Updated 1:15 p.m.: The Allen campaign provided us with the letter of resignation he sent to the center on Dec. 1. In addition the sponsor of the Virginia Industry Environmental Conference, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, has issued a correction to its online invitation. The group's president, Brett Vassey, said Allen's campaign pointed out the mistake at the event and officials announced it at the conference. "That was our mistake,'' he said. "We didn't know he had already resigned from the post."
For weeks, former governor and senator George Allen’s staff has been saying he’s no longer affiliated with the nonprofit organization he formed to try to influence the public debate about energy in part with contributions from the industry.
Allen has repeatedly talked about his support for coal and offshore drilling over the years but in recent weeks his U.S. Senate campaign has played down his ties to the energy industry. The campaign said he stepped down from the center in December and is no longer involved in the day-to-day business at George Allen Strategies. a consulting company that lists energy as a top priority.
Allen is one in a crowded field of Republicans vying in the June primary, and will likely face former governor Tim Kaine (D) in the general election. Allen’s campaign did not immediately return a message for comment about the invitation.
In 2009, Allen launched the American Energy Freedom Center, a 501(c)(3) organization, to educate and influence the public about energy issues.
The center was formed as a project of the Institute for Energy Research, a conservative group that advocates for free-market energy and environmental policy. Institute records show that it gave the center nearly $140,000 in seed money its first year.
Allen’s financial disclosures show that he received $20,000 to be the center’s chairman between Jan. 1, 2010, and early last month.