ALFORD: McAllister Becomes Target of Duck Shoot

Ever since Congressman Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, was caught on video kissing a married staffer in April, the reaction from the reality TV family that endorsed him last year has been quieter than the early-morning opening hours of duck season. But after a few carefully called quacks and a bit of patience in the blinds, the inaugural shotgun blows are loud and clear.

“The last dude last year fed us a lie. I don't even know the dude.”

That’s how “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson eased into the topic Friday night at a fundraiser in Lake Charles for Zach Dasher, who he described as “my little nephew who came from the loins of my sister.”

Despite not knowing “the dude,” Robertson went on to tell donors that he had an opportunity to query McAllister in 2013 prior to the special election in the 5th Congressional District, asking him if he was a man of God and family, if he had any objections to killing and skinning game. But Robertson said he felt like he was misled. “Two months in he’s messing with some chick,” Robertson said at the fundraiser.

Robertson also made mention of his new book, “unPHILtered: The Way I See It,” which was released just four days earlier. The coming press coverage of his swipes at McAllister may help sales, but the jabs — the first delivered by anyone in the family — are more likely aimed at helping Dasher.

McAllister was quick to respond Monday. “I am disappointed that Phil is speaking against the words that he writes about, like forgiveness, when we’re all sinners,” the congressman said. “What Phil and I have in common is we believe in the same Lord, and that’s the God of second chances.”

Keeping with the strategy launched at the fundraiser, Robertson spoke on Saturday night during the annual Outdoor Extravaganza in Bossier City, an event hosted by several north Louisiana churches. Robertson recalled how McAllister, after being told an endorsement from the biggest beard of all wasn’t possible, requested the duck guru's attendance at a political rally anyhow.

“I said ‘When I go I’m going to preach the gospel of Jesus and I’m going to bring the good book,” Robertson said to applause, adding, “The only thing I can say about that guy, he should have listened to my sermon about Jesus that day.”

Dasher, who is still introducing himself to voters, won’t have to spend much time lashing out at McAllister if the “Duck Dynasty” boys continue to do it for him. Meanwhile, McAllister is having to focus on the uncle rather the nephew.

“I believe in that same forgiveness that Miss Kay gave Phil when he atoned for his sins and she decided to let Phil back in their house,” McAllister said, referring to Robertson’s wife, who is also featured on the A&E reality show. It’s also a nod to Phil Robertson’s dark past of drinking, drugs and infidelity, of which he has made no secret.

McAllister said the claims that the family doesn’t know him are overstated. “I helped them out when they needed it. I helped them with equipment for their show, and this was all before Congress,” he said. “His son (Willie Robertson) cut an ad for me.”

As McAllister battles in the blinds, he also has crosshairs on Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has had less than encouraging words for the congressman. During the annual LegisGator Luncheon last month in Lake Charles, McAllister said he was thinking about the governor as he drove through one of the little towns in Calcasieu Parish along I-10. "I saw the Iowa city limit and I thought he was going to be there," McAllister said laughing, in reference to the early presidential primary state.

The congressman also poked a proverbial finger at Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere, repeatedly and purposefully getting his name wrong, and executive director Jason Doré, whose name he said he couldn't remember while tossing out unflattering descriptions. The party leadership asked McAllister to resign earlier this year. "I've taken my licks and keep on ticking," McAllister said at LegisGator. ”Bring it on. I ain't scared."

In an election most politicos thought would turn on morality issues, personal affronts seem to be setting the tone instead. It’s a war of words in north Louisiana, and unless real issues start to take hold, it’s doubtful anyone will win. But from a political point of view, it sure is fun watching it all unfold.

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