Hypocrisy Watch: Allen pens column commemorating holiday he opposed


    Courtesy of the following DPVA press release, check out the latest example of George Allen not being who he wants us to believe he is. Of course, this is the same guy who also revels in his supposed Confederate heritage, when he actually has none (his mother’s side of the family, of course, hails from Tunisia), as well as his “southern” heritage, when in fact he grew up in southern…California. Oh yeah, and he also went around pretending to e a cowboy, when of course there aren’t cowboys in Virginia and Felix certainly never was one. Given all that, why does this latest hypocrisy not surprise me?

    Hypocrisy Watch: Allen pens column commemorating holiday he opposed

    Richmond, VA – Former Senator George Allen submitted an opinion piece to the Washington Post today that uses the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday to tout some of his reasons why Virginians should re-elect him to the U.S. Senate next November.

    Strangely, nowhere in the column does Allen mention his years of opposition to the very idea of taking a day in Virginia to celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy.

    As a member of the House of Delegates in 1984 Allen voted against then-State Senator Doug Wilder’s efforts to create a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, calling it “necessarily demeaning to all outstanding Virginians we haven’t honored,” and raising concerns about how honoring Dr. King might affect the state’s remembrance of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

    Allen spoke negatively about federal efforts to celebrate Dr. King’s contribution to our nation, calling them “purely political.”

    Sixteen years later, when he decided to run for the U.S. Senate in 2000, Allen finally reversed his position and backed Gov. Jim Gilmore’s push to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a separate state holiday.

    “As former Senator George Allen uses this holiday to tout his re-election campaign, it’s worth remembering that if Delegate George Allen had had his way in 1984, we wouldn’t even be celebrating Dr. King’s legacy in Virginia,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills. “It’s up to Virginians to decide whether they want a Senator who could not bring himself to honor Dr. King’s contribution to our nation at any point in his career, and who today uses the occasion to tout himself without any mention of his past opposition.”

    Read the entire op-ed here.


    1984: Allen Voted Against Creating State Holiday For Martin Luther King Jr. In February 1984, Allen voted against creating a state holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr – Lee-Jackson-King Day on third Monday in January. The measure passed, 67-27. [SB 112, 2/27/84, Journal of the House of Delegates, p. 1038]

    1984: Allen Voted Against King Holiday In Committee, Arguing That Honoring King Was “Necessarily Demeaning To All Outstanding Virginians Who We Haven’t Honored.” The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported, “The House General Laws Committee, which has opposed King holiday bills in the past, sent Richmond state Sen. L. Douglas Wilder’s long-sought measure to the House floor on an 11-9 vote Wednesday.  Delegate George F. Allen, R-Earlysville, said after the vote that the bill to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a state holiday ‘is necessarily demeaning to all those outstanding Virginians who we haven’t honored.’ . . . He said the committee violated the will of most Virginians because it would honor a non-Virginian on the same day as the state’s holiday for Confederate War heroes Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. ‘The majority of citizens don’t want us tampering with Lee-Jackson Day,’ Allen said. ‘It could be a precursor to eliminating Lee-Jackson Day,’ Allen warned. ‘This is diminishing our honoring of native Virginians.’ . . . ‘I feel like we’re already honoring him (King) on Jan. 1, and that’s enough,’ Allen added. He called passage of the national King holiday in Congress last year ‘purely political.'” [Charlottesville Daily Progress, 2/24/84]

    1983: Allen Opposed A Stand-Alone MLK Jr. Holiday, Said Any New State Holiday “Should Be Reserved For A Virginian.” According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, in October 1983 George Allen told the Albemarle County NAACP that he would “not support legislation to make the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. a separate state holiday. Delegate George F. Allen, R-Earlysville, told the group, ‘We don’t need any more state holidays in Virginia. But if we did, it should be reserved for a Virginian.'” [Charlottesville Daily Progress, 10/25/83]

    2000: Allen Finally Decided To Support A Holiday Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, “Gov. Jim Gilmore’s proposal to create a separate state holiday for civil rights martyr Martin Luther King Jr. is attracting an unlikely supporter, former Gov. George Allen, who opposed the original King Day initiative as a Virginia legislator. . . . Allen was among 27 members of the House of Delegates to oppose the King Day bill, sponsored by then-state Sen. L. Douglas Wilder, D-Richmond. Wilder, the nation’s first elected black governor from 1990 to 1994, and an occasional ally of Allen and Gilmore, also backs the Gilmore proposal. Asked yesterday about his legislative opposition to Wilder’s King bill, Allen said, ‘I’m sure there were a variety of reasons,’ including the cost of shuttering state government for a day. Allen also said fusing a King tribute with one to Lee and Jackson ‘was incongruous, illogical.'” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/15/2000]

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