bills at all.”

“He was just badly misinformed,” Weidman added.

Excellent point, Heritage spokesman guy! Heritage Foundation doesn't do that sort of thing; your sister organization Heritage Action does. Which do you think is more likely: that a spokesman for Heritage doesn't know about his company's sister organization, or that a spokesman for Heritage assumes you don't know about his company's sister organization?

See, sheeple, this is the kind of disclosure John Roberts was talking about. What, it's on the Internet! Anyone who obsessively follows politics can find this stuff, and therefore there is no such thing as corruption outside of quid pro quo bribery, the end.

McAllister has since said he wasn't even talking about Heritage, and no, he won't name the colleague in question or which party  that colleague belonged to. That's some cheap truth serum ya got there, Vance. Next time, spring for the extended-release stuff

Follow Dan on Twitter, unless you are a spambot.

[Talking Points Memo via Ouachita Citizen/ Washington Post]

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