Virginia’s new governor and stealth Christian Dominionist (or so he thinks) recently announced an appointment to a newly formed Commission. One of our contributors, and a resident of Virginia has this to say about the appointment of Fred Malek…
Yes, Virginia, there is a Hatchet Man: Meet “Jew Hunter” Fred Malek
By virtue of the authority vested in him as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth…blah, blah, blah… and subject always to his continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, Bob McDonnell thereby established the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring – from here on out referred to as the “Commission.”
Oooookay then! If you need a quick translation, Virginia’s governor is going to live up to his right-wing conservative creds and “make government smaller.” Isn’t that what ALL right-wing conservative politicians have a hankering to do?
This new Commission will Identify opportunities… Explore innovative ways…Seek out means…and, of course, Examine ways…
This has to be done, you see, because Virginia “faces unprecedented budgetary challenges and increasing demands for core public services. Citizens and businesses residing in Virginia are entitled to a limited and effective state government.” There! See? We citizens of the Commonwealth are entitled to…oh, never mind.
On the surface, this sounds like a fine idea. Who would not be up for effective state government? But…limited? It’s according to how the goal of limited is achieved. Which brings us to the issue of who’s running the show, er, Commission.
There was an audible and collective gasp from the Commonwealth’s citizenry when Gov. McDonnell announced that Fred Malek, the seventy-three-year-old Republican powerbroker and so-so businessman of dubious reputation was chosen to head up the trimming-down of the Virginia government’s organization chart.
Sure, he’s Sarah Palin’s “Now, Fred, tell me if I’m for this or against this,” course-of-action guru. And, yeah, he swindled money from senior citizens and bribed the Connecticut state treasurer by throwing investment business his way. But, hey, if Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) huffs indignantly that, “This man is eminently qualified to head up this commission,” who are we to question the judgment of the governor’s appointment?
I’ll tell you who we are. We are the citizens of this Commonwealth, and not only do we have a right, we have an obligation to speculate on the motive behind appointing a person who has a history of surreptitiously identifying, relocating to less significant jobs, or removing minority government workers to satisfy the paranoia of their boss – whoever that boss may be.
Malek served in Richard Nixon’s administration in several different roles, including Deputy Under Secretary of Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under Secretary Robert Finch, as special assistant from 1970 to 1973.
In 1971, Richard Nixon became convinced the Bureau of Labor Statistics had come under the control of Democratic rivals and what Nixon termed a Jewish cabal. He instructed aides Charles Colson and H. R. Haldeman to identify a list of Democrats and important Jewish officials at the agency. Haldeman then tapped Fred Malek to carry out this appalling task.
When queried about this, Malek responds, “I refused four times. The fifth time he came back and gave me a direct order through Haldeman, so I gave him a number. I regret my compliance. It was a mistake.” It appears from documents released some years afterwards, however, that Malek may have been sugar-coating his reluctance and subsequent “regret.”
Two memos written between July 27 and September 8, 1971, show that Malek had been a busy guy.
In a July 27, 1971, memo to H. R. Haldeman which had as its subject Bureau of Labor Statistics, Malek wrote:
This memo is in response to your request for a demographic breakdown on BLS employees. We were able to obtain political affiliation checks on 35 of the 50 names listed on their organization chart. The breakdown on these is as follows:
Republicans 1Democrats 25Independents or Unknown 4Not Registered 5_________________________TOTAL 35
In addition, 13 out of the 35 fit the other demographic criterion that was discussed. (Someone, presumably Haldeman, underlined this paragraph and added a handwritten note that read, “Most of these are at the top.”)
Of course, the other demographic criterion referred to in Malek’s memo was “Jewish.”
Six weeks later, on September 8, 1971, Malek wrote again to Haldeman on the same subject: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The purpose of this memo is to update you on the progress in strengthening the BLS. After gaining agreement from (White House budget director George) Shultz and (Special Counsel to the president Charles) Colson on a general approach, I had several meetings with Secretary Hodgson to convince him on the need for fairly drastic moves. This was followed up by action sessions with Under Secretary (of Labor, Lawrence H.) Silberman and Assistant Secretary (of Labor Frank) Zarb. The following actions have been agreed to and are now being implemented:
–The BLS will be organized with 6 out of 9 existing offices being combined into a newly created Office of Data Analysis headed by a second Deputy Commissioner. This new office contains all the sensitive analytical and interpretive responsibilities of the Bureau. Before and after charts are shown at Tab A. The new organization will take effect as soon as the new Deputy Commissioner is selected.
–A politically sensitive, loyal Republican economist will be selected for the new Deputy post. John Clarke of my staff is now identifying possible candidates. This should be finalized by the end of the month.
–Harold Goldstein will be moved to a routine, non-sensitive post in another part of BLS. He has been told of this and will move quietly when the reorganization is announced.
–A sensitive and loyal Republican is also being recruited for the employment analysis function being vacated by Goldstein.
–Peter Henle, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Social Research, and Leon Greenberg, Associate Commissioner for Statistical Standards and Operations, will be transferred when the reorganization is announced.
We have decided not to replace (Geoffrey H.) Moore as Commissioner because of his technical competence, apparent willingness to cooperate, and strong ties to (Chairman of the Federal Reserve System) Arthur Burns. This decision is based on the combined recommendations of Schultz, Hodgson, and Colson. Also, you will note that instead of replacing (Ben) Burdetsky as Deputy Commissioner, the plan creates a second Deputy over the most critical areas. This is a compromise, but I believe it is a workable solution.
The search for the new Deputy has the highest priority, and I am aiming for a selection in 3 weeks. Thus, by the end of the month Secretary Hodgson should be announcing the reorganization, announcing the new Deputy appointment, and effecting the transfers of Goldstein, Henle, and Greenberg. These moves do not go as far as I would have preferred but represent a reasonable compromise that I feel will make the BLS a more responsive and effective unit. (Emphasis added)
cc: Chuck Colson
(As a means of justifying Malek’s actions to ferret out the Democrats and/or Jews in the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, it has been stated with some indignation by his supporters that one cannot refuse a direct order from the president. Oh, really? Lest we forget, that is exactly what Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus did on October 20, 1973, when Nixon ordered first Richardson and then Ruckelshaus to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal. Both men resigned rather than carry out the president’s order, and Robert Bork then reluctantly fired Cox. This entire incident went down in the annals of history as the Saturday Night Massacre.)
Nixon must have been very pleased with the outcome of Fred Malek’s cooperation in the Jewish Cabal caper because Malek served as deputy chief of the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972. In his memoirs, Nixon described Malek as a “tough young businessman whose specialty was organization and management.”
Frequently overlooked is exactly how Malek went about his organization and management tasks for the disgraced president. Well, in the first Nixon administration (remember that this is when he was hunting Jews), Malek designed and directed the “Responsiveness Program,” a strategy to replace civil servants with Nixon supporters and to steer government resources to benefit Nixon’s 1972 re-election. According to the Senate Watergate report, Malek wrote in a 1972 memo to Haldeman that someone was needed to “take the lead in the program to politicize Departments and Agencies” and to “supervise the patronage operation and closely monitor the grantmanship operation.” In advocating the plan, Malek wrote of “substantial risks” to politicizing the Executive Branch and expressed concern that the plan would “undoubtedly backfire” if made public; therefore he recommended that “to minimize any links to the President, there should be no directions on this project in writing.”
While Malek obviously prefers to keep his religious affiliation confidential, he was an acolyte of JW Marriott’s, being his number two person (president of Marriott Hotels) for some years. Marriott was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his corporate style is said to have had a decidedly “Mormon culture,” which translates as a far-right-wing conservative Christian culture. When Malek joined the Carlyle Group, a privately held organization calling its industry “financial services” made up of conservative politicians and businessmen, he brought with him Dan Altobello, Steve Norris, Fred Malek and Dan D’Aniello, all of whom where Marriott executives. (See an excerpt from The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, by Dan Briody).
When questioned on the appropriateness of his choice to lead the Reform and Restructuring Commission, Gov. McDonnell claims not to have had any knowledge of Malek’s BLS, SEC or other dubious actions, which seems to indicate he is either lying or is woefully uninformed regarding the backgrounds of those he appoints to do the work of the Commonwealth. The latter hypothesis is highly unlikely.
It is apparent that the new governor intends to staff the Virginia’s government offices with people who are as far-right-wing Christian conservative as he is. And how he achieves his reform and restructuring goal needs watching – very carefully.
In a subsequent post, some of the actions and appointments Gov. McDonnell has made during his first five months in office will be examined. These turn out to be highly interesting and wholly consistent with his “values.” And not particularly good for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the early days of the twenty-first century.
Thank you SunnyJane! We look forward to these subsequent posts, and this is a good opportunity to point out that even though this is occurring in Virginia – do not assume that it has no relevance to you no matter where you live in America. What SunnyJane has written about here is insight to what is transpiring from state-to-state. These seemingly innocuous appointments. The Boards and Commissions that evade our radar screens as they do “business as usual”.
This is all part of a broader picture, where we take so little notice in what is happening that they do what they want. I don’t know when the murmured mantra, “I don’t get involved! They are all corrupt!” became an accepted response to any notion of political awareness in this country. But it is precisely this notion of apathy and unwillingness to pay attention by progressives and conservatives that has allowed for an environment ripe for the take over by Christian values extremists and corporate plutocrats.
For any of you out there who are noticing, as SunnyJane did, Political Dominionism at work in your state…please write to me and we would all appreciate hearing from you!