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George Allen

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George Allen

George Felix Allen was a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia from 2001-2007. He was defeated in the 2006 congressional elections by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). He was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. In 2012, he ran against former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) for U.S. Senate.

Bio

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Allen is an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),[1] a recipient of ALEC's Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award in 1996,[2] and former co-chair of ALEC's Federal Forum.[3][4]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Background

Allen was born March 8, 1952 in Whittier, California. His father George Herbert Allen was a legendary National Football League coach who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Allen received a B.A. degree with distinction in history and then a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia.

Allen served as the 67th Governor of Virginia from 1994-1998. According to his gubernatorial profile, George Allen served as a delegate and as Assistant Minority Leader in the Virginia General Assembly, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, before being elected governor in 1993. "Governor Allen emphasized economic growth and encouraged new business in Virginia. He abolished the parole system and spearheaded reforms in the juvenile justice system. He also initiated statewide welfare reforms." [1]

While governor, Allen was criticized for alleged insensitivity to racial problems during his term. In 1997, he proclaimed April as Confederate History and Heritage Month and called the Civil War "a four-year struggle for independence and sovereign rights." [2]

Allen could not run for re-election because Virginia's constitution does not allow a governor to succeed himself; as of 2006 Virginia is the only state that has such a provision. [3]

Senate Career

Allen was elected to the Senate in 2000, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Chuck Robb, son-in-law of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Allen was unanimously elected a member of the Senate Republican Leadership as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2002, and oversaw a net gain of four seats for the Republicans in the 2004 elections. His successor as NRSC chair is Senator Elizabeth Dole.

In June of 2005, Allen co-sponsored a resolution that had the Senate formally apologize for never passing federal legislation despite the lynching of nearly 5,000 people between 1882 and 1968. While spearheading this apology, Allen stood in the Senate and said, "I rise today to offer a formal and heartfelt apology to all the victims of lynching in our history, and for the failure of the United States Senate to take action when action was most needed."

Iraq War

Allen voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Internet tax legislation

Allen coauthored the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, which was signed into law on December 3, 2004 by President George W. Bush. This bill worked to prevent taxation on internet access.

Main article: U.S. internet tax legislation#Past legislation

2006 election

Allen's term in the Senate expired in January 2007. He sought re-election in 2006 and ran against James Webb. Webb, who won the Democratic primary against life long Democrat Harris Miller, is a veteran and recent convert to the Democratic Party with little political experience. He was President Reagan's Navy Secretary and endorsed Allen during the 2000 election. [4][5]

Allen was initially the heavy favorite in the race, but after several notable blunders, it became extremely competitive. Ultimately, Webb defeated Allen 50%-49% to takeover the seat and tip the balance of power in the Senate to the Democrats. [6]

Presidential Bid

December 13, 2004: "In a sign that US Senator George Allen Jr. (R-VA) is planning a 2008 White House run, he just hired Dick Wadhams to be his new Chief of Staff. Wadhams, who ran the campaign that just ousted Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), is viewed as one of today's hottest GOP political strategists." [7][8]

In a survey of 175 Washington insiders conducted by National Journal's "The Hotline" and released April 29, 2005, Allen was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2008 Presidential election. [9] A few days later, Allen held fundraising events in New Hampshire, the state with the important first presidential primary, although his campaign manager said that the trip was solely to raise money for Allen's 2006 Senate re-election campaign. [10]

Allen has been mentioned by Rush Limbaugh on numerous occasions, and also on Hannity & Colmes, as being the Republican presidential hopeful most likely to follow in the conservative mantle of Ronald Reagan. [11]

  • See Also Road to the White House, C-SPAN, Address to the Greenville County, South Carolina, Republican Party Dinner rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/rwh/rwh071005.rm

Meet the Cash Constituents

Links to more campaign contribution information for George Allen
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Controversy

Stem Cell flip-flop

Democrats have accused Allen of changing his positions on key issues to appeal to the Republican Party's conservative base, in preparation for the primaries in 2008. [12] For example, although he had previously supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, he modified his stance on August 7, 2005 to confine the funding to research that did not destroy an embryo. [13]

Hate Crime Protection for Sexual Orientation

Allen came under harsh criticism from many conservatives when on June 15, 2004 he voted for an amendment to include sexual orientation as a protected category in federal hate crime legislation. [14] [15] This criticism was renewed in October 2005 when a conservative Christian organization alleged that Allen's vote broke a promise which he made in a letter written on October 27, 2000. [16] He received more heat in December 2005 from the Family Policy Network and other conservtive groups for going back on his original position, saying he no longer supports sexual orientation as a protected category. [17][18]

Pat Robertson

Allen's prominence in the speculation about a 2008 presidential run has led to increased scrutiny of his decisions. On May 1, 2005, soon after the National Journal survey appeared, the Rev. Pat Robertson, appearing on ABC television, attacked an "out-of-control judiciary" as being a greater threat than Nazi Germany was or than Al Qaeda is today. Allen was subsequently criticized by the National Jewish Democratic Council and other Democrats for agreeing to speak at Robertson's Regent University in Virginia Beach. [19]

Race controversy

High school

Controversy has occasionally surrounded Allen on the issue of race. It has been reported by the Times-Dispatch (a highly circulated newspaper in the Richmond, Virginia area) and the New Republic (a highly circulated left-leaning magazine) that Allen has displayed the confederate flag throughout his life. [20][21]. These sources claim that Allen wore a Confederate flag pin on his shirt in a high-school yearbook photo and displayed it on his car as a teenager. Allen’s staff and aides confirmed the story about his yearbook picture, but stated that they could not recall whether Allen displayed the Confederate flag on his Mustang. The newspaper and magazine also gave similar accounts of how a Democratic operative and former classmate stated that Allen had painted “anti-white” graffiti on his predominately-white high school walls before a basketball game against a predominately black, rival high school.[22]

In response to the New Republic’s article, Allen responded with a letter saying that, "I generally bucked authority and the rebel flag was just a way to express that attitude. Life is a learning experience and I have learned quite a bit in the ensuing 36 years." Allen also said the graffiti incident had nothing to do with race and “was a stupid prank.” [23]

None the less, Allen’s past still upset the NAACP. In response to these claims, King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, stated in reference to Allen's teenage years that his actions were "troubling to us because it just shows a long-held belief in the virtues of the Confederacy." [24]

Virginia legislative carreer

After moving to Virginia, Allen continued to display symbols associated with the Confederacy. Allen displayed the Confederate flag in his home, which was shown in his first campaign ad in 1993. In addition, Allen displayed a hanging noose in his law office. Allen, a flag collector, stated that he no longer displays the Confederate flag, and that the noose was part of an Old-West motif.[25]

Allen’s record while in the Virginia House of Delegates and as Governor of Virginia has also been controversial. In 1984, Allen was one of 27 legislators who voted against a Martin Luther King Holiday for the state of Virginia. He also co-sponsored a resolution for the late Congressman and Governor of Virginia, William "Bob" M. Tuck, who voted against many Civil Rights bills. In addition to this resolution, the Washington Times reported that Allen issued a proclamation drafted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans declaring April to be Confederate History and Heritage Month. The proclamation's text acknowledged the South’s "four-year struggle for independence and sovereign rights." [26] [27]

In 1996, while governor, Allen personally initiated an association with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council and one the largest white supremacist groups in the United States. After speaking with CCC founder Gordon Lee Baum and two of his assistants, Allen suggested that they pose for a photograph with NRA spokesman Charlton Heston. The photo appeared in the Summer 1996 issue of the Citizens Informer. [28]

Senate career

Since being elected to the Senate in 2000, Allen has shown sensitivity to race. In 2005, he joined with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in co-sponsoring Senate Resolution S.Res. 39, which publicly apologized on behalf of the U.S. Senate to the victims and relatives of lynchings. In reference to sponsoring this act, Allen stated that, "One goes through life learning, and when one sees things that are wrong in the past and folks come to request my assistance, I wanted to help them." [29]

Remark to Webb staffer

On August 11, 2006, Allen made a comment concerning a staffer for his 2006 opponent, James Webb, which spurred controversy.

S.R. Sidarth, a twenty-year-old volunteer for Webb, had been traveling with Allen to videotape his speeches for the campaign, a practice common to American political races.

During a campaign speech in Breaks, Virginia, Allen addressed Sidarth. He said, “This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film and it’s great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he's never been there and probably will never come.”

In an interview, Sidarth said he suspects Allen singled him out because he was the only non-white face in the audience, which he said included roughly one-hundred Republican supporters. If spelled M-a-c-a-c-a, the term refers to a species of monkeys found in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Allen’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, said the Webb campaign's complaints are baseless and that Allen had "nothing to apologize for" to the young man. Rather, he argued that Allen campaign staffers had begun referring to Sidarth by the name, "mohawk," because of his haircut. Manaca, therefore, was simply of variation of this name. [30]

On August 23, after the remark had led to a national controversy, Allen called Sidarth and apologized. [31]

Improper reporting of stock options

In October 2006, the Associated Press reported that Allen had failed to disclose stock options he had been granted for serving as a director of two technology companies during the years between his service as Virginia governor and a member of the U.S. Senate. Senate rules require the declaration of all deferred compensation packages. Allen had reported the options in question in an amendment to a 2000 ethics report, but omitted them from annual disclosure reports once he became a member of the Senate. Both companies, Xybernaut and Commonwealth Biotech, serve as contractors to the federal government. Allen claimed that he believed he did not have to report the options as they were trading below the option price and were thus essentially worthless at the time. [32]

Another election?

On March 15, 2007, Allen hosted a private dinner to discuss whether or not to run for John Warner's Senate seat in 2008 or Virginia governor in 2009. [33]

Ties to coal industry

When the Environmental Protection Agency announced new smokestack standards for coal-burning power plants in summer 2011, Allen opposed the move. Soon after, a financial disclosure form showed that, after Allen lost his Senate seat in 2006, he opened his own consulting firm - George Allen Strategies - whose client list included coal giant Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha and the Allen campaign say the consulting arrangement ended in 2010, and Allen declared his candidacy for the Senate on Jan. 24, 2011. After the EPA regulations were announced, Allen’s campaign website posted an article by TriCities.com that quoted the chief executive of Alpha Natural Resources as saying the new EPA regulations could increase electricity rates by 25 percent.[5]

Committees and Affiliations

Committees in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Chairman, High Tech Task Force

Affiliations

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on George Allen. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Contact

DC Office:
204 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4024
Fax: 202-224-5432
Web Email
Website

District Office - Abingdon:
332 Cummings Street, Suite C
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone: 276-676-2646
Fax: 276-676-2588

District Office - Herndon:
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170
Phone: 703-435-0039
Fax: 703-435-3446

District Office - Richmond:
507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-771-2221
Fax: 804-771-8313

District Office - Roanoke:
3140 Chaparral Drive
Building C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone: 540-772-4236
Fax: 540-772-6870

District Office - Virginia Beach:
222 Central Park Avenue
Suite 120
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: 757-518-1674
Fax: 757-518-1659

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

Sources

  1. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Leaders in the States, organizational document, accessed October 2012
  2. George Allen Press Office, The George Allen Record – Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award – August 3, 1996, campaign press release, August 3, 2011
  3. Voters Legislative Transparency Project, American Legislative Exchange Council - Federal Government and Corrupt Practices, organizational report, November 2011
  4. Bob Sloan, ALEC Pursues Control of the U.S. Senate in November – The Allen vs. Kaine Virginia Senate Race, Voters Legislative Transparency Project, September 14, 2012
  5. Jim McElhatton, "Ties to coal industry rise as issue for Allen" The Wshington Times, Aug. 24, 2011.
  6. Directors, Lee Technologies, accessed November 14, 2007.
  7. Trustees, Council for America's First Freedom, accessed January 30, 2009.

External resources

Profiles

External articles

George Allen blogs and messageboards

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