Va. Gov. McDonnell Taps Nixon’s Notorious ‘Jew Counter’ to Chair Panel
May 10, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Virginia’s newly elected Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, an extreme right-wing Christian, is under fire for hiring notorious former Nixon personnel director Fred Malek known, as the “Jew Counter.” To satisfy Nixon’s paranoid hatred of Jews, Malek prepared lists of Jewish workers to be purged from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; an agency Nixon believed was controlled by a “Jewish cabal.” As pointed out by Slate’s Timothy Noah, “Malek’s method of identifying who was Jewish and who wasn’t was to scrutinize surnames, rendering his estimate as unreliable as it was abhorrent.” This is the man McDonnell decided was the most qualified to chair his new commission to pare down the state’s governmental bureaucracies.
McDonnell has moved quickly, since taking office in January, to remake the state for lovers in his own narrow ideological image. He removed civil rights protections for gay state workers and issued a proclamation honoring the confederacy, without mentioning slavery. And Bob McDonnell reversed a long-standing policy banning faith-based sectarian prayers, by state police chaplains when opening official meetings. They now can invoke the name of Jesus and proselytize to non-Christian troopers.
McDonnell’s 31-member commission, headed by Malek, is charged with making recommendations on how to reform government:
“The commission will be chaired by Fred Malek, founder of Thayer Capital Partners. Malek, a major Republican donor, served as a finance chairman to Sen. John McCain in 2008 and has also been an adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The group will consider closing some of the state’s 130 agencies, consolidating accounting and payroll systems, putting more forms online, privatizing state functions and eliminating annual reports. Its most controversial task will be to consider selling the state’s 350 liquor stores, which McDonnell pledged to do on the campaign trail last year.”
Democratic Virginia Del. David Englin issued a strongly worded statement condemning McDonnell’s hiring of Malek, calling the decision an insult to Jewish state employees:
“While I support the effort to create a top-level commission to recommend policies to reform government, it is deeply disturbing that Governor McDonnell would appoint as its chair Fred Malek, whose history in “reforming” government includes creating lists of Jews serving in government to track and remove from government service. Was there really no more qualified individual in Virginia to lead this panel? Has he done anything to disavow and make amends for his previous anti-Semitism? Otherwise, it’s one more slap in the face from McDonnell to Jewish state employees, coming right on the heels of allowing uniformed state police chaplains to proselytize to Jewish troopers and their families. These continued missteps from the McDonnell Administration are distractions from the competent and effective governing Virginians expect and deserve.”
Malek has apologized for his witch hunt of Jews, but can such a stain ever be removed? Slate magazine called Malek’s Jewish counting “the last recorded act of official anti-Semitism by the United States government.”