Seriously, Governor McDonnell could not find anyone more qualified? Fred Malek performed a despicable task for Nixon. Good people had their livelihoods affected by his actions. I am not a supporter of the mantra “I was just doing my job”. I am all in support of redemption and forgiveness, but ONE job, I would not put someone BACK in, was the job that person misused, thus betraying the public trust. Fred Malek has a right to work, but doesn’t have the right to ANY job. In fact, in my opinion, he summarily LOST that right when he counted “jews” for Nixon.  From Not Larry Sabato:

UPDATE: Statement from Delegate David Englin:

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.

– Another Jewish Delegate speaks out. Statement from Delegate Adam Ebbin:

It is cause for profound concern that Governor McDonnell would appoint Fred Malek to head his Commission on Government Reform. Malek’s Nixon administration record of creating a list of Jews–with an eye towards removing them from public service–is still alarming today. There are certainly many capable Virginians who could assume this important position

Here’s the story (condensed for space here, but viewable in full on Slate):


Later that day (according to a July 3, 1971, tape widely publicized on its release by the National Archives in 1999), Nixon and Colson, now alone, had the following exchange:
Nixon: Well, listen, are they all Jews over there?
Colson: Every one of them. Well, a couple of exceptions.
Nixon: See my point?
Colson: You know goddamn well they’re out to kill us.

, had the following conversation (this, too, is from the July 3, 1971, tape that was released in 1999):HaldemanAlso that day, Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. “Bob”

Nixon: Now, point: [Fred] Malek is not Jewish.
Haldeman: No.
Nixon: All right, I want a look at any sensitive areas around where Jews are involved, Bob. See, the Jews are all through the government, and we have got to get in those areas. We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish … do you understand?
Haldeman: I sure do.
Nixon: The government is full of Jews. Second, most Jews are disloyal. You know what I mean? You have a [White House Counsel Leonard] Garment and a [National Security Adviser Henry] Kissinger and, frankly, a [White House speechwriter William] Safire, and, by God, they’re exceptions. But Bob, generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards. They turn on you. Am I wrong or right?

Two days later, on July 26, Haldeman sends a memo to Malek. “What’s the status of your analysis of the BLS; specifically of the 21 key people?” Haldeman writes. “What is their demographic breakdown?”


Malek answers in a memo the following day. Out of 50 names on the organization chart, Malek has run down the party affiliations of 35. Twenty-five are Democrats, one is a Republican, and nine are either independents, not registered, or of unknown party affiliation. “In addition,” Malek writes (someone—presumably either Haldeman or Nixon himself—has underlined this sentence), “13 out of the 35 fit the other demographic criterion that was discussed.” Scribbled beneath this (I’m guessing by Haldeman) are the words, “Most of these are at the top.” (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.)



Six weeks pass, and it is Sept. 8, 1971. Malek reports in a memo (previously unpublished; thanks, again, to Kenneth J. Hughes) that he has had “several meetings” with Labor Secretary Hodgson “to convince him of the need for fairly drastic moves.” Six out of nine offices will be combined into an Office of Data Analysis.This will be headed by a “politically sensitive, loyal Republican economist,” presumably one who does not have a mezuzah nailed to his front door. The move will strip the BLS’ deputy commissioner, the unfortunately surnamed Ben Burdetsky, from authority “over the most critical areas.

In addition, Malek reports, two other associate commissioners with Jewish-sounding names—Peter Henle and Leon Greenberg—”will be transferred when the reorganization is announced.” (Henle, after a sabbatical at the Brookings Institution, was reassigned to the Library of Congress and after Jimmy Carter became president in 1977 returned to the Labor department* as a deputy assistant secretary before retiring in 1979. He died at 88 this past February. I don’t know what happened to Greenberg.)


“These moves do not go as far as I would have preferred,” writes Malek in the September 1971 memo, “but represent a reasonable compromise that I feel will make the BLS a more responsive and effective unit.”
So, let me ask the obvious question: How is Fred Malek not in federal prison?



Malek is best known in political circles for resigning in 1988 as George Bush’s hand-picked deputy chairman for the Republican National Committee after the Post’s Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward reported that 17 years earlier,Malek had, at Richard Nixon’s request, counted the number of Jews then working for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Thirteen, if you must know, though Malek only looked at 35 of the bureau’s 50 top employees.)

Some people might ask- what is the statute of limitations on a mistake someone made like this 40 years ago? I don’t think such a thing exists when you are talking about identifying and counting the number of Jews in government positions less than 30 years after the Holocaust. It’s petrifying that this could have happened in this country.
UPDATE: Statement from Delegate David Englin:

23 Thoughts to “McDonnell appoints Nixons “Jew” Counter to Reform VA Govt ?”

  1. PWC Taxpayer

    I agree that this was a boob appointment. I await your posting of equally stupid appointments and doings of Democrats and their supporters to demonstrate the equality of opportunity on this blog to address the poilitics of the just plain dumb in a non-partisan way or perhaps, in this case, new/and inadequate staff work.

  2. Elena

    “boob” appointment….funny PWT. Has there been one as stupid as this one by Democrats? Don’t think so, not yet. What would you like to see happen with the appointment of Fred Malek?

  3. marinm

    I don’t think this is the right person for that role. I don’t hold the SEC to high regard but if they can get you on a civil penalty of fraud that doesn’t bode well for you in any future executive or advisory capacity.

  4. Rick Bentley

    Wow this speaks so badly of Nixon … I guess poorly of Malek too … from wikipedia –

    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.[5]

    Malek provided the data on Democrats after a check of voter registration rolls, but balked at fulfilling the rest of Nixon’s query. “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.”[6] Two months after he sent the list, two of the officials on it were reassigned to “less visible jobs” within the Labor Dept.[7] Slate columnist Timothy Noah, however, asserts that a September 8, 1971 memo from Malek to Haldeman appears to contradict Malek’s assertions of limited involvement, in which Malek states he has recommended to the Secretary of Labor “fairly drastic moves” including the “compromise” reassignment of three officials.[5]

    Seymour D. Reich, chairman of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations during the 1990s, said “Malek made a mistake 18 years ago when he agreed to a regrettable request by President Nixon.” But he added, Malek “has taken pains to assure the Jewish community that he realizes his error and that he intended no harm. I believe he is sincere.”[8]

  5. bubberella

    Seems like every Republican Governor appoints a “government reform” committee and/or a “regulatory reform” committee. I don’t recall any reforms coming out of them, though the Allen administration horribly bollixed up the regulatory process so that every year more and more legislation passes with a regulatory process exemption. That “reform” had the end result of moving more and more policy development out of the regulatory process altogether. I wonder if they can’t just review the past “reform” committees’ work and save some time and money.

  6. Censored bybvbl

    Who vets these appointments? Someone didn’t do his homework.

  7. Wolverine

    Just when does the “redemption and forgiveness” kick in here? I mean, if you can forgive a former grand wizard of the KKK and redeem him enough to accept him as the Senate Majority Leader…..

  8. Elena

    Like I said Wolverine, I don’t deny him the right to work, I just don’t think he should be in a position to determine government reform.

    Who was the former grand wizard Wolverine?

  9. Yes, which grand wizard are we speaking of? And Fred Malek go through the redemption and forgiveness thing?

  10. Wolverine

    Robert Byrd

    1. Was he the Imperial Wizard? I know he had been in the kkk as a very young man. He has apologized profusely and said he was wrong and misguided. He is an old, old man.

      I believe very strongly in judging people in the setting they lived in. I bear him no ill will.

  11. Wolverine

    Whatever Malek did to gain forgiveness and redemption seemed to work for Seymour D. Reich. Who am I to second guess Mr. Reich? Since that big mistake under Nixon, Malek has had a lot of experience in government, politics, and major businesses like the Marriott Corp. Why throw that talent and experience under the bus for one mistake made 35 years ago, for which the man repented?

    Now, if you want to talk some long-time and thoroughly disgusting “anti-Semitic” policies, let’s talk the KKK. It must have taken some serious forgiving and redemption on the part of Byrd. Once again, I will accept the word of those who welcomed Byrd into the leadership fold of the Democratic Party that he did so to everyone’s satisfaction. I have no quarrel with that forgiveness and redemption either.

    In my opinion, long-held grudges just give you ulcers. My theory is that they should be reserved only for the unrepetent — like the contemporary defenders of a certain, late Austrian corporal or another feller currently hiding out in Waziristan.

  12. Wolverine

    “Grand Wizard” — I sort of promoted Bobby Byrd beyond his actual paygrade. Shows you how much I know about the organization of the Klan. Actually, he joined in 1942 at age 24 and became the leader of his unit. As I understand it, he was active until at least the late 1940’s, becoming a “Kleagle” (recruiter) and then an “Exalted Cyclops” — which I think is like a mayor of a town in administrative scope. Oh, what the heck, he was a member of the KKK. Like former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, he repented and was forgiven. Water under the bridge for both men, who went on to important careers. Compared to their anti-Semitic backgrounds as young men (not to mention other prejudices associated with KKK membership), seems to me like Malek was a downright minor leaguer, if even that.

  13. That’s a little late in the game, I will grant you. I suppose I would follow it more closely if he was from my state. I guess he would be a million had he been a member back in the 20s.

  14. Elena

    The difference I would say is that Malek was in a position of federal power and he clearly misused it, I wonder why he was never prosecuted? What actual visible atonement has he done? Words are not enough in my opinion.

    Byrd is no angel in my opinion, but he was never a “grand wizard” from the research I have done. It was enough that he was a member of the KKK and that I find abhorant, but his record on civil rights and standing up for the little guy redeems him in my opinion. I don’t recall him ever being a “dixiecrat” as far as policy goes. I could be wrong though in his early years.

  15. Rule of thumb: keep bigots, KKK, and hate group members out of our government. And let’s start with our own local government, shall we???


  16. Wolverine

    From the WaPo “Virginia Politics” blog:

    Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA): “I have known Fred Malek for more than 20 years and he is a friend for whom I have great respect, trust, and admiration. He is a man of high principle and has no bias of any kind whatsoever. In addition, Fred is a renowned expert on organization and efficiency and he brings with him a unique set of skills and experiences that will serve the people of Virginia well.”

    Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League: “The attacks on Fred Malek for being an anti-Semite are unwarranted. Except for one instance, for which he has apologized and atoned for (the Nixon Jew counting episode), he has no record of being anti-Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League strongly believes that one mistake does not an anti-Semite make. Mr. Malek has reached out to and maintained good relations with the Jewish Community. His appointment by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to the Government Reform Commission is based on Malek’s credentials as a political, philanthropic, and business leader and should not be controversial. I am pleased to call Fred Malek a friend.”

    Similar sentiments were expressed by Malcolm Hoenlein, vice-chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

    Good enough for me. One word of gratuitous advice for the blogmeisters here: Don’t buy into the Not Larry Sabato threads until you do an independent examination of them.

  17. @Wolverine
    Interesting stuff, Wolverine.

    Question is, do we want someone who will give in to things like anti-Semitism when pressured by a higher up or for political reasons? Look at all the people who were brainwashed by Hitler. Many atoned, but do they belong in public office?

  18. Wolverine

    Pinko, this is a man who is not going to be in high political office but only a member of a commission dedicated to the study of ways to make state government more efficient. If leaders of the national Jewish community believe he has made sufficient amends for that one past mistake and, in fact, believe the appointment is a good one, why are we taking it upon ourselves to cast him continually into some sort of political purgatory? When Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League purts his imprimatur on the guy, I stand back and say to myself: “That’s critical. The Anti-Defamation League lets very little slip by in the way of anti-Semitism. Hard to pull the wool over the eyes of those guys.” Moreover, Feinstein, Foxman, and Hoenlein know the guy personally and apparently in depth. As I understand it, he has been a good contributor to Jewish charities and a strong supporter of Israel. I wonder if either Ebbin or Englin actually know the man personally and whether they themselves did any homework with the major Jewish organizations before going public.

    In my opinion, there comes a time when we Americans have to exercise something for which we are well know: forgiveness. If Abraham Foxman can do that, I certainly can.

  19. @Wolverine
    Makes sense. And I suppose a commission isn’t like an office. I trust the ADL.

  20. Elena

    It appears as though this stamp of approval for Malek by Foxman was in relation to his wanting to take part ownership of the Nationals, NOT to his current appointment to a position of power in government.

  21. Elena

    It appears as though mr. foxmans comments do relate to the current appointment. I may stand corrected on this one. I am still not sure about the appointment, did he personally apologize to these federal employee’s he screwed over? The idea that you don’t say “no” to the president is NOT acceptable to me though. Just doing my job is not an excuse, not ever, for causing other people harm.

  22. Wolverine

    That, Elena, appears to me to be a lesson that Mr. Malek learned, as did a whole lot of other people in the Nixon administration. It apparently made Mr. Malek a new man —something recognized by Mr. Foxman and others who know him. I have a feeling that Mr. Malek will do a good and fair job on this commission for all of us Virginians.

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