Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About this Blog   |   On Twitter   |   Follow us on Facebook   |   RSS Feeds RSS Feed

UPDATED: McDonnell defends Malek, says he didn't know of his past before appointment

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said today that he was unaware of businessman Fred Malek's helping President Richard M. Nixon track Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1971 or Malek's 2008 (correction: 2004) civil fine related to his consulting firm's work with the Connecticut state pension fund before he asked Malek to serve as chairman of his new 31-member government efficiency commission this month.

During his monthly appearance on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" radio show, McDonnell defended his selection of Malek, the former president of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines and a longtime major Republican donor and activist, as exactly the kind of proven leader needed to help find ways to make government run better.

He cited major Jewish leaders who have come to Malek's defense and dismissed Malek's role in the Nixon administration as a mistake for which he has atoned and been forgiven. And he said that for longtime business leaders, "regulatory violations" are common.

"I did not know about this background. But it was 40 years ago, he made a mistake, he's apologized for it," McDonnell said. "When I'm looking for somebody to be a leader in a government reform effort to try make Virginia government work better, I want a successful businessperson."

McDonnell described Malek as friend and campaign contributor for the past five or six years and noted that he has been involved in work with the Republican Governors Association. Among Malek's donations to McDonnell was a $25,000 contribution to McDonnell's political action committee that came just days after he was appointed to head the panel. McDonnell said the timing was coincidental.

But he said he was unfamiliar with the twin issues that several Democrats -- including Jewish Dels. Scott Surovell (D) and David Englin (D) -- have said should disqualify Malek from service on the panel.

McDonnell's ignorance came despite the fact that Malek's Nixon-era history is well-trod ground publicly. That Malek acceded to a request from Nixon that he find out how many Jews worked at BLS first appeared in a 1976 Bob Woodward/Carl Bernstein book, "The Final Days." It has been the subject of repeated articles since. Additional information about Malek's role emerged in 1988, resulting in his resignation from the Republican National Committee.

Plus, Slate reporter Timothy Noah has uncovered and published additional documents within just the past few years showing that Malek's role in transferring Jews from the department was greater than Malek has publicly acknowledged. Heck, we even mentioned the issue when McDonnell named Malek a co-chairman of his inaugural committee in November.

Malek's defenders include everyone from Jewish California Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein to Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League. Va. Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) told us last week that he too believes that Malek, who served as co-chairman of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, has appropriately apologized for his 40-year-old actions. Malek has repeatedly said he regretted his role in the incident.

The split among Democrats over Malek's past is why some in the party would prefer to leave that history alone and focus, instead, on a $100,000 fine Malek paid personally in 2008 (correction: 2004) after the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the former majority leader of the Connecticut state Senate and the state's treasurer engaged in a fraudulent scheme to invest $75 million in state pension funds with Malek's private equity firm, Thayer Capital Partners. The SEC found that Thayer paid the majority leader a percentage of the investment, though he did no work for it.

McDonnell said the fine does not disqualify Malek from serving on the commission, which will recommend changes to Virginia government that McDonnell hopes to bring to the General Assembly for their consideration in a special session this fall. Here's what he had to say about the fine:

People that are in business 20, 30, 40 years, 50 years often have regulatory violations. I'm not familiar with all the details. I haven't read all the pleadings of that case. Whatever he did, obviously there appeared to be some violation of the law that he agreed to settle. I don't know all the details, but I will say what's important to me is that when I go about restructuring government, I want people who are proven leaders, reformers, change agents who know how to get it done. Fred Malek, during his time at Marriot and Northwestern, has a distinguished track record of getting those things done. People who know him and have worked with him believe he is a significant force in American business.

UPDATE: Englin, listening live to the WTOP program, sent us the following reaction: "It's not remotely plausible that Governor McDonnell and his staff were ignorant to Malek's 'Jew counting' or his SEC conviction for defrauding Connecticut taxpayers -- a simple Google search reveals both."

As for McDonnell's dismissal of Malek's 2008 SEC fine, Englin said "Governor McDonnell insults ethical business leaders throughout Virginia and throughout the country when he dismisses that as the sort of thing business people deal with all the time."

UPDATE #2 3:05 p.m.: Tucker Martin, spokesman to the governor, just sent us the following statement in response to Englin's comments: "A small handful of liberal Democrats don't want the governor to reduce state spending and make government smaller and more efficient. That's what this transparent partisan attack is really about."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 25, 2010; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fimian poll shows him leading Herrity in NoVa primary race
Next: Rigell's survey says he's the clear frontrunner in GOP race to face Rep. Nye

Comments

So much for the vetting process.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 25, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Bob McDonnell, the faux Christian, is a liar, and a poor one at that.

Posted by: sonny2 | May 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

it's been common knowledge for many many years now

Posted by: hohandy | May 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, some recent decisions by our governor will bring him the kind of national attention that will put an end to any further political aspirations he may have.

Posted by: Blueipomoea | May 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

He is a typical politician that still caters to money.

Posted by: yeayea911 | May 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Slate online uncovered memo's that show Malek did far more then just give Nixon a list. Maleks appolgy only covers the list and he lied about his further involvement.
McDonnell needs to do a little more research and drop Malek.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 25, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

SEC conviction for defrauding taxpayers isn't enough to keep you out of state government?

Posted by: snake_taylor | May 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just another thing McDonnell was not aware of. Perhaps we should get someone in office that, well, is aware.

Posted by: bobbarnes | May 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Under this administration it seems like the state prison should be a good source of talent.

Malek will lay off all of the state employees so they can go back to work for state contractors at twice the salary...just like Gilmore did with VDOT. Real efficiency improvements...ha!

Posted by: changeisconstant | May 25, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McDonnell needs to tell Cuccinelli to spend more vetting potential political appointees and less time badgering state universities and suing the federal government.

Posted by: Bob22003 | May 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow. It just keeps getting better - hooray, Virginia! What a fabulous choice you've made.

Posted by: undercover_hon | May 25, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What does one expect from a govenor who thinks the Confederacy was a glorious thing. He hires a crooked Jew-counter to manage his office.

Posted by: kschur1 | May 25, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Does this indicate that Malek lied on his resume and in his application for the position? Wouldn't this disqualify him?

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | May 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

One can only hope that in future VA state elections, independents will remember McDonnell and Cuccinelli and what right wing whack jobs VA Republicans now are when they're tempted to vote for a Republican.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 25, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Either Bob McDonnell is the most ignorant and uninformed person in the Old Dominion or he is the biggest liar. Take your pick.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | May 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, I tried to warn you VA that you too can become the next South Carolina. Drowning in debt, deficits forecast for years to come, all reserves depleted, second highest crime rate but cutting funding to prisons, schools crumbling, test scores falling, and the first cut is always to education, tourist fleeting. . . Yes, VA your future looks bright.

Posted by: xclntcat | May 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell's office says that it is only bacause Dems don't want to save money that they pointed out Malek's record? That is really weak. His record is a fact that is well known. I would assume that the other members of the commission also want to reform government and save money? Malek is not essential to this process. Defending him after his $25K contribution only makes McDonnell look like the political hack that he is. Voters of Virginia you are responsible for abomination!

Posted by: cdierd1944 | May 25, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

And he (Gov. Bob McDonnell) said that for longtime business leaders, "regulatory violations" are common.
****

BP agrees with the Gov. and I am sure that Enron, WorldComm, Goldman Sachs, Countrywide, WaMu, Citicorp and all your friends and contributors would agree, no big f*ing deal.

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | May 25, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Helderman,

Where were you when George Allen was "outed" as a person of Jewish heritage , Spanish Inquistion-style
by reporter Peggy Fox during the Webb-Allen contest? In the post-Holocaust era,
how is it appropriate to demand to know if a Senate candidate is "hiding" Jewish ancestry?

Posted by: cellus | May 25, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is either a bald faced liar, or he is a woefully ignorant moron and bumpkin who doesn't have the smarts for his office.

Malek's sordid past is no secret.

There is a concept in the law called "willful blindness" that does not allow one to avert his eyes & ears to the truth to avoid liability (including criminal liability).

McDonnell is either willfully blind or a congenital idiot.

Posted by: fendertweed | May 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"People that are in business 20, 30, 40 years, 50 years often have regulatory violations."

Yea, especialy when they are crooks and rob pension funds.

Posted by: nowhine | May 25, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: checkered1 "One can only hope that in future VA state elections, independents will remember McDonnell and Cuccinelli and what right wing whack jobs VA Republicans now are when they're tempted to vote for a Republican."
----------------------------
O believe me we do and did in the last election. Heck, my own parents both life long republicans have begun to vote "for the other guy" more often than not. Its just that the whole southern (confederate bible belt) half of the state has nothing better to do that hang out at elections while we of the much more middle to left north are at work all day.


Posted by: schnauzer2 | May 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Oy vey Oy vey Oy vey, can we all say Oy Vey!

Posted by: password11 | May 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Oy vey Oy vey Oy vey, can we all say Oy Vey!

Posted by: password11 | May 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Oy vey Oy vey Oy vey, can we all say Oy Vey!

Posted by: password11 | May 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Helderman,
Where were you when George Allen was "outed" as a person of Jewish heritage , Spanish Inquistion-style
by reporter Peggy Fox during the Webb-Allen contest? In the post-Holocaust era,
how is it appropriate to demand to know if a Senate candidate is "hiding" Jewish ancestry?
Posted by: cellus | May 25, 2010 3:32 PM
*****

Your post makes no sense.

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | May 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope Virginians are happy with their choice for Governor. It really really makes them look like upstanding citizens.

Posted by: rlj1 | May 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Malek's background should not disqualify him from chairing a commission to examine state efficiency, but not a good decision.

Posted by: Rhamnus | May 25, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

To gracefulboomer,

To the blissfully ignorant, most posts make no sense.

Posted by: cellus | May 25, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

As a long-time supporter of Mr. McDonnell, I think these are good questions to ask about appointees at the state level. Why not ensure we have good government?

Delegates David Englin and Scott Surovell are right to call for good, clean government. I'd like The Post to press each of the Delegates on who they intend to support in this year's 8th Congressional District race. If they intend to support Mr. Jim Moran, who has been chastised for his own ethical issues as well as his own anti-Semitic comments, then we would learn more about the hypocrisy of these gentlemen. If they are opposing Mr. Moran, then they are to be congratulated for showing courage towards their own party.

Posted by: Practicewhatupreach | May 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

As a long-time supporter of Mr. McDonnell, I think these are good questions to ask about appointees at the state level. Why not ensure we have good government?

Delegates David Englin and Scott Surovell are right to call for good, clean government. I'd like The Post to press each of the Delegates on who they intend to support in this year's 8th Congressional District race. If they intend to support Mr. Jim Moran, who has been chastised for his own ethical issues as well as his own anti-Semitic comments, then we would learn more about the hypocrisy of these gentlemen. If they are opposing Mr. Moran, then they are to be congratulated for showing courage towards their own party.

Posted by: Practicewhatupreach | May 25, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"Unaware" best describes the Virginians who voted in this clown.

He is an embarrassment that keeps on giving.

Posted by: VAreader | May 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell, just stop messing with Virginia, it's one of the best-functioning states out there.

Just admit that raising the income tax, which is very low in the state and mostly flat (anybody making more than $17,000 pays the top bracket of less than 6%) would resolve most of your stupid problems (fine, not the congestion, that one's gonna take more work).

For more info on Virginia in relation to other states and for your education, please read the JLARC report at http://jlarc.state.va.us/reports/Rpt396.pdf

Posted by: aexcorp | May 25, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This jerk and his equally frightful AG have made VA the laughing stock of the country. I hope all you right wingnuts are happy, cause the rest of us sane folks aren't. Anyone voting Repuke at any level of government is asking for more of the same. Regulatory violations my as@. He stole from the citizens he was supposed to protect. A common thief and a bigot. I'm sure this makes our as@hole governor's leaders at his faux-university very proud. He makes me want to puke.

Posted by: capone1 | May 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"...new 31-member government efficiency commission" Isn't that an oxymoron?
Here's an idea on efficiency, Don't employ 31 bureaucrats to help you figure it out.

Posted by: remiwashin | May 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"People that are in business 20, 30, 40 years, 50 years often have regulatory violations."

True. The others are something called "ethical".

We are Republicans! Ethics? We don't need no stinkin' ethics!

Posted by: MAL9000 | May 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

According to Wikipedia, Malek was part of a scheme to fraudulently invest $75 million of the Connecticut State employees' pension fund in his PE firm. If he did not participate in that fraud, why did he personally pay a fine in the amount of $100,000?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Malek#SEC_administrative_action

Seems pretty shabby, McDonnell would be wise to just cut his losses and find someone without such a tainted past.

Posted by: Evan.Rosenberg@Gmail.Com | May 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Embarrassed to be a Virginian, again. Can we do a CA style recall? If the guy did not reveal this on his application, he should be un-hired.

Posted by: staticvars | May 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll say this about Bob the Governor: He sticks to his guns, so to speak. I wish more politicians were like that, including Obama the scammer.

Posted by: FiatBooks | May 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Given that he was apparently unaware of the role slavery played in the Civil War, I suppose it is unsurprising that the Governor missed out on more recent history as well.

Posted by: jeffersonian1 | May 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
INVESTMENTS

Carlyle takes part in Hampton Roads deal

Carlyle Group, the world's second-largest private-equity firm, agreed to invest in a bank for the second time this year by participating in an estimated $255 million deal with Hampton Roads Bankshares.

Funds backed by Carlyle and Anchorage Advisors will buy about 46 percent of Norfolk-based Hampton Roads for $145.1 million, according to a company statement Monday. The bank, which has 60 offices in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, expects additional investors to buy as much as 9.9 percent of its stock.

The Hampton Roads agreement follows a $550 million investment in Bermuda-based Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. in March by a group that included Carlyle. Private-equity firms are targeting live banks after concerns that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. hindered purchases of failed lenders and competing bids from financial companies pushed up asset prices.
-- Bloomberg News
***

No wonder Gov. McDonnell is so emphatic about defending Fred Malek, former senior advisor for the Carlyle Group.
Interesting.
Interesting times for Virginia.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/24/AR2010052403963.html

And.... Fred Malek is really busy.

American Action Network, modeled on the Center for American Progress, will conduct polling in key races, and plans to put up TV advertising since it is allowed to engage in explicit political activity as a group organized under Section 501c(4) of the tax code. Former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota is the CEO; Fred Malek, a longtime top GOP financier, is chairman; and Rob Collins, a former top aide to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, is president. Board members include former U.S. Sens. George Allen and Mel Martinez and former House Reps. Tom Reynolds, Jim Nussle and Vin Weber.
***

Very interesting.

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | May 25, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Christ Almighty, they're everywhere!

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 25, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

more controversial than bill ayres? bernadine dohrn? reverend wright? frank marshall davis? rashid khalidi? Wake up suckers..

Posted by: wewintheylose | May 25, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone other than myself, noticed that McDonnell is always having to defend himself, because he didn't know about this or about that?

McDonnell was a Charlatan before the VA Nutwings voted for him as the Governor of VA and he is still a Charlatan.

Once a Charlatan always a Charlatan.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | May 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company