The Washington Post’s Virginia Politics blog reports that “Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) said he and Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria), both of whom are Jewish, are scheduled to appear Friday morning on WTOP’s Politics Program with Mark Plotkin to denounce anew Fred Malek’s appointment to the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring because of Malek’s role in President Richard M. Nixon’s infamous Jew-hunting mission almost 40 years ago.” In response, “Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the governor, repeated his view that the Democrats’ criticism is a distraction from substantive issues and feeds the perception of politics as a cynical enterprise.”
Believe it or not, I actually agree – sort of – with Tucker Martin on the “distraction” argument. Of course, I’m not at all thrilled with Malek’s role in the corrupt, anti-Semitic Nixon White House, but that was 40 years ago and Malek’s been defended by ADL director Abraham Foxman and Sen. Diane Feinstein, who says Malek “has no bias of any kind whatsoever.” Let’s assume that’s true, at least for argument purposes.
So, why do I say I agree with Martin that this line of attack on Malek is a “distraction?” Because, very simply, there’s a lot stronger line of attack on Malek, and one that is directly relevant to him heading a “Government Reform Commission.” Namely, as Sen. Donald McEachin recently explained, “Just a few short years ago, Mr. Malek was forced to pay a personal fine of $100,000 for violations of the Securities and Exchange Act while his company paid an additional $150,000.” What were those violations? Get a load of this.
On August 12, 2003, the SEC filed a civil fraud lawsuit against former Connecticut state Senate Majority Leader William DiBella for participating in a fraudulent scheme to invest $75 million of the state pension funds with Malek’s firm, Thayer Capital Partners.  On May 18, 2007, DiBella and North Cove were found liable for aiding and abetting Silvester’s intentional violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Thayer was found in negligence of Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Thayer paid a civil penalty of $150,000, and Malek personally paid a fine of $100,000.
As Donald McEachin says, “I am more dismayed and disturbed by Mr. Malek’s recent illegal behavior” than about his “Jew counting” in the Nixon White House 40 years ago. I strongly urge Delegates Surovell and Englin to talk about this issue, which is directly relevant to Malek heading up a “government reform” commission here in Virginia, when they appear on Mark Plotkin’s show this morning. Now that is a “substantive issue!”