Sam Hanna Jr.

It’s doubtful Congressman Vance McAllister has learned or will learn anything from being exposed for engaging in an extramarital relationship with a member of his staff.

At least that’s what appears to be the case in light of the stubbornness McAllister and his staff have exhibited since the congressman was exposed Monday by The Ouachita Citizen and its sister newspapers, The Franklin Sun in Winnsboro and the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday. The expose’ of McAllister entailed video surveillance of the congressman passionately embracing and kissing his district scheduler, Melissa Peacock, in McAllister’s congressional office in Monroe. Of all places to engage in some hanky panky, McAllister chose an office that’s monitored by security cameras.

Talk about dumb.

Maybe not as dumb as what McAllister said in an interview he conducted Monday evening with a daily newspaper in Monroe. In the interview, McAllister claimed he’s only had one affair in his life.

He should think again before making such a bold statement, for one never knows when evidence of another dalliance might bubble to the surface.

Such is life in the fast lane these days for McAllister, who rose from working the pipeline racket to a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was overwhelmingly elected last fall in a special election to fill Congressman Rodney Alexander’s unexpired term. Alexander gave up the congressional seat to serve as secretary of the state Office of Veterans Affairs under Gov. Bobby Jindal.

McAllister will stand for election for a full term representing the 5th District of Louisiana later this year, assuming he survives the fallout from the affair. Assuming.

Perhaps too much of a fuss is being made of a member of the Congress getting caught playing the field, so to speak. After all, how many times have we read about a congressman getting caught playing fast and loose with a woman who wasn’t his wife?

But the McAllister affair is news because McAllister presented himself to the public during last fall’s congressional race as a devout Christian and devoted father and husband. You probably recall the television commercials, specifically the one in which McAllister turns to the camera and asks the viewing audience to pray for him.

It was all a lie, according to a man who’s known McAllister for years.

At least that’s what Heath Peacock, husband of Melissa Peacock, told CNN Tuesday in an interview that shed more light on McAllister’s character than anything else that’s been said or written.

“He (McAllister) has wrecked my life,” Peacock told CNN.

"I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said ‘I need your prayers,’ and I asked, ‘When did you get religious?’ He said, ‘When I needed votes,’” Peacock recalled. “He broke out the religious card and he’s about the most non-religious person I know.”

Peacock can speak with some authority about McAllister, for the pair grew up some three miles from one another in rural West Carroll Parish. Their relationship extended to the professional world, or in the oil patch where McAllister and Peacock worked together for a company called Mustang Engineering.

Peacock probably didn’t think sharing an employer meant sharing his wife as well.

That’s just one example of the collateral damage McAllister has caused, not to mention the effect all of this mess will have on his wife of 16 years and their five children. Let’s not forget about Heath Peacock’s two kids — one from a previous marriage and one with Melissa Peacock.

Yet, something tells me concern for others never crossed McAllister’s mind when he was running around with the wife of his long-time friend. Not once, I bet you, but I could be wrong.

But as it stands today, McAllister will survive this sordid affair, which reads like a dime-store novel.

The only thing missing is a tastefully decorated double wide trailer.

With skirts.

Sam Hanna Jr. can be reached by phone at 318-805-8158 or e-mail at

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