Big Questions for Mr. “Aw Shucks”

It’s no surprise that George Allen wants his Senate seat back. The question for him is whether he understands how much the political landscape has changed in Virginia since his disastrous reelection run in 2006.

Republican insiders say that Allen is a much-chastened, humbler politician — a far cry from the smug, cowboy-boot-wearing hombre whose “macaca” insult aimed at a man of Indian descent torpedoed his 2006 campaign.

What we’re now getting is a remade Allen who claims to be an “outsider” in Washington politics who decries the free-spending ways of Congress during most of the last decade. Problem is, he was right there from 2001 to 2006 cheerleading George W. Bush through his budget-busting tax cuts for the well-to-do, minimizing banking rules that helped spur the financial meltdown, and voting for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that still haven’t been paid for.

Allen has already been targeted for his “Mr. Washington Insider” role by such upstarts in the Virginia Republican Party as Jamie Radtke, who briefly worked for Allen and then became a highly-successful leader of the Virginia Tea Party movement. To blunt Allen, all she really has to do is ask him to please explain his voting record while in the Senate.

Allen may also be banking on the “aw-shucks” Southern manner and family legacy (his father was a Washington Redskins coach) that went down well when he was Virginia’s governor from 1994 to 1998. He comes on like a happy, oversize puppy. But his run against Jim Webb in 2006, however, revealed that he really spent his childhood in Southern California and provoked some prickliness on his part at the revelation of Jewish roots on his mother’s side, as if that matters in today’s Virginia.

Another problem for Allen is that he’s plunging into some different and hard times. Virginia was on a roll when he was governor. Back in the 1990s, Northern Virginia was becoming a high-technology magnet for Internet firms such as America Online and for a raft of telecommunications firms banking on fiber optics. The good times made it easy for him to pursue his agenda of cutting welfare for the poor and parole.

When he was senator, he watched the state snarf up billions in post 9/11 defense dollars, especially in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Easy money linked to lax federal regulation spurred construction of overpriced and oversized homes in outer suburbs such as Loudoun and Prince William counties.

One couldn’t ask for a more different environment these days. The defense milk cow is about to be slaughtered. Housing starts remain anemic. Jobs can’t be found. Deficits have soared.

And what Allen has been doing while out of office can’t be called truly great preparation for a new run for the Senate. As folks like Radtke were busy in the field building grass-roots Tea Parties, Allen was working in a sinecure-type job as a highly paid energy lobbyist.

Peter Galuszka

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


30 responses to “Big Questions for Mr. “Aw Shucks””

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Great, just what we need is an ignorant racist from California back representing us in the Senate.


  2. This is like watching a zebra through a kaleidoscope, under a strobe light.

    The shapeshifting is guaranteed to make you dizzy, if not epileptic.

  3. Jeez, Darrell, good catch.

    "In my humble opinion if you sell someone a security that you claim is backed by collateral when it is not then that would be securities fraud."

    I agree, and that was where the ratings agencies fell down. They rated securities when they knew the sellers could not show clear title to the collateral supposedly backing the securities.

    Now those same people without clear title expect to be able to use unofficial, unsigned, electronic documents as sufficient proof for foreclosure.

    Once this hits a few people like Larry, it may change some strange and unfortunate ideas about what property rights are, and how they should be protected.

  4. Andrea Epps Avatar
    Andrea Epps

    Oh, my god. The link from Darrell scares the crap out of me.
    My first instinct is to recall every state official and start over.
    (I suppose it's a good thing I've learned to respond rather than react.)

  5. Darrell – excellent link and agree with Andrea.

    This is an excellent example of what your vote is worth in the world of corporate money and lobbying.

    We are virtual mushrooms in the political process.

    One thing I do not understand which is … I always thought that a mortgage company had to actually register a deed in the jurisdiction where the land was and it sounds like they created their own "system" and there are no local deeds anymore.

    So… without the local registration … the owner is whoever the industry-created entity says the owner is?

    is that right?

  6. "So… without the local registration … the owner is whoever the industry-created entity says the owner is?"

    Well that's pretty correct. What has been happening in other states is that the local is done initially, and any other transfers are supposedly tracked by MERS. So you end up with a big gap in local tracking. But the reality revealed in various court cases indicate that the investors never receive the collateral or the collateral is listed on several different investment tracts basically selling the mortgage to multiple investors.

    Or in the case of foreclosure the deed cannot be found and must be robosigned into existence to the foreclosing entity.

    Which is why many courts have been rejecting foreclosures. Now title insurers won't cover them either. In some cases buyers have been signing closing documents that have hidden clauses that transfer liability to the buyer. This came to light when flippers tried to resell the properties and found out their deeds were worthless.

    Bottom line is that there are around 60 million homes out there with questionable ownership. The states, Feds, and Wall Street have been busy passing legislation and using other methods to paper over the problem to keep investors from forcing monetary clauses in their MBS agreements that could crash the mortgage system. These actions could evolve into a constitutional conflict between the Feds and states. Meanwhile, the unwary homeowners are merely along for the ride.

  7. Andrea, you should be scared.

    Robosigned into existence.

    Clauses making the buyer liable for previous frauds?

    How could anyone write such a thing and make it sound plausible?

  8. So – here's a question for ya'll.

    Who would you trust to clamp down on the industry on this issue – George Allen and the Republicans or the Democrats?

    Is this what the Republicans and Tea Party say is too much job-killing govt regulation?

  9. Groveton Avatar

    I find myself, once again, in the odd position of agreeing with Peter.

    George Allen's whole life seems like a fascade. His dime store cowboy schtick, his Mecaca moment, his "real Virginia" crapola.
    Let's take a quick trip down memory lane…

    It's August 11, 2006 in Breaks, Virginia near the Kentucky border. The weather is hot and muggy. The kind of day when only a dunce would go out in a long sleeved blue button down shirt.
    George Allen, wearing a long sleeved blue button button down shirt, is holding some kind of outdoors campaign rally. The candidate is a southern California transplant to Virginia who holds a seat in the US Senate and chooses to live in Fairfax County, Virginia. It's a tricky speech. Only a dunce would insult the intelligence of the south west Virginia crowd by pretending to be from south west Virginia.
    George Allen, the transplanted Californian living by choice in Mt Vernon, Virginia embarks on his campaign speech regaling the crowd with remarks about "those of us from here in the real Virginia". Reveling in his oratorical accomplishment of building rapport with the entirely conservative Republican crowd, Allen spies a young man filming him with a hand held video camera. The always shrewd George Allen recognizes the young man as a campaign worker from his opponent's campaign. Only a dunce would say something inappropriate when being openly filmed by one of his opponent's campaign workers.

    Allen starts pointing at the young man and calls the guy out with references to how things are done down here in the real Virginia by real Virginians … like him. Continuing his steroidal shrewdness, Georgie Porgie Puddin' and Pie notices that the young man with the camera is somewhat dark complected. Only a dunce would compound the error of standing outside in August dripping sweat in a blue long sleeved shirt providing fodder to your opponent on videotape by making a racist comment.

    The G-Man decides to start calling the young man "mecaca". You see, the brillinat one knows what mecaca means but doubts that any of the assembled crowd will know. Of course this opens two bad doors. Behind bad door number one … why use a term that nobody will understand? Behind worse door number two … when people view the videotape and Google mecaca they will know it's a racial slur meaning monkey. Directed, on videotape, at a dark complected campaign worker from your opponent's campaign.
    As it turns out, the young man is a college student at the University of Virginia who, unlike the brilliant one, was born and reared in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    But then, only a dunce … well, you know the rest …

  10. Groveton Avatar

    Sorry to go "off topic" but Darrell's comment about the crapola foisted upon us by the politicos in Richmond deserves attention (in my opinion).
    When you see uber lefty Donald McEachin in agreement with moderate Chap Petersen in agreement with uber righty Bob Marshall – you have to take notice:
    odd bedfellows
    What could possibly thwart a coalition of left, right and middle?
    Oh yeah … special interests.

  11. re: " What could possibly thwart a coalition of left, right and middle?
    Oh yeah … special interests. "

    1/2 credit Groveton.

    Special Interests affecting WHO in the GA?

    None other than the Republican Leadership.

    Speaker Howell is "speaking" in FAVOR of the Special Interests, eh?

    Is this what you meant by "clown show"?

  12. Groveton Avatar

    There has been some debate about the level of corruption in Virginia. A recent article on Bacon's Rebellion tried to address the issue. The referenced article, from The Beast, was somewhat ambiguous in whether Virginia was the second most corrupt state or the second least corrupt state.

    We're #2, but #2 for what?

    Meanwhile, I have looked for other estimates of state-wide corruption. I've found an analysis which has data over time. It is ordered from ost corrupt to least corrupt. How did Virginia fare?

    2002 – 21
    2006 – 19
    2007 – 17
    2008 – 12

    Yes, we're steadily working our way up the list of most corrupt states.

    Another Warner / Kaine legacy

    As people like Jim Bacon become almost sexually aroused by Virginia's "Best State for Business" ratings, perhaps we should keep just a smidge of our collective peripheral vision on our growing reputation as one of the most corrupt states in America.

    Certainly, the scam perpetrated in Richmond over mortgages and described by Darrell helps to expand my belief that there's something rotten in much of our General Assembly and governor's mansion.

  13. Groveton Avatar

    "None other than the Republican Leadership.".

    I think you'll find that Bob Marshall considers himself a Republican.

    As usual, this is not about Democrats vs Republicans. Nor it is about conservatives vs liberals.

    It is about scambolic politicians serving the special interests vs a small minority of elected officials (from both parties) trying to do the right thing.

  14. Oh and we can keep this ON TOPIC by asking WHO George Allen would align with on the bank/mortgage issue?

    This is an easy one – eh?

    I do find it interesting that many of the Conservative-leaning blogs in Virginia are expressing less than wonderful thoughts about the possibility of a deja vu Senator Allen.

    Still – predictably in Virginia – the conservative leaning electorate still likes him enough to put him in a virtual tie with Webb.

    That should tell us something about the electorate in Va, eh?

  15. re: " I think you'll find that Bob Marshall considers himself a Republican."

    he does indeed but how many other Republicans have joined him on this issue?

    How about the Republican leadership in the GA – not only the speaker but the Chairman and membership of the committees considering this legislation?

    Who votes with the banking industry and who voted in favor of citizens?

    truth. let's get to the whole truth here… not sound bites.

  16. Groveton Avatar

    "he does indeed but how many other Republicans have joined him on this issue?".

    Like a blindfold wearing man at a beer drinking contest, LarryG lurches from place to place. However, even a man soused on Pabst Blue Ribbon sometimes stumbles in the right direction. This is one of those times!

    The political equivalent of PBR is partisan politics. And the right direction is political transparency.

    Despite being more than a little tipsy on partisan politics, LarryG stumbles toward the critical question of political transparency.

    The simple truth is that we don't know how many Republicans support Bob Marshall. And we don't know how many Democrats support Chap Petersen or Donald McEachin.

    We don't know these things because killing legislation without a vote has become the only core competency of the General Assembly.

    For example, SB840. You can read about the bill here (I'd also suggest reading the comments):

    Profiles in Cowardice

    The Education and Health Committee has 15 members – 10 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Not one of those cowards had the guts to second the proposed bill so that it could come up for a vote. So, I'll call this 2/3 Democratic cowardice and 1/3 Republican cowardice.

    But, examples of Republican led timidity also abound. The question of rectifying the hugely unfair hotel tax was killed at the 11th hour by Republicans last year. My account of that debacle can be found here:

    Stolen Without A Gun

    LarryG … as we head toward the state-wide elections later in 2011, we all have to understand something … the vast majority of the General Assembly members are either compromised by special interests or just too daft to be effective. We need to boot around 90% of the incumbents – from both parties.

    In my opinion, the first to be booted are those politicians who quietly kill bills in committee rather than showing the minimal courage required to bring the proposed legislation to a vote.

  17. " killing legislation without a vote has become the only core competency of the General Assembly"

    Groveton and I …. AGREE once again!

    Even though it's a bit scary at times – I think often we agree in the main but have emphasis differences.

    The practice of allowing lobbyists to influence committee members to kill legislation that they know would have a different outcome on a recorded floor vote is one of the more corrupt practices in our General Assembly.

    and it burns me up…

    and it's one of the reasons why I support the right of citizens to recall legislators.

    You have to ask yourself right now – how much influence citizens have in this process verses the influence of the corporate entities and you realize pretty quick that as citizens we are virtually impotent to the point where the average voters knows almost zero about what happened and how – to their own detriment.

    And what legislator would dare challenge that corporate influence anyhow – knowing that at the next election – corporate money would energize the opposition challenge.

    I find the whole affair pretty ironic giving the current events of masses of conservatives railing against the "interference" of "big govt" in their daily lives – as Richmond quietly allows corporations to screw over those same people who for the most part are oblivious.

  18. This is why I became such a third rail on Republican politics. Back when the Allen's and Newt's were creating their party of change, it was all about The People. But once they obtained their objective, The People much like today's Tea Party, were relegated to an outhouse far removed from the Hillbilly Hideaway's Big Tent. Now here we are once again, the same names that led to the rout of Virginia Republicanism not that long ago are still in charge, still peddling themselves to the highest bidder.

    And The People are supposed to just forget about that and go with the flow directed by the RPV elite.

    That Sonny, is the problem. Virginians already chased your howling RPV coon dog across hill and holler. And when that favored dog made tree, what the people found way up in the branches was a monkey. That dog's older now, days of fat and lazy sunning on the porch, sucking up free lobbyist eggs and dreaming of a hunt that never leaves the front yard. Why would Virginians trade in a dedicated ridge runner for such a weak minded free ranging hound?

  19. Okay, Darrell…

    here's what I think….

    why would anyone who is not a business person, banker, corporate weenie – i.e. an average working person – paycheck to paycheck…

    .. THINK… that the Republican Party actually Represents THEIR interests…. in the FIRST Place?

    .. The only Republicans that I every trusted to walk the line between corporate America and the working man was the now-extinct RINOs.

    Are you telling me that you believed that George Allen, Newt Gingrich, Tom Armey, etc type Republicans are in the working man's corner?

    Look at our own General Assembly.

    Where is the list of Republicans that are lining up on the mortgage issue to represent the interests of ….citizens?

    Don't you think the Tea Party is a sham movement created by Republican Party operatives to co-opt the "movement" and establish a clandestine connection to the more radical of their base?

    Do you think there is ANY CHANCE at all that the Tea Party is going to get anywhere at all – working WITH the Republican Party?

    Watch how George Allen "relates" to the Tea Party folks.

  20. Groveton Avatar


    "Why would Virginians trade in a dedicated ridge runner for such a weak minded free ranging hound?".

    Have you performed some kind of Vulcan mind meld with Barnie Day?

    Don't get me wrong … I like the new writing style. Always liked Barnie's particular brand of wordsmithing too.

    In fact, having two okra pods in the gumbo sticks to a man's ribs better than a corn dog at the county fair.

    If you know what I mean.

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    Mr. Galuskzka,

    I saw your article called "Ham, Mustard, Chips, AR-15". Since either you or the Post suspended additional comments (probably since nobody agreed with you)… I'll give you my comments here.

    Mr. Galuskzka, your article is completely one sided, and unfortunately makes you appear very out of touch with Virginians. After reading all the comments…. who's on the other planet?

    I'm curious to know if you actually live in Virginia? Somehow you smell like you're from Maryland.

  22. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    At least do me the courtesy of spelling my name correctly.
    I know i has more than syllable.

    Peter GALUSZKA

  23. The stories under the link, odd bedfellows turned my stomach.

  24. Well Groveton, sometimes my long dead hillbilly grandpa shows up to tell me what to say. He always had a knack for clairvoyance, so I don't doubt him now.


    You have to recall the peoples mindset in the early 90s. Much as today, jobs were going overseas, money was getting tight, and the future under a welfare state Democrat Congress was bleak. They had a Tea Party revolution called Ross Perot. And while Perot fumbled the ball, the experience opened the door for a resurgent GOP that offered a Contract with America.

    People accepted that contract, but within one term of leadership the party reneged on the deal and things started downhill from there.

    Fast forward, a new Tea Party of disgusted citizens, scaring the hell out of both grifter parties. The old guard once again took advantage of the situation, formalizing the discontent into regional entities and attempting to substitute the citizens candidates with their own. What began as a citizens revolt became merely another arm of the GOP election machine.

    And now here we are with a choice between an elitist Democrat party that went bat shit crazy implementing social programs (We won, you lost, get used to it) and an elitist Republican party that should change their mascot from the elephant to the Wall Street Bull.

    Soon enough there will be another crowd assembling, waiting for the next charismatic leader. A crowd that is looking for a New Deal that doesn't include the elites. That will be the time to be most fearful.

  25. Darrell – I "get" what you are saying but I still am befuddled as to why Va is about 60% Republican – including the guys in Richmond that are screwing them over on their mortgages and the national Republicans who are just fine with outsourcing overseas as long as it "creates wealth" for some even if at the expense of others – and the country.

  26. Virginia is 60 percent Republican because it is easy to buy votes in RoVa with NoVa money.

    Time for a break with Sunday cartoons. Enjoy.

  27. Larry:

    Every time a company makes two or three jobs overseas, it makes another one here.

    It is simply wrong to assume the zero sum mindset that posits every job overseas is one lost here. It doesn't work that way, and isn't likeley to.

    Every American is richer because of Walmart imports, not poorer.

    And, China, Brazil, and India are growing at twice the rate we are. The way we cash in on that is make as many jobs as we can over there, so we can enjoy the trickle down here.

  28. " Every time a company makes two or three jobs overseas, it makes another one here"

    REALLY? Then WHY are the factory jobs going away and not being replaced with ANY jobs other than stocking imported stuff on WalMart shelves?

    In small town after small town across Va – the factories have closed and the workers left without jobs other than a few lucky enough to work at Family Dollar or Walmart.

    Extra Credit Question:

    Why do these ordinary work-a-day folks continue to vote for "conservative" politicians who have no problem giving tax breaks to companies that close U.S. factories and outsource jobs overseas

    ….. and/or hire illegals to replace living wage workers,

    …. and pass/support laws to allow banks to use flim flam mortgage loan tactics to screw ordinary working people out of their homes?

    Every year, 60% of them in Virginia dutifully march to the polls to vote for the same politicians who eagerly take money from corporate interests and then vote for things like these mortgage abuses that allow sleazy companies to vampire the last remaining bit of wealth that some have.

    You gotta give them credit – more than anything else – they know how to SELL a bill of goods to the average rube so I guess in the end, we rubes do deserve the govt we vote for.

  29. Andrea Epps Avatar
    Andrea Epps

    Now that I am not in imminent danger of foreclosure,(that my ex was responsible for) I look back at the letter the mortgage company sent that admitted they didn't have the note. I thought so. But, these companies are selling mortgages every few years. Mine has been sold three times.
    I'll attempt to tie this to the discussion at hand by asking…
    What would George Allen do for this situation?

Leave a Reply