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George Allen's Family Affair

August 23, 2006

By now, Perrspectives readers have grown familiar with the surprising neo-Confederate tendencies of Virginia Senator and presidential aspirant George Allen. (His abiding love of the CSA flag and the heritage of the ante bellum South are all the more surprising, given that Allen was born and raised in Southern California.) Today, the New Republic's Ryan Lizza offers a deeper glimpse of Allen the thug and redneck as a young man, courtesy of the Senator's own sister.
In 2000, Allen's sister Jennifer offered a brutal portrait of her angry, bullying brother in a little noticed book called Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter. She depicts the young Senator as a vicious tormenter of family, friends and neighbors. Given the impact of her work on Allen's 2006 and 2008 electoral prospects (especially in light of Senator Allen's recent "macaca" dust-up), Jennifer (Allen) Richard now claims that her tome was a "dramatization" and "a novelization of the past."
Regardless, George Allen's sister paints a picture of a vindictive, mean-spirited young man. (In that sense, he could well be George W. Bush's logical successor.) While Lizza offers a long list of George Allen's pathology as described in Fifth Quarter, here are just some of the highlights:

  • "What are you morons watching?" George asked as he changed the channel to Hee Haw. George loved Hee Haw. His favorite character was the big, slow-witted Junior. Junior tried to tell jokes yet always failed to remember the punch line. There was also something mildly country-thuggish about Junior that I think George felt akin to. (page 21-22)
  • We all obeyed George. If we didn't, we knew he would kill us. Once, when Bruce refused to go to bed, George hurled him through a sliding glass door. Another time, when Gregory refused to go to bed, George tackled him and broke his collarbone. Another time, when I refused to go to bed, George dragged me up the stairs by my hair. George hoped someday to become a dentist. George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make people suffer. Instead, George became a lawyer and went into politics.(page 21-22)
  • Ever since my brother George held me over the railing at Niagara Falls, I've had a fear of heights. (page 43)
  • The last time we all watched a game together, George beat up Bruce, and Bruce beat up Gregory, and I bit my nails, and Mom screamed, "Stop, stop, stop!" and held a knife above her head and threatened to kill herself if we didn't stop fighting. (page 77)
  • Dad would soon be named chairman of the Summer Jobs Program for needy youth in Washington. He thought all us kids should have jobs by now. None of us did. Not even George, who was about to enter his second year in college. (page 88)
  • George took out a plug of tobacco and stuffed it in his mouth. He growled up a thick wad of phlegm and spit it into his hand for the dogs to come lick. He was dressed like a character on Hee Haw--cowboy hat, flannel shirt, blue jeans, and boots. Mom admired him more than any of her other children. He got straight As even when he acted like a hick. She went to stroke her son's strong arm, but he brushed her away with a loud burp. (page 162)
  • My brother George welcomed him [Jennifer's new boyfriend Flynn] by slamming a pool cue against his head. (page 178)
  • My brother George sat with me for hours by the pool one day, measuring out parcels of his past [for Jennifer's book], all the while reminding me to remain faithful to the facts. (page 239)

For more background on George Allen's disturbing past, see:

One comment on “George Allen's Family Affair”

  1. I discovered the following on the web: "George Allen is credited with beginning a Virginia Republican renaissance when he started as a prohibitive underdog and defeated Mary Sue Terry, an established, well-financed Democrat, to take back the governor's office in 1993 for the GOP after 12 years of Democratic control."
    ...nice story, but it obscures a deeper, more disturbing truth. We all remember Mary Sue Terry's lead in the polls ... and soon before the election, your more irresponsible news outlets were publicizing a story spread by an obscure psychiatrist named William Gray. Gray was claiming that once upon a time he had treated a "lesbian lover" of the Attorney General's, someone he said later committed suicide. Pressed for details to back up his story, Gray took the opportunity to claim "doctor/patient confidentiality"(!). What was less publicized was the fact that Gray had lost his medical license in California owing to allegations of child molestation, charges that would be repeated after he set up shop in Virginia. When Mary Sue Terry learned of the case, she was publicly outraged at the lack of communication between state medical boards. In short, Dr. Gray had an ax to grind.
    I've personally seen no evidence whatsoever of any communication between the Allen campaign and Gray (on the other hand, I've never really looked). What is beyond doubt, however, is that George Allen benefited to no small degree by this explosive rumor circulated by an enemy of his opponent. And what happened to Gray? He relocated to the Philippines following Allen's victory. His act of petty vengeange, in my view, was more instrumental in George Allen's rise than the efforts of such state media figures as Ross Mackenzie and Forrest Landon combined.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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