Former Bush Domestic Policy Head Claude Allen Charged in Shoplifting Scheme
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:44:44 PM EST
Claude Allen has worn many hats: He was head of the Bush Adm. Katrina Task Force and Head of Domestic Policy for the Bush Adm. Allen also was Deputy Secretary for the Dept. of Health and Human Services and was nominated by George  W. Bush for a federal judgeship [ filibustered by Democrats ].

Praised by Focus on the Family and The Family Research Council, noted for anti-gay statements, a champion of "abstinence education", reputed enforcer for Karl Rove, point man for advancing a "faith based" agenda.... Claude Allen had it all..... plus an addiction to a shoplifting fraud scheme.

Mr. Allen was noted for his extreme anti-gay statements:

Allen's history as a gay-baiter goes back to his days as a top aide to the notorious homophobe Senator Jesse Helms. In 1984, Allen accused Helms' Democratic challenger, then-Governor James Hunt, of having links to "queers," "radical feminists," socialists and unions [ Doug Ireland, writing for LA Weekly ]

Allen was also known for his outspoken support for "Abstinence Education", and his role in getting information on the effectiveness of condoms at preventing HIV transmission pulled from the US CDC's website.

Doug Ireland Notes, for LA Weekly :

"Allen helped bludgeon the Centers for Disease Control, which reports to HHS, into purging safe-sex materials from its Web sites and into adopting mandatory new rules requiring AIDS-fighting groups to teach that condoms don't work in preventing the spread of AIDS.......

When a federal judge found that a federally funded Louisiana abstinence program 'illegally handed out Bibles, staged anti-abortion prayer rallies outside women's clinics and had students perform Bible-based skits,' Allen refused to have the program audited, while continuing his repeated audit persecutions of effective AIDS-fighting groups teaching condom use,"

.......Notorious for his anti-abortion stance, at HHS Allen helped use its regulatory powers to turn Title 10 of the Public Services Act -- which Bush père had championed -- away from family planning and the promotion of condom use and into an abstinence-only program. In his Virginia years, Allen's Christian-right extremism led him to endanger the health of children. Then Allen  worked to defeat legislation that provided health insurance for children of the working poor, largely because the program covered abortion services for rape and incest victims under the age of 18.

As Ireland stated on "Democracy Now" :

Claude Allen has been the AIDS community's -- one of its number one enemies for some years, because he is an opponent of condom use. He is a proponent for years of the theory that condoms do not work to prevent AIDS. And he has worked very hard to replace science-based sex education with the failed policy of abstinence-only sex education as the only way to prevent AIDS.

As reported by Bill BerkowitzAllen has made anti-gay statements and also has been loudly praised by Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council:

"During Senator Helms' 1984 re-election campaign, Allen charged Helms' opponent, Jim Hunt, with having ties to "queers," a "remark that has stuck to him throughout his career," the Associated Press recently pointed out...........

Focus on the Family is tremendously pleased with Claude Allen's appointment," said Peter Brandt, the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based-ministry's senior director of government and public policy. "Claude has a distinguished history as a champion for policies designed to build strong families and strong marriages, going back to his days in the state government of Virginia. He has been very strong as the number two man at HHS, and we believe Claude will serve the president well."

In a statement, Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, said: "Claude Allen is a strong advocate for family values and will undoubtedly provide the President trustworthy counsel on key domestic issues. Mr. Allen's appointment is a hopeful sign that President Bush is committed to a pro-family agenda for his second term. While we would have liked to have seen Mr. Allen confirmed as a federal judge, his new post within the White House suggests that the 'values voter' will have a strong voice within the administration on policy decisions affecting the family. "

One more item of note :

Claude Allen apparently has been addicted to shoplifting.

Claude Alexander Allen, 45, had been under investigation in Maryland since early January for an alleged scheme to defraud department stores of thousands of dollars in a refund scheme and was arrested on Thursday on charges of a felony theft scheme and theft over $500, according to Montgomery County police -- charges carrying possible sentences of up to 15 years.


Said President Bush - in reaction :

"When I heard the story last night I was shocked....And my first reaction was one of disappointment, deep disappointment that, if it's true , that we were not fully informed. But it was also one - shortly thereafter, I felt really sad for the Allen family.''

I'm not entirely sure of the point of this post (other than it simply being news) but it should (but probably won't) remind the judgemental right-wing theocrats that the more they judge others, the harsher the judgement will fall on them when they, almost inevitably, fail.

If you haven't already done so, you should read the Vanity Fair article about Jack Abramoff. Here's another right-wing fundamentalist (orthodox Jew in this case, but which religion appears not to matter much) who seems to have worked hard at adhering to the strictures of his faith, yet at the same time thought nothing of gaming the system to line his own pockets and advance his own causes.

Even today, it's unclear how sorry he is about his misdeeds.  He says he has done wrong, and yet he still believes it was the system that did him in, and that he doesn't even belong in prison.

It all seems to fit a pattern.  Abramoff, Allen, Delay, Reed, Frist, Santorum, and the rest.  They all, to one degree or another, wrap themselves in a cloak of righteous morality only for an inconvenient gust of wind to lay bare their true motivations, be they political ambition or personal greed.

by tacitus on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 02:05:26 AM EST

Well, I think you've articulated it very well there. Now, we all have our hypocritical points - sure. But Claude Allen was so loudly righteous, judgemental, ideologically driven.....  and, somehow to me, his alleged crime seems just so tawdry. Perhaps he was bad with finances, but given his connections I'd assume he could have obtained funds in legal manner.

I'm sure someone on the net has compiled a roster of the crimes and misdemeanors of pious politicians recently toppled by scandal. Not all would be from the GOP - certainly - but there may well be a pattern.

Meanwhile, I've wondered on this - there's actually been ( if you can believe it ) a bit of a resurgence - or recrudescence - of the Calvinist doctrine of "Election" lately, and one of the implications that follows in the wake of the doctrine is that the wealthy and powerful are favored by God more or less regardless of their actions and misdeeds..... until they are caught, at any rate. Then - by definition - they are no longer the "elect" !

In other words, the doctrine might hold that Allen - once guaranteed a place in heaven - is now on the fast track to hell. Not because he did something wrong but because he got caught. That would support claims that the US is moving from a culture of guilt towards a culture of shame. Who knows, but it's an interesting hypothesis.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 02:54:35 PM EST

Though I believe I understand the Calvinist doctrines of predesination and election, whenever I've heard anyone trying to explain the reasoning behind them, it always makes my head hurt!

In any case, I would be surprised if any of Allen's prior associates or friends were calling into question his salvation at this point.  It seems to me that so long as you continue to espouse the correct "Biblical" views on the "important moral issues" (i.e. abortion and homosexuality.) you can do most anything else and they will, at worst, believe that you were temporarily lead astray (the devil made me do it)--that is, if they even get as far as believing you actually did something wrong.

by tacitus on Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 01:53:24 PM EST

It was his evil twin brother.  
Or at least that's the story being promoted right now.  Hilarious!
Bush: determined to have more convicted felons appointed than Raygun!

by nofundy on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:03:02 PM EST

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