Quid Pro Quo

Republican Congressman Says He Voted No on a Bill to Get Money

Vance McAllister says he opposed a bill so he could would get a $1,200 contribution from conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The embattled kissing congressman, Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), is stirring more controversy in Washington, D.C. after he said he cast a vote with the expectation of receiving money.

The married Louisiana Republican is already in hot water after being caught red-handed on video smooching one of his congressional staffers. Although he has defied calls to resign, he doesn’t plan to run for reelection.

In a speech last week to Louisiana accountants, McAllister said he voted against a Bureau of Land Management bill so that he could receive a $1,200 contribution from the Heritage Foundation, according to the Ouachita Citizen.

McAllister said he asked a fellow congressman how to vote on the bill. “Vote no and you will get a $1,200 check from the Heritage Foundation. If you vote yes, you will get a $1,000 check from some environmental impact group,” came the reply, according to McAllister. McAllister voted no, he said in the speech, but never received a check from the Heritage Foundation. The congressman claims his colleague, who he didn’t identify, said he did receive a check.

It’s unlikely that the Heritage Foundation would send any political candidate a check. As a think tank, doing so would be illegal under its tax status. Heritage Action, the foundation’s advocacy arm, said Tuesday that it does not donate to candidates.

"The Heritage Foundation is a nonpartisan research and educational organization that does not make endorsements or donations in elections,” Heritage Vice President Wesley Denton said.

McAllister has tried to backpedal his remarks. A spokesperson did not return a Daily Beast request for comment, but the congressman told the Monroe, La.’s News-Star that his comments were “taken out of context” and that he wasn’t even talking about the Heritage Foundation.