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N.Va. lawmakers continue attacks on McDonnell pick because of 40-year-old incident

Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) said he and Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria), both of whom are Jewish, are scheduled to appear Friday morning on WTOP's Politics Program with Mark Plotkin to denounce anew Fred Malek's appointment to the Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring because of Malek's role in President Richard M. Nixon's infamous Jew-hunting mission almost 40 years ago.

In 1971, Nixon ordered Malek, who was director of personnel, to find out how many Jews worked in the Bureau of Labor Statistics because he believed a "Jewish cabal" there was trying to discredit the president's rosier economic outlook. Malek complied.

Referring to Malek as "Nixon's Jew counter," Surovell said Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who created the commission and made Malek its chair, should know that some people are still offended by Malek's acquiescence to a disgraceful assignment. Surovell also said Malek's appointment demonstrates a pattern of cluelessness on McDonnell's part toward hot-button issues involving minorities.

"It shows an insensitivity toward the groups of people who didn't support him," Surovell said Thursday. He also ripped McDonnell's choice of Malek because of Malek's role in a business deal involving Connecticut's pension funds, for which the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003 filed a civil enforcement action. The SEC ultimately reached an agreement with Malek that forced him to pay $100,000 and his company $150,000 in fines.

Malek's defenders have said that he long ago apologized and atoned for his role in the Nixon-led inquisition, and accuse Democrats of dredging up ancient history to sully McDonnell.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the governor, repeated his view that the Democrats' criticism is a distraction from substantive issues and feeds the perception of politics as a cynical enterprise.

"The Governor, Fred Malek and the bipartisan membership of the Government Reform Commission are focused on making government simpler, easier to use, and reducing spending. Fred Malek has long been a national business, political and philanthropic leader and, as the former president of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines, is ideally suited to help lead this effort to restructure government," Martin said.

Martin also reiterated the warm defense that Malek received from Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who described Malek as "a friend" and "a man of high principle" who "has no bias of any kind whatsoever," and from Abraham Foxman. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Malek "a friend" and said the ADL "strongly believes that one mistake does not an anti-Semite make."

Listen to the delegates' Plotkin appearance here.

-- Fredrick Kunkle

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 21, 2010; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Fredrick Kunkle , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

McDonnell doesn't have the charectoristics of a true leader who can accept their mistakes and move on.
Malek is a poor choice for this position.
It was a mistake to pick him and an even greater one to stand by that poor choice.
No one expects McDonnell to be infaliable, and if he had any amount of self esteem he'd be ok with admiting a mistake and moving forward.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 21, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

LET ME SEE WE GOT BLACKS ,LATINOS NOW WE HAVE JEWS.ARE THERE ANY AMERICANS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY.DIVIDE AND CONQUER.IT IS OUR OWN FAULT FOR LEAVING THESE LIBERAL IDIOTS TOO LONG IN D.C.AND I INCLUDE THE SUPREME COURT.

Posted by: SISSD1 | May 21, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Malek "a friend" and said the ADL "strongly believes that one mistake does not an anti-Semite make."

Right. And all of the SS men who only killed one Jew were not guilty of murder. Malek should never be allowed to perform in any official capacity ever again.

Posted by: Lefty_ | May 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

LET ME SEE WE GOT BLACKS ,LATINOS NOW WE HAVE JEWS.ARE THERE ANY AMERICANS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY.DIVIDE AND CONQUER.IT IS OUR OWN FAULT FOR LEAVING THESE LIBERAL IDIOTS TOO LONG IN D.C.AND I INCLUDE THE SUPREME COURT.
Posted by: SISSD1 | May 21, 2010 10:03 AM
___________________________________________
Yep! Those Blacks, Latinos and Jews should just shut their mouths and accept that they are second class citizens. I mean, it's not like this isn't a White, Christian country. Where do they get off demanding equality?

Posted by: Lefty_ | May 21, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Come on people. The man was a governemtn employee who was asked to get some stats by the president. There is no mention that he agreed with Nixon that there was a plot. He did not actively plot against jewish employees, he looked at records and reported his finding. Thats all. Yes, Nixon's concerns were completely silly, but he was the president. If he asked Malek to find how many people in a certain office liked candy because he thought someone was stealling mints from his desk and wanted to keep an eye on them, would we now almost 40 yrs later deny Malek a job because he descriminated against candy lovers?

Posted by: schnauzer21 | May 21, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Hitler's first step in seeking to rid the Third Reich of Jews was to identify them. While the lion's share of the responsibility for former Pres. Nixon's abominable assignment is Nixon's and not Malek's, Malek had a moral obligation to refuse the assignment, even if it meant losing his job. Surely most of us agree (as did the Nuremburg tribunal) that Goebbels, Eichmann, and Himler are accountable for carrying out the abominable assignments they were given by Hitler, even though they were merely following the Chancellor's orders. Nixon, while he surely is no Hitler, gave Malek an assignment that was morally decrepit, and impeachable if not more. Malek, who presumably studied the holocaust at some point in his schooling, should have been sensitive to the issue, and should have refused to fulfill an assignment that would identify for Nixon the Jews in his government just as Hitler used yellow stars to identify the Jews in his Reich.

Gov. McDonnell is either a racist or someone who caters to the worst elements of racism in his Commonwealth. Neither is acceptable. An apology from Malek was not enough. No executive should ever choose to use him as a policy adviser.

Posted by: rem41 | May 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure if the Malek criticism is fair or not, but McDonnell has brought the firestorm on himself for his insensitive actions as governor. He and Cuccenilli appear to have embarked on some sort of culture crusade in Richmond, so all his appointments are under the microscope. The problem is that all of McD's political cronies are confederate sympathizers, evangelical wing nuts and corporate super barons. He behaves like the typical culturally isolated white elite male and seems out of step and uncomfortable with the citizenry, especially the minorities and working females.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | May 21, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Between VA and AZ, I don't know which set of Republicans are most crazy (in a medical sense).

Posted by: Gone_Rogue | May 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

More of Gov.McMuffin's hateful abuse of government.Racism, homophobia, antisematism, and anti- scientific crusade....Can't wait to vote this clown out of office.

Posted by: lsf07 | May 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So what Malek did 40 years ago isnt' relevant, but what Bob Byrd did 60 years ago is?

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | May 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"More of Gov.McMuffin's hateful abuse of government.Racism, homophobia, antisematism, and anti- scientific crusade....Can't wait to vote this clown out of office."
>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you are going to call somebody "antisemitic" at least learn how to spell it.

Sorry to disappoint you, but won't be able to "vote this clown out of office". Virginia governors can't run for reelection.

Posted by: GRILLADES | May 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"More of Gov.McMuffin's hateful abuse of government.Racism, homophobia, antisematism, and anti- scientific crusade....Can't wait to vote this clown out of office."
>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you are going to call somebody "antisemitic" at least learn how to spell it.

Sorry to disappoint you, but you won't be able to "vote this clown out of office". Virginia governors can't run for reelection.

Posted by: GRILLADES | May 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

MacDonald....I knew this guy was a weak idiot posing as a Jobs Govenor. He and Cookoonelli are ruining VA by the hour!!!

Posted by: bam1969 | May 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's not insensitivity. McDonnell and Cuccinelli believe that the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia is their own personal play-toy to work out their grievances with the modern world with. It would be funny to watch if it weren't happening in my home state.

Posted by: jjhare | May 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is an insulting bigot. Period.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 21, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

RepubliKKKans and Democracks have always used race to gain power.
And, you say, we won't stand for any more...right.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | May 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord, they're everywhere!

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 21, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) said he and Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria): The enemy of Jews is sitting in the White House. Does that concern you at all?

Posted by: hz9604 | May 22, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't believe the people in Virginia were dumb enough to vote for this guy--such an obvious "career politician". It's nice to be living in Maryland and have a ringside seat. Perhaps Virginians will really consider their choices the next time.

Posted by: jd5522 | May 25, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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