July 12th, 2007
04:20 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain state co-chairman arrested for soliciting sex

A Florida state chairman for McCain was arrested Wednesday.

(CNN) – A day after four of Sen. John McCain's top political strategists stepped down, the Arizona Republican's presidential campaign was dealt another setback when the co-chairman of his Florida campaign was arrested Wednesday for allegedly offering an undercover police officer money for a sex act, Titusville police said.

Florida State Rep. Bob Allen faces charges of solicitation for prostitution after he was arrested in a Titusville city park that had been under surveillance, police said.

He allegedly offered an undercover police officer $20 for the unspecified act.

Allen told CNN affiliate WFTV the incident was "a very big misunderstanding."

"This is a very gross mistake, a very big mistake," he said, adding that this is what the judicial system is for.

Allen said he helped build the park, and was there looking around.

There was no initial comment from the McCain campaign.

In March, the McCain campaign issued a news release on its Florida leadership team, saying, "Allen will serve as a House co-chair for Senator McCain's campaign."

Allen was elected to the Florida House in 2000.

His arrest comes a day after McCain's campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver announced their departures in joint statements released by the campaign.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator David Vitter, the southern regional chairman for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, was linked to the so-called DC Madam's escort service.

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, said in a statement, "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

It was the second blow for Giuliani's campaign. Last month, South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, the state chairman for Giuliani's campaign, was indicted on federal cocaine charges.

Full story

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

WFTV: Florida lawmaker calls solicitation arrest ‘big misunderstanding’

TIME.com: Behind McCain's Campaign Chaos

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Eric, Wash. DC

    Please let this guy be another one of those "family values, sancity of marriage" guys.

    July 12, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. John, Fort Myers, FL

    It seems that it is impossible for the GOP to live up to its so called concervative values these days. In a nut shell, the GOP has displayed a level of hypocrisy to the entire world not seen in many, many years; damaging our standing as a world power. No wonder the American people and many of our allies want a change to a leadership they can trust. Can the Dems make it happen? Don't know.

    July 12, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Jim, Chula Vista, CA

    I understand Sen. McCain cannot personally be resonsible for the actions of the people he has working for him. But they ARE a reflection of his own integrity and McCain and Guiliani should place a higher emphasis on the character of the people they associate themselves with. The people they have running their campaigns are the same people who would be running our country if they win...

    July 12, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Willy, New York, NY

    Where was the meeting held when God forgave him?

    July 12, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. CAG Austin, TX

    Republican – your party of values!

    July 12, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Rada, Miami Florida

    Poor John just like George W Surrounded by scum...

    July 12, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Steven Bonner, Washington DC

    Man, I'm really coming around to seeing the allure of these family values these guys are always talking about. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    July 12, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Jon, New Orleans LA USA

    Moreover, can Republicans get sex without buying it?

    July 12, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Nicolette, Tempe, AZ

    I sincerely hope that people recognize that this does not reflect on McCain's integrity, rather it reflects on the integrity of those arrested. It is not likely that McCain knew his co-chair was soliciting sexual acts in his spare time; that's not generally a question that one asks in an interview, or even in casual conversation.

    McCain is a good senator and a man of strong values. I respect him, and I hope he can get through this.

    July 12, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Tom, Chicago, IL

    Of course he was one of those "sanctity of marriage" clowns; and it is widely reported eleswhere that the "unspecified act" was oral sex-from a male police officer. Hypocrites!

    July 12, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Michael Burnson, Amelia Island, FL

    McCain...you hypocrite, you're reaping exactly what you deserve.

    Hey, Bush is available for more ass kissing, if that's what your chairman was seeking!

    July 12, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. MS Johnson City, TN

    Not only Bob Allen is short on moral values, but it seems that he was short on cash also.

    July 12, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Peter, Buffalo, NY

    His Bio on the Florida House of Representatives website lists his recreational interests as "water sports".

    July 12, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Brian, San Ramon, CA

    Twenty bucks...that's it? Don't these political types usually go for the high class action?

    July 12, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Greg, Windsor Locks, CT

    I wonder why CNN choose to omit from the article the fact that the police officer that was solicited by Rep. Bob Allen was male ? (ref: OrlandoSentinel.com)

    July 12, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Tom, Portsmouth, NH

    Well you do have to admit that Bob was being frugal with McCain's remaining campaign funds. I am sure the going rate for his $20 offer was much higher or perhaps he is a cheap hypocrite, who also happens to be a Republican.

    July 12, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. paul, east providence, ri

    don't you just hate it when those "very big misunderstandings" happen? Especially when you are just there "looking around". It's possible to get something for $20 today?

    July 12, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Greg, NY, NY

    Allen told CNN affiliate WFTV the incident was “a very big misunderstanding.”

    A very big misunderstanding? How can this be misunderstood? Oh, I'm sure you knew that was an undercover cop, you were just testing them right? Did you think Bill Clinton's affair was just a 'misunderstanding?' I bet you didn't.

    I bet you were sitting there happy that you hadn't been caught yet and you got a chance to fry a good President.

    July 12, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Tom, Chicago, IL

    Rep. Allen is the author of failed Florida House Bill #1475, the "Lewd Or Lascivious Exhibition Act" which would have made public masturbation in the presence of another adult illegal, whether the other adult consented or not. Florida statutes already cover such behavior for when a minor is present and the bill died in committee in two months ago. I'm pretty sure Rep. Allen was violating #1475 when he offered to blow that cop, doncha think? Lucky for him it didn't pass!

    Laugh #2: Allen, who is listed as co-chair for John McCain's Florida campaign, was first elected to the Florida House in 2000, is married with one daughter, and lists his recreational interest as "water sports". Hmm, he doesn't look like he skis.

    Laugh #3: In 2005, Allen told right-wing Christian site World Net Daily about his "Sexual Predators Elimination Act" which sought mandatory life without parole sentences for those designated as sexual predators. Allen's now-ironic statement to WND: "We can get away from all those expensive law-enforcement time-wasting factors by simply going straight to the root of the problem, and that is the offender, and put them in a locked up place where we know we're safe." The bill was strongly opposed by the Florida ACLU and did not pass.

    July 12, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Jared, Bennington, VT

    Maybe Allen thought you had to pay to get a ticket to get into the park. /sarcasm

    July 12, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. James, Newington, CT

    The problem with the Republican party is very simple. We (the Republican party) have believed the lie that we can win the American people by being strong on national defense, yet liberal socially. This amounts to very little difference between the Republican and Democrat parties.

    McCain is not a Conservative Republican. He does not represent Conservative Republicans. Nor does Brownback, Giuliani or Romni.

    I do think State Rep. Bob Allen is representative of the character (flaws) of McCain. It is a foolish comment to say, "I sincerely hope that people recognize that this does not reflect on McCain’s integrity, rather it reflects on the integrity of those arrested. It is not likely that McCain knew his co-chair was soliciting sexual acts in his spare time; that’s not generally a question that one asks in an interview, or even in casual conversation." Someone who HAS character can recognize a man that HAS character and a man who does NOT HAVE character. Obviously McCain and Giuliani have a bit of trouble in this area.

    As for Ron Paul, he has real discernment issues himself. Do you really think we should be listening to the Islamic fascist terrorists to find out why they attacked us? We disturbed them first? A real LEADER doesn't listen to the propaganda of his enemies. He realizes the true nature of his challenges and addresses them.

    If America wants a REAL CHOICE for President in '08 and men with REAL character (in contrast with one of the leading Democrats), then Republicans need to nominate Congressman Tancredo or Congressman Hunter. At least these men are REAL Conservative Republicans and will set a REAL contrast with their Democratic opponent. Otherwise, it's down to who believes we should have troops in Iraq and that's simply NOT the most pressing issue America faces. Let's be honest.

    I vote for Tancredo!

    July 12, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Levrault Yvan, Indio,CA,92201

    We are ought to make prostitution legal in the US ASAP, otherwise all republicans may find themselves in jail by 2008 Presidential Elections.LOL

    July 12, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    The full truth is even more sickening (orlandosentinel.com):

    "Titusville police were at Veterans Memorial Park on East Broad Street on a burglary detail when they noticed an unshaven man acting suspiciously, going into and out of the restroom three times, Lt. Todd Hutchinson said.

    An undercover officer went into one of the bathroom stalls, Hutchinson said. Moments later, Allen knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, the police spokesman said.

    The officer identified himself and took Allen into custody. Hutchinson said the officers had no idea the suspect was a state lawmaker.

    'After he was arrested, he mentioned he was a state legislator,' Hutchinson said of Allen."

    July 12, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. T. Kanter, Arlington Hts., IL

    This is becoming way too familiar, isn't it? This same political party that has used the religious platform to push for votes and has gone overboard with the term "family values" is showing its true colors. I hope the American people will finally wake up. The Republican Party makes me sick and this administration is full of deceitful criminals who don't care about the concerns of the people.

    July 12, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Mike, Boise Idaho

    They don't even mention that it was a MALE officer.

    July 12, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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