July 12th, 2007
04:20 PM ET
4 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. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Time for RON PAUL to move up!!

    July 12, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Ali A. Akbar, Fort Worth, Texas aliakbar.net

    Get over it

    This is no reflection on McCain or the actual campaign. Reps and Senators are showboats. Welcome to American Politics.

    July 12, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Richard Mount Prospect IL

    I think John McCain should ask John Kerry for the telephones numbers of the spineless jerks who organized the Swift Boat campaign against him. Maybe they can do the same for John McCain's Presidential campaign! Or maybe George Bush can give John's candidacy a commutation or full pardon. Someone has to end the needless suffering!

    July 12, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Anthony, Rochester, NY

    According to the local Orlando Fox Network he was arrested for offering to pay the cop twenty dollars to give him oral sex. Interesting that CNN was very "unspecific" about the details. It will also be interesting if they even allow this comment to be posted.

    July 12, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. daddy

    they gave him a break by leaving out the MALE OFFICER part of it...but can't hide the petty cheapness of the pay my taxes republicans can they????

    July 12, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    With all due respect, John- I believe the reason we are in this terrorist mess nowadays is because we have been playing World Police ever since the end of WW2. We've been sticking our fingers in the ant hill for some time(directly or indirectly), and its only recently that we've gotten bit.

    You may believe a leader should have solutions for problems, and I agree. But I also think a good leader should have to courage to tell the truth.

    Hatred of our "Freedom" and the like is not something you blow yourself up for.

    July 12, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Jon Davis, Las Cruces, NM

    To be expected from McCain and his extreme right-wing ilk.

    July 12, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Heather, Heidelberg, DE

    This is sad and disheartening. However, I find it interesting that there is so much mockery being made of "family values" and "sanctity of marriage." These men have been hypocrites, but does it mean that what they stood for was or is wrong? Because they don't maintain healthy relationships, should we encourage unhealthy ones? It just seems here that perhaps the emphasis has been put in the wrong area – its not values and morals that should be taking the beating, its the men themselves.

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    The Horror...this is even worse than that idiot Mark Foley.

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    I'm sorry, my previous post was in response to James from CT.

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Jermzhi, Somewhere and Somehow

    Pathetic! F!!!!

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Greg H, Altoona PA

    Hehhe, these guys are starting a little late, if they think they will ever catch up to the sexual exploits of Mr.Clinton, hahahaah, Bill passed a few gals around like they were blow up dolls. OOps, I'm sorry, this story is about bashing republicans....

    July 12, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Joey C, Jacksonville, FL

    Might want to correct the last paragraph. McCain is the candidate in question, not Giuliani...

    July 12, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Just one thing, ok? It's the family-values angle that makes it disgusting, not that he's gay. And the bathroom thing, that's disgusting too. Wait, and the fact that he's idiot enough to be coney-caught that way. Three things. No one expects the Titusville Inquisition!

    July 12, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Bruce McCracken, Irving, TX

    Not to be lurid, but the article does not say if the police officer is male or female. For some unknown reasons, my instincts suggest the former due to historical republican hypocracy.

    July 12, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    James from Newington – I give Tancredo points for saying he was too Christian to hate on Bill and Hilary, but I take them away for saying Miami was a 3rd world country, since he meant it as a slur against the Cubans. He's probably ok but I wouldn't want him as a president, since some Americans are Hispanic.

    July 12, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Jim, San Antonio Texas

    Poor John McCain. No money, no support, and now his Florida campaign manager caught in the toilet.
    Of course, after supporting the war AND the immigration bill, this is a sleazy end to his campaign for President of our nation.

    July 12, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Tom, Baltimore MD

    He says he built the park. Now we know what why he built it. LOL

    July 12, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Gary, Denver, Colorado

    I love it. Republicans and their false morality are exposing themselves(no pun intended)for what they really are; Self serving deviants. Hmm, just like Right Wing Religion. Hey America, have you seen enough yet?

    July 12, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Troy, Orlando Fl

    This report didn't state it clearly. Allen offered the cop $20 so that Allen himself can perform the act on the "officer". Not the other way around.

    July 12, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. V.M. Erwin Huntsville, Alabama

    Another "family values" Republican bites the dust. I am so sick of the "moral" issues being shoved down our throats. Just be the one who yells "Jesus" the loudest during the campaign and you too can win!!

    July 12, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I've heard of paying $20 for oral sex, This is the first time I've heard of paying to GIVE someone oral sex. This guy is a REAL LOSER!! He's saying it's a big misunderstanding. I'm sure the undercover cop didn't understand the part about Allen paying to GIVE the officer oral sex! The religous right is niether!!!

    July 12, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. John, Tucson AZ

    a $20 blow to his campaign?

    July 12, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Ken, St. Paul, MN

    The family-values people will continue to disgrace themselves morally. It's the purest example of what Freud called projection, an ego-defense mechanism that involves projecting onto others (in this case, liberals) traits in one's self that one fears. Once you've projected the parts of yourself that you don't like onto other people, you feel justified in persecuting those people, thereby vicarious purging one's self of the forbidden desires.

    Meanwhile, the repressed taboos fester until the ooze surfaces in public restrooms and altar boy training sessions.

    July 12, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Chip, Jupiter, FL

    $20? The campaign is obviously running out of money.

    July 12, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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