This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Top Headlines ............................................................................................ 1 Top Quotes ................................................................................................ 2 Top Videos ................................................................................................ 2 Editorials.................................................................................................... 2 Budget Issues ............................................................................................. 4 Business and Consumer Issues ................................................................ 12 Campaign Finance Issues......................................................................... 13 Congressional Issues ................................................................................ 16 Crime & Public Safety Issues .................................................................. 27 Economic and Financial Issues ................................................................ 27 Education Issues ...................................................................................... 31 Election 2012 Issues ................................................................................ 32 Energy Issues ........................................................................................... 39 Environmental Issues ............................................................................... 39 Ethics Issues ............................................................................................ 43 Foreign Policy and Defense Issues .......................................................... 43 Gay and Lesbian Issues............................................................................ 48 Gun Issues ............................................................................................... 49 Health Care Issues ................................................................................... 49 Immigration and Border Issues ................................................................ 50 Israel ........................................................................................................ 52 Labor and Working Family Issues ........................................................... 53 Other Social Issues .................................................................................. 55 Personal Finance ...................................................................................... 59 Senior Issues ............................................................................................ 62 Tax Issues ................................................................................................ 65 Tea Party and Extreme Rhetoric .............................................................. 66 Transportation Issues ............................................................................... 74 Women’s Issues ....................................................................................... 74
Allen West Supports Paul Ryan’s Budget Cuts, Gives Hypothetical Critics a Biblical Middle Finger” [browardpalmbeach.com, 3/22/12] Allen West to Obama, Pelosi and Reid: Florida ain’t on the table, get the hell out of America [Palm Beach Post, 1/29/12; YouTube, uploaded 1/29/12] CBS - Jewish groups lash out at Rep. Allen West over Goebbels comment [CBS 12, 12/16/11] Wall Street Journal: Tea Party Favorite Touts…Federal Spending? [Wall Street Journal, 3/18/11]
Allen West Regularly Insults Victims & Survivors of the Holocaust By Using Nazi References “I was the only black member of a white supremacist motorcycle gang.” [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 11/8/11] “We’ve tried the payroll tax cuts. You get a short term bon-bon but it doesn’t give you anything long term sustainable economic growth and job growth,” said West. [YouTube, uploaded 9/9/11] West said “I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye.” [WPTV, 4/28/11] “I think tax reform means we go to a flat tax.” [West Tele Forum, 11:00, 7/27/11] West wrote “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.” [Weekly Update, 7/18/2011]
Allen West to Obama, Pelosi and Reid: Florida ain’t on the table, get the hell out of America [Palm Beach Post, 1/29/12; YouTube, uploaded 1/29/12]
Palm Beach Post Called out Florida Republicans In July 2011, an editorial was written in the Palm Beach Post that called out Florida Republicans of their consideration of a short-term debt-ceiling deal. The article explained that “House Republican leaders want a short-term debt-limit increase that makes no sense. A six-month reprieve would set up the country for yet another showdown in the midst of bitter partisan campaigns and spook bondholders and ratings agencies, risking a downgrade in U.S. debt that would increase the deficit as interest rates rose. In turn, a downgrade would trigger higher borrowing costs for consumers, snuffing out any hope of a housing rebound and putting yet another drag on consumer spending. The ripples from there include stifled job creation, sagging stocks and retirement accounts, and, in the worst case, a return to recession.
Yet the debt talks have been so dysfunctional that there might be a downgrade anyway. And that's not even the worst-case scenario, which would happen if Congress and the White House fail to avoid default a week from today. At that point, even Social Security checks could stop. Despite the risks of a short-term deal, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Monday advanced a twostage plan that would raise the debt ceiling by about $1 trillion, instead of the $2.4 trillion necessary to avert an election-year clash, and set up a bipartisan commission to identify another $2 trillion in cuts to be voted on later.” [Palm Beach Post, 6/26/2011] Op-Ed Against West In August 2011, Dana Milbank published an op-ed criticizing West. According to Milbank, “West’s image is built on martial imagery; the student introducing him recounted an episode in Iraq in which West fired his pistol near the head of a man he was interrogating. But by the end of the talk, West sounded less like an ideological warrior than a career politician explaining how Republicans could build majorities.” [Washington Post, 8/3/2011] Palm Beach Post: This idea doesn't hold water In August 2011, the Palm Beach Post criticized the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act saying: “Bashing the Environmental Protection Agency has been a GOP theme since the party took control of the House this year. In July, the House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, that would leave regulation of water quality to the states. Republican members of the Florida delegation, along with most state politicians, oppose the EPA's proposed standards for the state's rivers, lakes and streams even though the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed essentially the same standards in 2009. Given the rhetoric, it's hard to believe that protecting the environment once was a strongly bipartisan issue […] Congress recognized that water and air pollution don't observe state lines, and put the federal government in charge of stopping both. Reactionary revisionists who want to turn back the clock ignore history and reality.” [Palm Beach Post, editorial, 9/6/11] Miami Herald: House attempt to gut EPA’s enforcement of clean-water rules is dangerous In July 2011, the Miami Herald penned an editorial criticizing legislation in the house to prevent the EPA from imposing stricter water quality standards on states. According to the Miami Herald, “Clean water is not a jobs killer — certainly not in Florida, which counts on its beaches and natural assets to lure millions of tourists and billions of dollars here. Yet U.S. Reps. John Mica, an Orlando-area Republican, and Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat, have sponsored a bill that seeks to gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate water quality, wetlands protection and the removal of mountain tops in coal mining […] Clean water doesn’t have state boundaries. The reason the EPA was created and the Clean Water Act was strengthened in 1972 was the confusing patchwork of state-by-state water rules that allowed governors and legislatures to curry favor with big industries in their states and permitted uses with disastrous consequences […] The legislation, HB 2018, is being hailed as a “state-federal partnership” that will help states create jobs. This is laughable if it weren’t so frightening […] Make no mistake. This legislation would hamstring the EPA from overruling any state’s vague water-quality limits or ensuring dredge permits are feasible even when there
is evidence of contamination. Under HB 2018, the misnamed Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, the EPA could not veto a state’s assessment of a project unless the state agrees. In effect, outdated state rules on water-quality standards, requirements for dumping waste or trash would no longer have to answer to federal oversight […] The GOP-led House, apparently embracing tea-party hysteria about federal overreach, needs a reality check.” [Miami Herald, editorial, 7/11/11] Bradenton Herald: House bill restricting EPA water rules wrong In July 2011, the Bradenton Herald wrote an editorial criticizing legislation in the house to prevent the EPA from imposing stricter water quality standards on states. According to the Bradenton Herald, “The U.S. House of Representatives took a wrong turn last week with passage of a measure that would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing stricter water quality standards on states […]The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, argued that the federal agency exceeded its authority in the enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Such government overreach would be too costly on public water treatment plants and private polluters, bill supporters maintain. This is a disservice to Florida’s fragile and polluted waterways -- coming at a time when a toxic green slime covered the Caloosahatchee River near Alva. Such disgusting algae blooms, caused by sewage, manure and fertilizer pollution, kill marine life, contaminate drinking water supplies and force beach closures over the public health threat […] While proponents of the congressional measure asserted tougher EPA enforcement would kill jobs, clean water creates and saves jobs. Polluted rivers, lakes and bays kill jobs in the tourism and fishing industries, which, in turn, kills other jobs that depend on income from those two economic powerhouses. The Clean Water Act came about in 1972 because states spurned pollution regulations. [Bradenton Herald, 7/22/11]
Supported 2012 Republican Budget In March 2012, West supported the 2012 House Republican budget. “America has a plan to pave its way out of problems and into prosperity, with the House Republican Fiscal Year 2013 Budget introduced today...America’s hope for the future is the House Budget, a new plan of action with a fresh, bold, smart, approach to the way we have done things in the past. I am confident America will be better off once the House Budget is passed and into law,” said West. [West Press
West: “Anyone Challenging Me...Will be Signing Up for a Suicide Mission” In March 2012, West said that he was unwilling to accept criticism for his support of the 2012 Republican budget plan. “Anyone challenging me on my support to this visionary plan to restore our economic security will be signing up for a suicide mission...My recommendation to any detractors, read Proverbs 17:28 and heed its advice. It is time for those who understand how to govern, not demagogue,” wrote West.
Criticized Obama Budget Proposal In February 2012, West criticized Obama’s FY2013 budget proposal. West said, “Listening to President Obama’s speech on his 2013 budget ... it is a campaign-oriented address that is populist in nature.The president is promising everything to everyone. When will he evidence the courage to address the drivers of our debt, mandatory spending. He promised to cut our deficit in half by the end of his first term; $1.42T (2009), $1.29T (2010), and $1.3T (2011) with as estimate for another $1.3T (2012) deficits under his watch as POTUS. Gotta give it to the president, he has the bully pulpit and uses it regularly … problem is, he is becoming less credible. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget was such a resounding success that it failed in the Senate, 0-97. Let’s see how this repeat budget does; at least it kept the paper and copy machine industry in business.” [sunshinestatenews.com,
Criticized Obama FY13 Budget, Said Obama Never Learns From Past In February 2012, West criticized the Obama FY13 budget and said that Obama never learns from the past. “President Barack Obama's budget is an unserious approach to a very serious situation. Filled with exaggerations, gimmicks, and historic tax increases, the budget released today is bad for jobs, bad for seniors and bad for the economy. For seniors, the budget does nothing to address Medicare, a program sinking and heading towards bankruptcy, and instead increases the power of the Independent Advisory Board, a panel of unaccounted for bureaucrats making decisions for our nation's elderly. For hard working Americans, the budget increases taxes by an astounding 1.9 trillion dollars, taking money out of people's pockets during an already turbulent economic period. For small business owners, this budget leaves them with even more uncertainty, as the United States debt increases and regulations remain. With $3.8 trillion projected spending in 2013, increasing every year for the next decade, this President still believes he can spend his way out of this economic crisis. It seems he will never learn the lessons of the past.” [West Press
West Supported Legislation Which Prevents Defense Cuts by Cutting Federal Workforce In January 2012, West asked Obama to “reverse damaging sequestration cuts on the horizon by joining [him] in supporting H.R. 3662, the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act.” “The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act would prevent a further round of cuts, beyond the $465 billion already announced by the President, from hitting our military as a result of sequestration and is fully offset. H.R. 3662 achieves the first year of savings required in sequestration through attrition in the federal workforce by 10% over ten years.” [YouTube, uploaded 1/24/12] Disagreed with Obama Administration Approach to Defense Cuts In January 2012, West disagreed with the notion that the Obama sat down with a wide array of defense leaders when deciding cuts to make to defense spending.
West said that the administration “sat down with themselves”. West said, “It was based upon, 'This is going to be the budget of the military, and they'll just have to take the risk. I don't think that is the approach we should take." [Palm Beach Post, 1/6/12] West Said Government Should Take No Debt In November 2011, West voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment. In his statement about his vote, West said, “The Balanced Budget Amendment made perfect sense—ensuring the United States spends only the taxpayer dollars the U.S. Treasury collects each year.” [west.house.gov, 11/18/11] Claimed that President Obama Not Engaged In Budget Negotiations In March 2011, West claimed that “if there is a shutdown, it’s going to be because the president is not engaged.” [Crestview News Bulletin, 3/28/11] Opposed to Future Continuing Resolutions In March 2011, West said he would not support another short term continuing resolution to keep the government running. “I will not vote for another continuing resolution,” West said. [The Palm Beach Post,
West: “Supports Chairman Ryan's Budget” In an April 2011 press release titled “Congressman West Supports Chairman Ryan's Budget,” West expressed his support for Ryan’s budget saying, “Chairman Ryan’s budget reins in spending and balances the budget without raising taxes or hurting our seniors and shows the American people we are serious about reducing our deficit, eliminating our debt, strengthening our economy and creating a brighter future for the next generation.” [West Official Press Release, 4/05/11] Endorsed Government Shutdown In a 2011, interview with Fox News, West endorsed the idea of a government shutdown. When asked about whether West would back the dangerous plan to endanger benefits and aid, West said “you’re absolutely right.” [Fox News, 3/9/11] Shutdown Threatens Social Security According to the most current data available from the Social Security Administration, there are 464,260 Social Security recipients in Florida. [Social Security Administration, SSI recipients by state 2009,
Shutdown Threatens Veterans Benefits
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s 22 Congressional District has an estimated 64,262 civilian veterans. The State of Florida has an estimated 1,685,421 civilian veterans. [U.S. Census
Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey]
West: There is a Good Possibility the Government Will Shut Down In February 2011, West said, “There’s a very good possibility that government will shut down. I know the Democrats have their talking points lined up. They’ll blame us for everything. What will we do?” [Politico, 2/23/11] Criticized Republican Leaders’ Failure to Cut $100 Billion from Budget In January 2011, West criticized the Republican leaders' budget-cutting effort, which fell short of the $100 billion promised on the campaign trail. He said, “You start to look like a back-tracker.” [Saint Petersburg Times, 2/14/11] West Supported many of Paul Ryan’s Budget Ideas In January 2011, NPR reported that “West said he endorsed many of the ideas circulated by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan — such as raising the retirement age and changing Medicare's fee-for-service structure.” West said, “We’ve got to get it off of autopilot, we really do. We’ve got to make some hard looks at that.” [NPR, 1/28/11] Will Only Vote to Raise Debt Ceiling if 4 Conditions Met In April 2011, West noted that “‘We are at this point due to the over $5T of new debt added by the Obama, Pelosi, Reid machine. Leadership is about making the tough decisions, not situational ethics.’” West is calling for “a federal balanced budget amendment, cutting federal spending and the corporate and business tax rate and automatic budget cuts in the future when the debt ceiling is close to being reached down the road. “If these four conditions are not met, I will vote no now, and in the future,” insisted West. [Sunshine News, 4/25/11] Votes for RSC Budget In April 2011, West Voted for RSC Budget. The Republican Study Committee alternative budget would cut $9.1 trillion in spending over the next decade. The RSC budget would reportedly balance the budget by 2020, unlike the Ryan budget which would take an additional 20 years to do so. To do that, it would spend $3.3 trillion less over 10 years, cut an additional $1 trillion in discretionary accounts and raises the retirement age to 70 by 2045. The plan also speeds up turning Medicare into a voucher program, having individuals 59 and younger entering the “premium support” system. [The Hill, 4/08/11; H Con Res 34, Vote #275, 4/15/11] Anger Arised from West April 2011 Town halls Rep. West’s town halls have erupted in anger over the Ryan budget. Several People Tossed from 4/27/11 Town Hall Meeting
According to WPBF, several people were tossed From Congressman's town hall meeting on 4/27/11. “Police escorted a number of people out of a town hall meeting Wednesday night -- the second night in a row that U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., held what became a heated event. "I think they're a bunch of jerks," said Anne Dion after police walked her outside. "That's what I think about being forced to leave." Trouble was brewing even before the event started. Sign-carrying protesters were asked to leave private property. West warned the crowd about lashing out. "You see a lot of media cameras, and the media's here because they want to see a show," he said. The warning did not stop supporters and critics from turning up the volume.” [WPBF, 4/28/11] Hecklers Escorted from West’s Town Hall Meetings on 4/26/11 According to the Palm Beach Post, “U.S. Rep. Allen West's first town hall meeting since voting for a controversial Medicare proposal saw three hecklers removed -- one in handcuffs -- from a generally supportive crowd of about 500. […] Outside the sprawling campus of Calvary Chapel, where West's meeting was held in a theater, about 15 demonstrators carried signs criticizing the Medicare proposal. Inside the meeting, West was less than a minute into his remarks tonight when two or three men began shouting from the audience. ‘How about our Medicare that you're stealing?’ shouted one. ‘How about allowing questions from the audience?’ shouted another man, apparently dissatisfied with West's decision to answer written questions submitted by audience members before the meeting.” [Palm Beach Post 4/26/2011] Claimed that Medicare Will be the End of US On WPTV, West said “I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye.” [WPTV, 4/28/11] Defended Ryan Budget Plan In May 2011, West offered his defense of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan on Fox News, saying that “I think when you look at Paul Ryan’s plan, first of all, there is no change for anyone who is a senior 55 years and above.” [Fox News Sunday, 05/29/2011] Frustrated After Meeting With President on Debt Ceiling In May 2011, following a meeting between Freshman House Republicans and President Obama, West left the meeting visibly frustrated, saying that “It was more regurgitated talking points and sound bites from yesterday. Once again it’s a show thing. All of this: Bring everybody over to the White House, speak to the freshmen. This is just the photo-op to say, ‘look we are reaching out.’ It’s not going anywhere.” [The
West Said Revenue Increases Off the Table In June 2011, on Top Line, West said that revenue increases through taxes were off the table for a budget negotiation.
According to ABC News, “In lock step with several Republican colleagues, Rep. Allen West said on ‘Top Line’ today that a budget package with tax increases would be off the table for him. And as for missing that August 2nd deadline to raise the debt ceiling? That’s nothing to fear.” West said that “Focusing on the August deadline…is short-sighted.” [Blog, ABC News, 06/24/11] South Florida Tea Party Chief Slams Ryan Budget Plan In June 2011, South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson expressed his dismay with Republicans supporting the Ryan budget plan. According to the Palm Beach Post, “But Wilkinson, in a Thursday night ‘Dear Patriots’ email, says that in the upcoming fight over raising the national debt ceiling, ‘Republicans will lose if they support the Ryan Medicare plan. Americans do not support the Ryan plan.’ If Democrats make big gains in 2012, Wilkinson's email says, ‘Expect the GOP to then blame the Tea Party for losses.’” [Palm Beach Post,
Thanked by Heritage Foundation for Vote Supporting Ryan Budget Plan In June 2011, the Heritage Foundation sent out mailers thanking 11 specific Republicans for voting for the Ryan Budget proposal. According to the Washington Examiner, “Heritage Action for America (the political arm of The Heritage Foundation) spent $300,000 on mailings thanking Republican House members for their vote in favor of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity. The mailing dubbed the members: The Magnificent 11.” [Washington Examiner, 06/22/2011] Statement Rated False By Politifact In July 2011, West claimed that spending cuts were a part of the debt ceiling increase for the first time ever. Politifact rated that statement as false, saying that “We found that the 1997 budget agreement raised the debt ceiling and also included spending cuts.” [Politifact, 7/27/2011] Blasted Defense Cuts in Reid Budget Bill In July 2011, West denounced the potential defense cuts offered in the Reid budget bill, saying that they could be dangerous. According to the Weekly Standard, “The most powerful rebuke of Reid's plan came from Lt. Colonel Allen West (R, Fla.). The Tea Partier and Iraq war veteran said he's not opposed to all defense cuts and even chastised the president for wasting tax dollars on Libya. But he called the Reid bill's cuts ‘incredible’ and ‘unconscionable.’"
West explained that “There are places where we can cut the defense budget, but it's not about wholesale cuts.” We need to identify wasteful programs "instead of these across the board major cuts." [Weekly
Said He Would Vote for Boehner Debt Plan In July 2011, Wet said that he would get behind the deficit reduction plan created by Speaker Boehner. "Am I thrilled about the addition of this 12-member joint committee of Congress? No, I'm not," West said later in an interview. "It's not everything I wanted. Right now we have a 70 to 75 percent plan that does alleviate the concern about the debt limit, puts caps on spending... and includes a vote on a balanced budget amendment." [ [Palm Beach Post, 7/26/2011] Said He Would Vote for Boehner Debt Plan In July 2011, the Hill reported that “Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), an outspoken conservative and Tea Party Movement favorite who is supporting Boehner’s measure, was confident [Boehner’s plan] would be approved.” [The Hill, 7/27/11] West Said “I will drive the car” referring to debt ceiling In July 2011, according to Tampa Bay News, “Rep. Allen West, a tea party-aligned freshman from Florida who has been known to buck leadership, gave an impassioned speech backing [Boehner’s] plan. West concluded by saying: ‘I will drive the car.’" [Tampa Bay News, 7/27/2011] Said Boehner Plan Good Enough Because Obama Hated It In July 2011, West tweeted that the Boehner plan was not perfect but that he’d support it because the President dislikes it so much. According to West, “Boehner Plan is not a perfect bill. However, the fact Pelosi, Reid and Obama hate it doggone makes it perfect enough- where is their plan?” [Twitter, 7/28/2011] Taking Heat for Debt Ceiling Vote In August 2011, Tampa Bay News reported that “U.S. Rep. Allen West not only supported the debt ceiling deal, he actively tried to get others on board. Tea party and other supporters are incensed. Some are talking about recruiting a candidate to run against him in the Republican primary.” [Tampa Bay News, 8/17/2011] West Said CBC is Conscious of Congress The Congressional Black Caucus says “they are the conscious of the Congress. Well, they need to make sure that their conscious is just not on the left side of the brain. It also has to come from the right side of the brain.” [NewsMax 2:40, 8/22/11]
West Supported Flat Tax In July 2011, Rep. West discussed tax reform and the flat tax on a telephone town hall conference. West said, “I believe in having tax reform. I think tax reform means we go to a flat tax. As you go to a flat tax you eliminate any type of personal income loopholes or subsidizing. I think, also, when you look at the corporate business tax rate, which is second highest in the world, if Japan world lower theirs we would be number one at 35%. I say cut that down to 20-22% and get rid of loopholes and subsides for our corporation and business. That provides an incentive for them to come back and invest in America. I think the first thing we need to look at doing is having tax reform, which is what the president stated in his State of the Union address this year. The progressive tax code system, 66,000 pages, needs to go away […] I’m all for a flat tax that gets rid of subsidies and loopholes and gets rid of the gaps which can be substituted and exploited. [West Tele Forum, 11:00, 7/27/11] West Telephone Forum: On Boehner Plan In July 2011, Rep. West explained the debt ceiling compromise in a telephone town hall conference. West said, “The Boehner plan is not something I’m 100 percent tickled over. It is something that should take away the fear in society about the debt limit specter and any question about defaulting on our full faith and credit. As I said earlier in this call, I’m not a person that is warmed over to this joint commission to congress, but that is something that originally came from Senator Harry Reid. I think, as I have said I’m willing to compromise. I was not going to support a blanket full $2.4 trillion raise in the debt ceiling without having some type of spending control measures.” [West Tele Forum, 13:00, 7/27/11] West Telephone Forum: On Taxes and Class War Fare In a telephone forum in July 2011, Rep West discussed taxes and class war fare. West said, “You can tax these quote unquote rich people at 100% and that still is not going to make a dent. When you look at the top 1% of wage earners in the United States of America they’re paying 3235% of taxes. The top five percent are paying a little over 50%. The top 25% of wage earners in America pay 86% of the Federal Income taxes in this country. Now, you have 47% of wage earning households in this country, who are not paying any Federal Income Taxes at all. I think that is a problem[…] But when the President says, ‘shared sacrifice,’ how much is enough? I think we need to have every American as a shared holder in the United States of America. We are getting to the point, where you are pining a production class against an entitlement class. I don’t think that’s the way to go. I think if you want to talk about tax reform, want to talk about increasing revenues, we need to talk about broadening the tax base and not continuing with the rhetoric that is based on class warfare, I’m not going to support this. And I will conclude with this: if you want to rehabilitate a drug addict you don’t give the drug addict more drugs, if you want to reform the federal government you don’t need to give us any more revenues. What we need to do is look at how we control are spending in this country. [West Tele Forum, 16:00, 7/27/11] West: On Compromising In July 2011, Rep. West discussed compromising during a telephone forum.
West said, “I don’t think I compromised at my own peril. I think it’s important I show people I’m a reasonable individual. The Heritage Foundation has named a group of us the magnificent eleven, a group of very strong of conservative individuals. Once again I come back to this, I can sit down and I can try to have everything I want 100%. And it is so interesting I’m getting calls that say I have not compromised, I have compromised too much or not enough. Your call says I did compromise. It’s almost schizophrenic the situation I’m in up here. Look, before we (tea party members) got up here in Washington D.C. no one was talking about cutting spending. Now, in seven months I think the expectation for Allen West and the rest of us to correct something that has been a disease for 30 years, now let’s be real with our expectations.” [West Tele Forum, 18:00, 7/27/11] West: Budget Cuts In July 2011, Rep. West discussed cuts in his budget during telephone forum. One of things I was proud of when we looked at our legislation branch appropriations we cut our own budgets up here about 6.4%. But I will tell you there was something that came up, an amendment that was very frustrating. We tried to cut the botanicals gardens by 25% to take it back to 2008 levels. That amendment didn’t pass. There are people who say ‘we can’t even cut the botanical garden.’ And, for the life of me, I do not know why the legislative branch, here at Congress has a responsibility for running the botanical garden. [West Tele Forum, 42:00, 7/27/11] West: On His Budget In July 2011, Rep. West discussed his office’s budget during a telephone town hall. West said, “Yea it wouldn’t bother me one bit. As a matter of fact one of the things we have coming up is members accounts which are used to operate their offices is going to get cut 6.4% […]One of the things I told my Chief of Staff when we looked at the amount that was allocated to us was that, ‘at the end of this year, I want to be able to come in 10-15 percent under my budget.’ So we can return that money back into the treasury and be good stewards of the American tax paying dollar.” [West Tele Forum, 19:30, 7/14/11] West said, “Taxes aren’t evil” In July 2011, Rep. West discussed taxes during a telephone town hall. West said, “Taxes aren’t evil. But the thing is you need a government which is a good steward of our resources.” [West Tele Forum, 26:00, 7/14/11]
Business and Consumer Issues
West Blamed the SOPA on Obama In January 2012, West blamed the Stop Online Piracy Act on Obama.
“Rep. Allen West -- unlike a few of his South Florida congressional counterparts -- opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and explained that it's because President Obama doesn't know ‘this is a democracy.’”
[Broward Palm Beach Times, 1/18/12]
Defended Corporate Jet Loophole In July 2011, West defended the loophole for corporate jets in his weekly update. West said that “The inane and insidious class warfare rhetoric of raising taxes and ‘corporate jets’ reflects the incompetence of the one professing such…Furthermore, the ‘corporate jet loophole’ only accounts for some $300M, hardly a major impact.” [West Weekly Update, 7/10/2011]
Campaign Finance Issues
Raised Over $1.75 Million in 4th Quarter In January 2012, Allen West for Congress filed its 2011 Year End FEC Report. West raised $1,754,328.88 in the 4th quarter of 2011, has $2,718,746.74 cash on hand and spent $858,892.13. In 2011, Rooney received $263,700 from PACs. [West for Congress, 1/31/12] Notable Expenditures Spent $50,000 on Fundraising Planning. In October and November 2011, West spent $50,000 on fundraising planning from Out Loud Strategies, Inc. Spent $4,410.82 on Catering. In October 2011, West spent $4,410.82 on catering from Pico’s Restaurant in Texas for a fundraiser. Spent $2,151.16 at Capitol Hill Club. In October and December 2011, West spent $2,151.16 on fundraising meals at The Capitol Hill Club. Spent $145,040.90 on Direct Mail Services. In October and December 2011, West spent $145,040.90 on direct mail services from Vertis Communications. Leadership PAC Raised no Funds in 4th Quarter In February 2011, Allen West formed the Guardian Leadership PAC. In the 4th quarter of 2011, West raised no funds for PAC. The PAC currently has $3,026 cash on hand and did not spend any money in the 4th quarter. [FEC Campaign Finance Reports for Guardian Leadership PAC, accessed 2/06/12] Contributions of Note Received $3,000 from William Mattews. In April 2011, William Mattews gave $3,000 to the Guardian Leadership PAC. Endorsed by Tom Rooney In February 2012, West was endorsed by current 18th District Congressman Tom Rooney in West’s run for the seat.
"It makes me feel very good…Tom's a great colleague and I've given him my endorsement for him running in (Congressional District) 17, so we want to make sure that this area still has good quality representation in Washington D.C. and that's what it's all about," said West. [tcpalm.com, 2/25/12] Hosted Two Fundraisers In February 2012, West hosted two fundraiser events, a luncheon and golf outing and a Mardi Gras reception. [chron.com, 2/19/12] Largest Fundraiser, sans Boehner, With Most Cash Coming from Out of State In February 2012, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel announced that West outraised every other House candidate, with the exception of Speaker Boehner. The paper reported, ‘West, a Republican freshman and tea party favorite from Plantation, raised $5.8 million through Dec. 31, more than $8 for every resident he hopes to represent in a newly drawn district anchored in northern Palm Beach County. Most of that money comes from outside Florida, a sign that his closely watched race has reverberations well beyond his home state. “West is spending money almost as fast as he collects it, leaving $2.7 million of cash on hand. His big haul reflects an extensive network of conservative donors, the effectiveness of direct-mail fundraising and the far-reaching impact of his national exposure through TV news appearances.” [sun-sentinel.com, 2/25/12] Raised $1.5 Million in 2nd Quarter In July 2011, West raised $1.5 million dollars for the 2nd quarter to fund his re-election campaign in 2012. According to the Hill, “Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a Tea Party favorite who's expected to face a difficult reelection challenge, raised a whopping $1.5 million in the second quarter to support his 2012 campaign.” Additionally, “West's campaign said the total was fueled by more than 23,500 individual donors, the average contribution from which was $66 per person.” [The Hill, 7/11/2011] West Filed 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report West for Congress filed its July Quarterly FEC Report. West raised 1581333.74 in the 2nd quarter and has $1,266,356.28 cash on hand. He received $151,148.10 from PACs. Contributions of Note: Received $5,000 for Exxon Mobile PAC. On May 20, 2011, West received $1,000 from Exxon Mobile Pac. On June 30, 2011, West received an additional $4000. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Received $14,000 from John Boehner. On June 30, 2011, West received $4000 from Friends of John Boehner. On June 30, 2011, West received $10,000 from the Freedom PAC (John Boehner’s Leadership PAC). [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11]
Received $10,000 from Eric Cantor’s Leadership PAC. On June 28, 2011, West received $10,000 from ERIC –PAC. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Received $751.95 from the Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee. In June 2011, West received 751.95 from the Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee. West has received a total of $7591.03 from the Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Received $10,000 from the Citizens United Political Victory Fund. In May 2011, West received $10,000 from the Citizens United Political Victory Fund. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Received $5,000 from Sarah PAC. On June 30, 2011, West received $5,000 from Sarah PAC. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Expenditures of Note: West Spent Hundreds of Thousands on Consultants. In his July 2011 Quarterly, West paid $205,870.66 to Vestis Communication. In July 2011, West paid $148,801 to Southwest Publishing and Mailing. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Spent $4624 on foods for fundraisers. In May 2011, West spent 1596.16 at the Capitol Hill Club. In June 2011, West spent 1781.97 at Lattanzi Restaurant in New York. In April 2011, West spent $758.60 at Sammy’s BBQ in Dallas. In April, West spent $488 at the Gun Club Café. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Spent $606.31 at the San Carlos Hotel in New York. “The San Carlos hotel is one of New York City's most elegant, charming, and stylishly sophisticated hotels. Located on New York's fashionable East Side.” [San Carlos Hotel Website, accessed 7/15/11; Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Other Items of Note: West Received $151,148.10 from PACs. In his July 2011 Quarterly FEC report, West received $151,148.10 from PACs including 21st Century PAC (Buck McKeon), Brady for Congress, ERIC –PAC and Citizens United Political Victory Fund. [Allen West for Congress 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, filed 7/15/11] Accepted $5,000 from SARAH PAC In June 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that West accepted a $5,000 donation from Sarah Palin’s political action committee. [Blog, Wall Street Journal, 7/18/2011] West Paid $16,987 in Tax Payer Dollars to Campaign Contributors.
Since January, West has paid $16,987, $2,831.25 a month, to 6300 Acquisition LLC for district office rent in Ft. Lauderdale. According to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, 6300 Acquisition LLC’s registered agent is Robert Sader and the two managers are Robert and Jeffrey Roschman. In March 2010, Robert Roschman contributed $4800 to Allen West and in April 2011, Robert Roschman contributed $1,000 to West. In the 2010 cycle, Jeffrey Roschman contributed $4800. Additionally, Jeffrey Roschman’s wife, Lorrie Roschman, contributed $4800 in March 2010. [Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, accessed 8/30/11; CQ Moneyline, accessed 8/30/11; 2011 112th Congress 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11; Statement of Disbursements of the House 1Q 2011, 5/23/11] West: Received 77% from Heritage Action for America Based on 30 key votes from January-August 2011, West received 77% score from the Heritage Action for America. [Heritage Action for America, accessed 9/6/11] West Spent Majority of Funds on Professional Fundraisers In October 2011, it was reported, “West raised $1.9 million, but spent $1.4 million of that on expensive professional fundraisers and solicitation lists. So although he has raised $4.1 million so far this campaign season, he has only $1.8 million of that on hand, according to the FEC reports.” [Miami Herald, 10/17/11] West Accepted Contributions from Halliburton and BoA In October 2011, it was reported that West accepted contributions from controversy-marred Halliburton after former Vice President Dick Cheney was found collecting some deferred compensation from the company while in office, and from Bank of America, which benefited from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but which West called a "failed economic polic[y].” [New Times, 10/17/11] West Formed Leadership PAC In February 2011, Allen West formed the Guardian Leadership PAC. In the October Quarterly report, West raised no funds for PAC. The PAC currently has only received one contribution for $3000. [FEC
Campaign Finance Reports for Guardian Leadership PAC, accessed 10/18/11]
Scheduled to Speak at CPAC Conference In February 2012, West was scheduled to speak at the CPAC conference. [Palm Beach Post, 2/7/12] Called Himself a “Strategic Thinker” In February 2012, West called himself a “strategic thinker” after he decided to jump districts. West said, “When you read and understand Sun Tzu, the smart commander is the one who can choose the battleground on which he will fight.” [Palm Beach Post, 2/6/12]
Called Opportunistic By Sun-Sentinel In February 2012, a Sun-Sentinel op-ed dismissed West detractors who said his decision to move districts was a “cowardly act” and instead called West “opportunistic.” [Sun-Sentinel, 2/11/12] West: “Liberals Think We’re Selfish Robots” In February 2012, West at the CPAC conference said that the U.S. safety net was caused by liberals believing people are selfish robots. West said, “It is the liberal philosophy, not the conservative one, that views humans as selfish automatons. Liberals worry that what's best for the individual might not be better for the public at large. But that philosophy assumes something vicious about each and every one of us. It assumes we only care about ourselves." [The Hill, 2/10/12] Martin County Sheriff Set to Challenge West in GOP Primary In February 2012, Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder announced that he would challenge West in the 18th district primary. Crowder had over 50 years of public service and served as the undersherrif of St Lucie County for over a decade and the sheriff of Martin County for 20 years. [CBS 12, 2/14/12] Criticized for Holding Town Halls During Work Hours In February 2012, West was criticized by Rich Abdill of the Broward Palm Beach New Times for holding his two town hall events (Feb 22nd and Feb 24th) during working hours when people “with day jobs” could not attend. Abdill wrote in the piece “Sorry, people with day jobs that aren't at either of those locations, but you don't get to go.” [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 2/22/12] Called Republican Party the “Party of Equality of Opportunity” In February 2012, West called the Republican Party the “party of equality of opportunity” during a speech on black history month. “With a core belief in the supremacy and the sovereignty of the individual and the unconditional dignity of every human life, the Republican Party is, always has been, and forever shall be the party of equality of opportunity,” said West. [breitbart.com, accessed 3/14/12] South Florida Sun-Sentinel: West Clearly Doesn’t Identify with his Constituents In February 2012, Chan Lowe wrote in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that West “clearly doesn’t identify with his constituents.”
“There are those [congressmen] who represent a movement, or a cause. They answer to a higher ideological calling that transcends the surly bonds of mere geographical congressional districts. An example of this kind of congressman is Allen West, the itinerant rep who is happy to settle for any district that (a) has a solid Republican majority, and (b) does not possess a strong Democrat to run against him. He is outspoken for conservative causes, appears often on television, speaks forcefully and with conviction, and clearly doesn’t identify with his constituents, since he not only doesn’t live in his current district, he is leaving it for another where his prospects for reelection are better,” said Lowe. [sunsentinel.com, 2/28/12]
Opinion: West’s “Only Fault is That He Didn’t Embrace the Republican Establishment” In March 2012, Armstrong Williams editorialized that West was gerrymandered out of his district for voting against the Republican establishment. “Can anyone with a modicum of common sense understand why the Republican Party of Florida allowed Congressman Allen West to be gerrymandered out of his congressional district?... His only fault is that he didn't embrace the Republican establishment when their views were contrary to those of the Tea Party,” Armstrong wrote. [The Hill, 3/08/12] Editorial: “West Proves Himself to be an Outsider When He Fumbles Such Basic Issues” In March 2012, TCPalm editorialized, “West has confused the St. Lucie Inlet with the Fort Pierce Inlet. And, beyond that, he doesn't seem to be aware of how controversial dredging of the Fort Pierce Inlet is. He seems to be advocating for something that many may find objectionable without a clear understanding of the issues involved or the community's goals for the inlet and the Port of Fort Pierce...The congressman needs to get his "facts" straight. West shows himself to be an outsider when he fumbles basic issues, such as the difference between these two inlets.” [tcpalm.com, 3/07/12] Willing and Ready to Serve as Vice President In March 2012, West said that he was willing and ready to serve as Vice President for the American people. “As far as the vice president thing, you know, who knows what the future lies because it wasn’t too long ago, you know, I was sitting in the desert of Kandahar, Afghanistan, and now I’m here talking with you…But, you know, I am always willing and ready to serve my country in whatever capacity that the American people would desire,” said West. [Politico, 3/06/12] Said Obama was Prioritizing Reelecting over Lower Gas Prices In March 2012, West criticized President Obama for prioritizing campaigning over lowering gas prices. "If bringing prices down at the pump was any kind of a priority for President Obama, he would stop blocking access to the energy resources we have right here in the United States…Instead of addressing these issues or having a plan to move forward, the president continues to blaze the campaign trail. The president is blatantly ignoring the vital problems of the United States, so he can focus on being in office another four years,” said West. [sunshinestatenews.com, 3/02/12]
West Said There’s a Leadership Disconnect In January 2012, West said there is a leadership disconnect between House Republicans and Senate Republicans. “The GOP House majority is no longer hogging the media attention as it did last year. The agenda remains muddy — and there’s a gulf between House and Senate Republicans on those issues. And there is growing dissension in the ranks over their leadership’s strategy — with tension particularly acute between the rank and file of the House and Senate GOP. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), an outspoken freshman, put it bluntly: “There’s a disconnect between House Republicans and Senate Republicans.”” [Politico, 1/29/12] Missed .2 Percent of Votes In 2012, the Herald Tribune reported that West missed .2 percent of votes since he took office. [HeraldTribune, 12/21/11]
Launched Landing Pages to Track Constituent Activity In November 2011, West worked with a Boca Raton software company, ion interactive, to reach his constituents. The software West planned to use would use landing pages, which would track the first screen an Internet user landed on after clicking a banner ad. West’s staff said, “The program will provide more relevant information to constituents, by better targeting their concerns and issues." [Sun-Sentinel, 11/23/11] Wasserman Shultz More Liked in Allen West’s District In November 2011, a poll showed that Wasserman Shultz was more liked in Allen West’s District. “Broward Beat, the newsite of former Sun-Sentinel political writer Buddy Nevins, polled the liberal county's two big Congressional seats, 20 and 22 [..] The poll shows that Wasserman Schultz has the upper hand in Democrat-blue Broward. She is viewed more favorably in West's district than West.” [Miami
Broward Republicans Requested FL Legislature to Draw Map Lines to Benefit Allen West In January 2012, Broward Republicans requested that the Florida Legislature draw the map lines to benefit Allen West which is against the new rules set in place for redistricting. “Broward Republican Chairman Richard DeNapoli has organized an effort to get the party faithful to push the Republicans who control the Florida House and Florida Senate to make changes in the proposed districts to help West […] But new rules approved by the voters require a less-political process. Districts are now supposed recognize existing boundaries” [Sun Sentinel, 1/8/12]
West Expressed Discontent at Republican Retreat In January 2012, West expressed discontent at the House Republican retreat saying it would have been more useful to meet with the Senate. “Staring nervously at a high unemployment rate, with the November elections around the corner, GOP lawmakers are concerned that what their leadership is revealing for this year’s work is simply not enough […] There’s growing anger in the House Republican Conference at the Senate — Republicans and Democrats. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said it might’ve been more useful to have a weekend retreat with Senate Republicans to “sing from the same song sheet.”” [Politico, 1/25/12] West Profiled in Politico as Nuanced In December 2011, Politico profiled Allen West. “Whether it’s a spending bill, a debt-limit vote or a flood insurance measure, West has proved to be more ideologically dynamic and flexible than any of his caricaturists imagined, undermining his reputation as a tea party iconoclast while eliciting deep sighs of relief from House Republican leadership […]it’s not to say that he’s cooled off the bombastic, sometimes cringe-inducing remarks: He famously called Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “vile, unprofessional and despicable” speculated on whether a Democratic challenger “likes running against black guys” and referred to himself as a modern-day Harriet Tubman.” [Politico, 12/6/11] West Called “Suprinsingly Loyal to Republican Leaders” In December 2011, Politico profiled Allen West. “But look beyond the incendiary rhetoric, and focus on the policy votes and insider maneuvering, and a different picture of West emerges. He’s been surprisingly loyal to Republican leaders on some key issues. He keeps them apprised of where he stands on votes and largely refrains from taking to the airwaves to slam his own party.” [Politico, 12/6/11] West Listed in Report Detailing His Attempt to Circumvent Earmark Ban. Although Republicans passed an earmark ban at the beginning of this Congress, West’s addition of three projects to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act were found to be three of the 113 earmarks valued at $841 million that attempted to bypass the House’s own earmark moratorium. [Investigation of house FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act, 12/2011; 2012 NDAA Earmarks Report Data, accessed 12/12/11] West “Has Gotten into ‘Lettermarking.’” Even Tea Party icon Allen West of Florida has gotten into ‘lettermarking,’ a Washington term to describe efforts to seek money for pet projects. Though he’s just 10 months in office, the House freshman has already written at least four letters seeking federal largesse for his district, including one asking to fund a pedestrian pathway in Riviera Beach, Fla. Twice in the letter West vows the project ‘will create better access to jobs and services.’ West offered a different take the next day during a speech to a local Chamber of Commerce chapter that protesters came to picket: ‘The people outside don’t understand,’ he told
the business leaders. ‘Government does not create jobs.’ When asked about the discrepancy, Angela Sachitano, a spokesman for West, said the congressman has been ‘consistent’ in his support of some spending—so long as it’s done fairly, and benefits his district.” [Newsweek, 10/30/11] West Previously Touted Federal Funding While Railing on Spending. “Ah the contradictions: Broward Republican Rep. Allen West Tuesday was one of 54 GOP'ers to vote against a temporary spending bill that Republican critics said didn't cut deep enough […] But on Wednesday, Rep. Allen West touted the award of a $21 million dollar federal grant to Fort Lauderdale –Hollywood International Airport to be used for the construction of a "much needed, second commercial runway." [Miami Herald, blog, 3/16/11] West Railed on Obama Administration for Green Energy Support But Then Appealed to Agency to Project. “Freshman Rep. Allen West, a Tea Party favorite, electrifies the conservative base with his impassioned arguments to cut federal spending. Just last week, the Florida Republican was lamenting on Fox News the Obama administration’s decision to spend billions on green energy, declaring, “We already have a question mark on some of these green energy programs,” and “That’s not the place where American taxpayer dollars should be.” But letters obtained by The Daily Beast show West has appealed to two different agencies in his first months in office for federal largesse for renewable energy and transportation projects in his home state of Florida. Last month, West wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking for funding under the Energy Department’s Sunshot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge, a program created by the Obama administration.” [Daily Beast, 9/29/11] West Sought Federal Transportation Funds but Hammered Transportation Investment Legislation. “West was not in office when Congress approved the 2009 American Recovery Act, which contained $987 billion in stimulus spending on infrastructure, education and health care. But while in office, he has publicly opposed the Obama’s administration’s policies of federal investments. ‘When you hear people talk about investment coming out of Washington, D.C. that is so counter to what this country has really prospered on,’ West said in a radio interview earlier this week on Florida’s 950 AM. Yet less than three months earlier, West wrote to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking federal funds to improve a traffic corridor in West Palm Beach.” [Daily Beast, 9/29/11] West Traveled to Qatar and Afghanistan on House-Sponsored Trip From June 25 to June 28, West traveled to Qatar and Afghanistan on a trip sponsored by the House. Though transportation costs were undisclosed, West spent $595 in per diem expenditures. [Clerk of the
House Travel Disclosure, 8/16/11]
West and his Wife took $8,300 Trip to Israel Courtesy of AIEF From August 20 to August 28 2011, West traveled with Angela Graham-West to Israel on a trip totaling $8,349.64 sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation. AIEF spent $6,201.10 on transportation, $1,289.50 on lodging, and $859.04 on meals. [Clerk of the House Travel Disclosure, 9/9/11] Fired Intern Over Accidental Tweet
In June 2011, an intern was fired from West’s office for allegedly re-tweeting a tweet from the openly gay band Scissor Sisters. According to the Broward Palm Beach, “West's Twitter account retweeted the New York-based band Scissor Sisters -- a group with three openly gay musicians that often produces many gay-themed songs.” The tweet has since been deleted and West responded via twitter by saying that he was “Very sorry for the unauthorized RT. We were not hacked, an intern made an error and it has been corrected. Apologies to all.” [Blog, Broward Palm Beach, 06/10/2011] Served Burgers at Five Guys In July 2011, West served burgers at Five Guys in Fort Lauderdale. West’s work was accompanied by a message. He said, “We must promote policies that remove the barriers for growth, reduce regulatory and tax burdens and eliminate uncertainty about how legislation will affect plans for future growth.” [Sun-Sentinel, 7/18/2011] “Comfortable Enough” With Boehner’s Leadership In June 2011, at a town hall meeting, West said that he was “comfortable enough” with Republican leadership. West said that "I'm comfortable enough with Speaker Boehner. There are some instances where we disagree. … I think that he's doing the best he can do in a very tough situation." [The Sun-Sentinel,
Said Boehner’s Doing The Best He Possible Can Do In June 2011, West spoke candidly of Speaker Boehner’s job performance, saying that “I think that based upon his experiences he’s doing the best he possibly can do. Based upon my background experiences, let’s say if a guy like Allen West was the Speaker of the House, I’d do things differently, because of my background, being in the military and how they train us.” But West was also quick not to question the leadership of Boehner, explaining that “John Boehner’s been up here for 20 years. I dare not try to make a judgment assessment on a guy after I’ve been up here four or so months. I think that would be absolutely juvenile to do that.” [Roll Call, 06/06/2011] Frustrated With Congressional Schedule In May 2011, according to the Orlando Sentinel, West said “he thinks Congress isn’t spending enough time dealing with an extraordinary array of crises.” West, who has had 10 town hall meetings in his district so far, explained that “There’s a dog piling of pressing events and issues that we have to contend with. There’s not a lot of opportunity to study, research, and gain greater insights on these issues.”
West also said that the “House appeared ill-prepared last month when taking votes on next year’s budget,” pointing out that “A lot of people were confused. We need a bit more time up here so we can lay out these issues.” [Orlando Sentinel, 05/31/2011] Hinted At VP Run In July 2011, the Orlando Sentinel reported that after a speech at the First Baptist Church, West “hinted at a run for his party’s vice presidential candidacy in 2012.” [Orlando Sentinel, 07/3/2011] Wants to be in Congress for Next 10 Years In July 2011, in a recent interview, West explained that in ten years’ time, he sees himself being a “A content, congressional representative, believing that I will have done the best I could for my country.”
[Aventura Business Monthly, 07/1/2011]
Regretted Voting to Allow African American Farmers Settlement In June 2011, West said he regretted voting for the Pigford Amendment in HR 2112. In June 2010, Allen West voted against stopping settlement payments owed to African-American farmers settlement in a class-action discrimination law suit. [H.R. 2112, King Amendment #1, Roll Call #444, 6/16/2011] In an interview, West said he did not do his due diligence on researching the Pigford amendment. West said that “I have to tell you something very simple, I think everyone needs to understand it, I am mortal and when you look at the fact that I have cast over 500 votes in the time since I raised my right hand and the fact that this Ag appropriations bill had 41 amendments to it, maybe I did not do enough due diligence and research on this specific Pigford amendment to cast the right vote and I’ll just have to take it in the shorts for that.” He went on to explain that “I am not a perfect person and I think everyone needs to understand that.” [The
Right Scoop, 06/20/11]
West Said There is No Leadership on Debt Ceiling In July 2011, the New York Times reported that West said leadership on the debt ceiling discussions were sad and pathetic. West said that “That’s not leadership; that is sad and pathetic.” The New York Times explained that “He said the president and the Treasury secretary could pay pressing federal obligations out of money still coming in, and if they say they cannot, ‘Then they are liars.’” [New York Times, 7/12/2011] West Called President “Petulant, Immature Child” In July 2011, after a testy exchange between President Obama and Eric Cantor, Democrats launched an attack against the House Majority Leader.
According to Time, “Nor have some members appreciated the barbs Democrats have hurled at Cantor. Asked about Democrats’ potshots, GOP Representative Allen West told TIME, ‘I could sit here and say the President was pretty much a petulant, immature child as well.’” [TIME, 7/15/2011] West spent $53,402 on Mass Mailings From July- September 2011, West spent $53,402 on mass mailings. [2011 3nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 10/5/11] Fundraised Off of Email to Wasserman-Schultz In July 2011, after saying that Schultz was vile, despicable, and unprofessional, West used the opportunity to fundraise. West said that “Episodes like these show that her agenda isn't to improve the lives of Floridians or to stand on principle. She's an attack dog for the liberal, progressive wing of the Democratic Party -- plain and simple. And it's times like this that I need friends with me. Please make a donation of $25 or more at my website right now. And join thousands of other patriotic Americans in standing up against the vicious attack from the Democratic National Party.” [West for
West Trashed Wasserman-Schultz as “Vile” for Budget Comments In July 2011, Allen West sent out an email to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the head of the DNC, said that she was “vile and despicable” for calling him out on the House floor. West said, “Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!” [Miami Herald, 7/19/2011] Refused to Apologize for Comments In July 2011, West refused to apologize for calling Debbie Wasserman-Schultz vile and despicable. According to Tampa Bay News, “Rep. West was on FOX Business Network this morning and was asked whether he'd apologize to his Florida colleague. ‘That is not happening,’ he said. ‘This is a pattern I referred to in that email that goes back to 2010. Finally I think I have the right to stand up and defend my honor and make sure that this type of activity does cease. I sent her a private email, she decided to make it public by releasing it to the news media.’” [Tampa Bay News, 7/21/2011] West Has “Worst Week in Washington” In July 2011, the Washington Post gave West the coveted title of “Worst Week in Washington.”
According to the Post, “Not so Allen West, the tea-party-aligned Republican congressman from Florida who, after being called out on the House floor by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, penned her a nastygram Tuesday. He called his Florida Democratic colleague, among other things, “vile,” “despicable” and “not a Lady.” (Perhaps the most baffling part of the missive was why he saw fit to capitalize “lady.”) Furthermore, “According to a report in Roll Call, he told a group of reporters on Wednesday that “’I just apologized.” But no, West and his office later vehemently denied that he had offered an apology, and on Thursday the congressman told the Fox Business Network that an apology “is not happening.” [Washington Post, 7/22/2011] Worst Week in Washington: Allen West In July 2011, Tampa Bay News reported that The tooth-bearing e-mail he fired off to fellow U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who criticized him during debate over a debt-cutting bill, earned him plenty of ridicule, including a spot on The Colbert Report. West used the incident to rally his conservative base — and to raise money.” [Tampa Bay News, 7/24/2011] DCCC Hit in District In July 2011, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched “robo-calls to hit Republicans in 60 districts across the country,” including Allen West. [Orlando Sentinel, 7/25/2011] Criticized Leadership? In August 2011, West put out his weekly wrap-up in which he criticized political leadership. West said that “I must begin by clearly stating my greatest concern for America; the absence of leadership. At a time when our country is facing so many monumental issues, America does not have a Captain at the helm of our ‘Ship of State.’ It is unconscionable for me to accept that we, the legislative branch, sit back in our districts or elsewhere, not tending to the critical business of our nation. If we stay on our present schedule, one which I challenged back in December 2010 as being ineffective, the singular constitutional duty of our legislative branch will not be completed; a Fiscal Year 2012 budget.” [Weekly Wrap-up, 8/16/2011] West Said CBC is Conscious of Congress The Congressional Black Caucus says “they are the conscious of the Congress. Well, they need to make sure that their conscious is just not on the left side of the brain. It also has to come from the right side of the brain.” [NewsMax 2:40, 8/22/11] West Commented on RSC Discontent In October 2011, as members of the Republican Study Committee continued to disagree about the group’s purpose and policy positions, West decided to remain in the group. West said, “There’s a bit of an
überconservative environment that’s going on, and we can’t continue to shoot ourselves in the foot or have what I call a circular firing squad.” [Politico, 10/10/11] West Received Rumsfeld Endorsement In October 2011, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld agreed to serve as a special guest at a fundraiser for West in Washington. Rumsfeld agreed to offer a signed copy of his newest book, "Known and Unknown” to those who attend and pay the full $2,500 host price. [Huffington Post, 10/18/11] Expressed Need for Maturity in Rhetoric yet Defended his Political Self-Defense In September 2011, West told the media in response to a question about his aggressive tone in political discussions, “well, I'm never going to back down if someone pokes me in the chest.” Later, however, he said “I think that we have to be a lot more mature in what we're saying.” [NPR, 9/22/11] In response to a comment about the apparent lack of civility in his relationship with Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, he said, “There have been many other instances where she has done things behind my back, down in the district, going and talking to veteran's clinics and talking about how I don't support veterans, things of that nature. So, you all saw a snapshot, but I had turned the other cheek so many times I got a crick in my neck. And as I said, I'm going to stand up for myself and I'm not going to allow someone to continue to disrespect me.” [NPR, 9/22/11] Called for End to Slander Campaigns and to Return to the Issues In September 2011, West said, “There's no place for this [slanderous rhetoric]. And if you go back to what I had to endure in my campaign, in 2010, where people were accusing me of being a member of an all white motorcycle gang and being a drug dealer, and also being involved in prostitution - there was no talk about the issues. It was all talk about character assassination. So let's come back to the issues.” [NPR, 9/22/11] West Drew His Smallest Crowd for Town Hall In September 2011, West drew his smallest crowd ever for a town-hall meeting. [Palm Beach Post, 9/28/11] Praised GOP “Pledge to America” In September 2010, West praised the GOP’s “Pledge to America”. West said, “I find the Pledge to America it to be a very comprehensive plan that addresses the critical issues for our Country based upon facts and proven Constitutional and economic principles. I am glad to see the GOP has a roadmap and not just empty platitudes which do not meet the needs of the American people. However, we all recall the ‘Contract with America’ and as we say in the military, most plans do not survive first contact with the enemy. The failure of the GOP to stick to the 1994 contract leading to an exorbitant growth of government and spending resulted in their demise in 2006/2008. My objective is to make sure this plan is followed and provide the best representation for the constituents of Florida’s
Congressional District 22, and be a guardian of their economic and national security.” [National Review,
Crime & Public Safety Issues
Criticized Police for Handling of Trayvon Martin Shooting In March 2012, West said that the investigation into the shooting of Travyon Martin was mishandled and was an “outrage.” “First of all, if all that has been reported is accurate, the Sanford Police Chief should be relieved of his duties due to what appears to be a mishandling of this shooting in its early stages,” said West. [CBS,
Criticized over Patriot Act Vote In February 2011, West was criticized by civil libertarians on both the right and left for his vote to extend three measures of the Patriot Act. West Responded in his weekly e-mail newsletter to constituents: A law-abiding United States citizen has nothing to fear from me and my vote. However, I shall NOT ALLOW the enemies of our State to find gaps in which they will exploit our misplaced benevolence. There is a simple reason why radical Islamic terrorists and their supporters are successful in infiltrating Western nations. They take our founding premise of liberty and turn it against us. I say, NOT ON MY WATCH. [weblogs.sunsentinel.com, 2/15/11]
Economic and Financial Issues
Said Market was Getting Better Because of Republican Presidential Candidates In March 2012, West said the market was getting better because of the possibility of a Republican taking the White House in November. CAVUTO: What do you think about that? That the markets say you’re wrong, that the pick up is alive and well. WEST: Well, I would think maybe the markets are maybe looking five to six months down the road, when we have a change in leadership in this country – CAVUTO: Wait a minute, you think that this is built on a Republican either capturing the White House or Republicans capturing the Senate? … That might or might not be a stretch, but it is out there as a factor. You think that’s a genuine factor? You think that the markets are getting bubbly in anticipation of a Republican taking the White House? WEST: Oh, absolutely. Well, I think that there is a hope that may be out there, is that we can get a person that has practical viable solutions for job creation here in the Unite States of America [in the presidency].
Received “C” Grade From Americans for Prosperity In January 2011, Americans for Prosperity scored the most important economic votes of the first session of the 112th Congress. Representative West received a grade of C from Americans for Prosperity.
[Americans for Prosperity 112th Congress Mid Term Scorecard,1/2012]
AFP Founded In 2003 By David H. Koch. The New York Times wrote about David H. Koch, noting that “in 2003 he helped establish the nonprofit Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which supports free-market policies and promotes government spending limits. It split off from an earlier Koch-backed enterprise, now called FreedomWorks, which promotes similar goals.” [New York
Americans for Prosperity Funded, Run by Koch Industries Executives. Americans for Prosperity was founded by David H. Koch, one of the wealthiest men in America and the executive vice president and board member of Koch Industries, which was founded by his father. Recently, Koch gave $5 million to Americans for Prosperity. In 2009, AFP President Tim Phillips said Koch “launched our organization.” The executive Vice President of Koch Industries said, “What we have done is support the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has been active in various forms for nearly 30 years.” [New York Times, 7/10/08; MSNBC, 3/31/10; Politico, 10/14/08,
Washington Examiner, 7/18/10; Washington Independent, 10/5/09]
West: Federal Red Tape is Crippling our Economic Recovery In February 2011, West stated on the House floor that the regulations of the health care bill were detrimental to small business and the US economy. “The Obama administration promulgated 59 major regulations in 2009, 62 in 2010, another 191 regulations are in the works, and the Dodd-Frank permanent bailout bill alone requires no fewer than 243 new rules by 11 agencies over a dozen years… Employers are choosing to drop health care for their employees, which will flood this government- run health care system,” said West on the floor of the House. [West Floor Remarks on H.Res 72, 2/10/11] Praised Stimulus-Funded Government Industries that 'Turn Around' the Economy In February 2011, West praised Ft. Lauderdale Airport and the neighboring Port Everglades seaport saying, “You think about the jobs that will create. You think about the increased revenues. I mean, $2.7 billion a year. That’s what that airport brings in. And when you bring it in together with the world’s largest cruise port? Now we’re talkin’ about how we’re going to turn around South Florida!” According to thinkprogress.org, the airport received $5.6 million dollars through the Recovery Act and Port Everglades received $190,000 as part of a Department of Homeland Security grant included in the Recovery Act. [thinkprogress.org, 2/09/11] Supported Trigger Control Mechanism in Debt Ceiling
In May 2011, while speaking to Reuters, West told Reuters that “he was hoping for legislation that would cap federal spending at a lower level and impose a ‘trigger control mechanism’ if deficit-reduction measures fall short.” [Reuters, 5/3/11] Wanted Tax Code Changed to Get Rid of Subsidies and Lower Corporate Tax Rate In May 2011, on Fox News Sunday, West explained his ideas for dealing with the current tax code. West said that “I've been wanting to say get rid of loopholes, get rid of subsidies. I talk about corporate business tax rate that comes down to 20 percent to 22 percent, and eliminate subsidies and loopholes.” He also addressed his idea for a completely new method for dealing with taxes, saying that “I talked about going through a tax flat which has just only one deduction pretty much for children.” [Fox News Sunday,
Signed Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge In 2011, West signed the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge that places specific pre-conditions on raising the debt ceiling. West pledged to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met including: making “substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter,” producing “enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget,” and passage “of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.” [Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge, accessed 7/8/11] West Said That There’s No Revenue Problem In June 2011, West explained that there is no revenue problem. He said that “Everyone keeps talking about a revenue problem, there’s not a revenue problem in Washington DC, it’s a spending problem. And if you go back and look historically, if you keep talking about raising taxes on top bracket…then the percentage of revenue as per the GDP falls down. Then also if you’re a small business owner out there in the United States of America and you hear a lot of this talk about raising taxes what does that do as far as allowing you to hire more Americans?” After being asked if he was worried if the debt ceiling is not raised, West responded, “You have a greater economic catastrophe if you don’t get this thing under control. So once again what we’re talking about is in the near-term we make ourselves feel good but then I’ll come back in eight or nine months and say ‘I gotta raise this debt limit again,’ then what are you going to say to me Jonathan?” After being asked if he was afraid what would happen if the debt ceiling was not raised by August 2nd, West responded, “I am not afraid.” [Topline, 06/24/2011] Said No Tax Increases In July 2011, McClatchy Newspapers reported that West expressed his firm opposition to any new taxes.
According to McClatchy Newspapers, “Even with Saturday's news that House Republican budget negotiators have abandoned plans to pursue a massive $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction package in the face of stiff GOP opposition to any plan that would increase taxes as part of the deal, much negotiating must be done.” "No tax increases," Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said firmly. "That's unacceptable. It's not a good thing to do while we have a fragile recovery." [News Observer, Accessed 7/11/2011] Wrongly Cited Information About the Debt Ceiling In July 2011, West was interviewed by Robert Siegel of NPR in which he wrongly cited information on the debt ceiling and was corrected by Robert Siegel. West said that “As a matter of fact, I'm just looking at a chart that was sent out from the U.S. Treasury, as well as Goldman Sachs, that alludes to that point, that there's revenue that will be there, about 250 billion, that will allow us to prioritize and then take care of that debt interest payment, take care of our seniors and take care of our military as well.” This is where Siegel stepped in, instead arguing that “actually, the Bipartisan Policy Center did a day-byday analysis of income and obligations, and they concluded that if you paid the entitlements and the interest, you would not actually have enough money right there for military active-duty pay, veterans programs, federal salaries, benefits, food nutrition programs and several other Cabinet departments.” West then attempted to defend himself, contending that “you just threw in several other Cabinet departments, maybe those aren't essential functions that we need to prioritize.” [NPR, 7/14/2011] Supported Boehner’s New Debt Plan In July 2011, West announced his support for Boehner’s new deficit reduction plan. According to a tweet from West, "I will support the new debt deal- it has enough of what I need including no tax hikes, spending caps and a step toward a balanced budget." [CNN, 7/25/2011] Distorted Facts About Downgrade In August 2011, West went on Fox and Friends and said that "[Those from the left] have to look at themselves and they have to understand that they are the ones that are totally to blame…It has nothing to do with increasing revenues by tax hikes. It has everything to do with cutting spending." But in actuality, the report expressed that one of the main reasons for the downgrade was Republican resistance to enacting tax increases. [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 8/8/2011] West: Tea Party Will Not Get Everything it Wants West said that the tea party will not get everything it wants.
West said “I explained to [the tea party] that you’re not going to be able to sit back and get 100% of what you want from Washington D.C.” [NewsMax 3:55,8/22/11] West Targeted by Ad Supporting Obama’s Jobs Bill In October 2011, it was reported that the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees will begin to air ads in support of the president’s jobs bill. Specifically, the ad will be aired in districts with vulnerable Republican incumbents such as West’s 22nd district. [Huffington Post, 10/13/11] West on Cain’s 9-9-9 In October 2011, West was asked about Cain’s proposed 9-9-9 tax system. West said he’s concerned about taxing both income and consumption at the same time and worried that future Congresses could ratchet up the rates. He said, “In Washington, D.C., today it can be 9-9-9. In a couple of years it can be 15-15-15.” [Palm Beach Post, 10/18/11] “My concern is when you start to combine the two types of taxation – taxing people’s production (their income) and you’re taxing their consumption. When you lump those things together, it can morph into being something that resembles the value added tax system in Europe. So even though the tax rates are low, you still have to be worried about the principals represented there […] That’s why I saw right now I think across the board a 13-16% flat tax rate, 2 deductions - child tax credit, mortgage interest tax deductions.” [West Discusses 9-9-9, uploaded 10/18/11] On the other hand, West expresses approval of Romney’s 59-point economic plan. [Palm Beach Post,
West spokesman claims Democrats are wrong to associate West with 9-9-9 "The congressman has not come out to endorse any presidential candidate or their plan at this point, so he will refrain from commenting," Sachitano told Sunshine State News. West Said Government Does Not Need to be Involved with Automobile Industry In September 2011, West said, “The Federal Government does not need to inject itself into the automobile industry, or any private sector industry, as it has done with the mortgage industry and now the healthcare industry.” [Weekly Wrap-Up, 9/26/11]
West Said He Was Against No Child Left Behind In November 2011, West said he was against No Child Left Behind.
“In regards to education, West said he’s against FCAT and the No Child Left Behind Act. “FCAT isn’t teaching [students],” West said, “It makes you a robot. We need a revamp of education.” West did not elaborate on what that revamp would entail.” [U Press Online, 11/12/11] West Said Student Loan Forgiveness was “Wasteful Spending” In October 2011, West said forgiving student loans and the American Jobs Act were examples of wasteful spending. “Still, all we get from this leadership in the White House is more over-promises from the government, like forgiving student loans. We also get more wasteful government spending schemes such as the American Jobs Act, President Barack Obama’s ‘mini-me’ stimulus plan.” [Weekly Wrap-up, 10/31/11] West Criticized Iraq Troop Draw-Down as Giving Iran a “Green Light” In November 2011, West disagreed with the troop withdrawal in Iraq. “The recent decision to pull all our troops out of Iraq [has] definitely given Iran a green light.” [Weekly Video Wrap-Up, 11/5/11] West Implied that American Liberals are Similar to Slave Owners In November 2011, West quoted Lincoln out of context to imply that liberals and modern-day federalists were akin to southern slave owners. He went on to elaborate: “If we are not careful, there will be those men that will enslave our freedoms, enslave our abilities to create that wealth because they believe that they can create wealth from up here [Capitol Hill]. They will enslave that entrepreneurial spirit….” [Weekly Video Wrap-Up, 11/5/11] West Refused to Support Budget Cuts to Military Spending In November 2011, West expressed support for the budget super-committee’s goal to cut spending, but refused to support any cuts to the military. “I really believe that there are some members from the other side of the isle that are sitting on this supercommittee that are not going to do the necessary hard work to ensure that we can find that $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion of savings over the next 10 years. Why? It’s because they [Democratic members of the deficit super-committee] would love to see us decimate our military. Another $5-6 billion in budget cuts to our Department of Defense over the next 10 years will […] destroy this fighting force ….” [Weekly
Video Wrap Up, 10/29/11]
Election 2012 Issues
Aired Radio Ad that Did Not Mention He was an Incumbent In March 2012, West released an anti-Washington campaign radio ad that did not mention that West was an incumbent.
“Washington, DC is a disaster- big government bureaucrats, phony politicians, higher taxes, wasteful spending, and middle class Americans are paying the price. It’s why Allen West ran for congress and it’s why he’s taking the fight to the Washington establishment,” the ad says. [postonpolitics.com, 3/26/12] Was Likely to Face GOP Challengers for Proposed Treasure Coast Seat In February 2012, West was likely to face GOP challengers for the proposed Treasure Coast congressional seat. West said, “The most important thing is that people in a congressional district want to a have a strong voice. I can use my talents as a leader to get things done." [tcpalm.com, 2/1/12] Weatherford: No Plot Against Allen West in Redistricting In January 2012, Florida House Speaker designate Will Weatherford had been accused by conservative blogs for trying to create a difficult district for West, but Weatherford denied claims. Weatherford said, “I’m a huge Allen West fan. I have always supported his candidacy. I think he’s been a great change agent for the conservative movement in Washington, D.C. I wish we could have 50 Allen Wests in Congress.” [Politico, 1/31/12] Targeted by Liberal Super-PAC In January 2012, West was one of 6 members set to be targeted by liberal super PAC CREDO. CREDO said that it would release the name of its donors and said that it already had 13,000 individuals backing it. The group planned to get involved in 10 House races and planned to spend at least $3 million.
[The Hill, 1/30/12]
Allen West Criticized for Goebbels Comparison In December 2011, the Sun Sentinel criticized Allen West in an editorial cartoon for comparing Democrats to Joseph Goebbels.
“West’s Congressional District, Florida 22, has a great number of Jewish constituents, some of whom, no doubt, survived the Holocaust. To make it worse, roughly half of the voters in Dist. 22 are Democrats, so that West, with his usual martial efficiency, managed to offend several cohorts with the same statement.”
[Sun Sentinel, 12/16/11]
West Suggested that Frankel Likes Running Against Black Guys In December 2011, West suggested that his opponent, Lois Frankel, likes running against black guys. “She’s a career politician looking for her next gig,” West said of Frankel, adding that the mayor herself ran in another district against Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). “Maybe she likes running against black guys,” he continued. [Politico, 12/1/11] West A Part of At Least Seven Joint Fundraising Committees Since coming into Congress, West has been a part of at least seven joint fundraising committees. Joint Fundraising Committees Have Double Since 2006. Elections. “Parties and politicians preparing for the final months of the 2010 election cycle have opened a record number of joint fundraising committees to allow donors to write larger checks than individual campaigns can collect. Campaigns have filed paperwork for more than 700 such groups since the beginning of 2009 — doubling the number that were active during the 2006 midterm elections […]These conduit committees that allow campaigns to pool money from wealthy donors have reported receiving $45 million so far this cycle.” [Roll Call, 9/17/10] February 7th JFC in Alexandria, VA. In January 2012, the February 7th JFC, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support the campaigns of the following individuals: Steve Fincher, Michael Grimm, Doc Hastings, and Allen West. The treasurer was listed as Lisa Lisker. The committee has reported no contributions or expenditures. [February 7th JFC Statement of Organization,
Allen West North Carolina Victory Committee in Raleigh, NC. In January 2012, the Allen West North Carolina Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support Allen West and the North Carolina Republican Party. The treasurer was listed as H Kenneth Dickson. The committee has reported no contributions or expenditures. [Allen West North
Carolina Victory Committee Statement of Organization, 1/9/12]
Florida Young Guns Victory Fund in Richmond, VA. In July 2011, the Florida Young Guns Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support: Allen West, Steve Southerland, Rich Nugent, Sandy Adams, Dennis Ross, and Dan Webster. The joint fundraising committee raised $52,909 from 19 individuals and PACs from July 2011-December 2011. The treasurer was listed as Rose Ann Janis. In September and December 2011, the Joint Fundraising Committee contributed to the campaigns of the following individuals: Allen West, Steve Southerland, Rich Nugent, Sandy Adams, Dennis Ross, and Dan Webster. The committee filed a termination report on January 6, 2012. [FEC Florida Young Gun Victory Fund, accessed 1/24/12] Cantor and McCarthy Had Country Club Fundraising for Florida Young Guns. “Cantor and McCarthy have done something similar in Florida, establishing the Florida Young Guns Victory Fund with the same address and treasurer as the national committee. The Florida joint fund, which filed with the FEC July 29, benefits GOP freshmen Reps. Allen West, Sandy Adams, Rich Nugent, Dennis Ross, Steve Southerland and Daniel Webster, FEC documents show. On Sept. 6, the day before Congress ends its August recess, Cantor and McCarthy will jet from the Columbia breakfast to a Tampa, Fla., country club for a roundtable and lunch reception benefiting the Florida Young Guns, according to the St. Petersburg Times.” [Daily Caller, 9/3/11] Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee in Alexandria, Virginia. In February 2011, the Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee was established to support the campaigns of the following individuals: Mo Brooks, Chris Gibson, Tim Griffin, Vicky Hartzler, Steve Palazzo, Scott Rigell, Martha Roby, John Runyan, Austin Scott, Allen West, Todd Young, Bobby Schilling, and Joe Heck. The joint fundraising committee raised $114,250 from February 2011-September 2011. The treasurer was listed as Lisa Lisker. [FEC Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee, accessed 1/25/12] Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising Committee Criticized for Being “A Classic Intersection Of the Defense Industry and Political Fundraising.” The Arkansas News reported that for the first fundraiser, “invitations were sent to lobbyists for defense contractors […] The Project on Government Oversight, a congressional watchdog group, called the Lucky 13 event ‘another classic intersection of the defense industry and political fundraising.” The New York Times reported that: “The House Republican majority made a big show last week of pursuing its campaign promise to slash the federal budget. Far less obvious was the discreet dinner break for campaign fund-raising taken by 13 freshmen Republicans on the Armed Services Committee. The yearling defense appropriators went to solicit re-election help from the defense industry.” [New
York Times, 2/21/11; Arkansas News, 4/24/11]
Patriot Day 2011 Joint Fundraising Committee in Alexandria, VA. In June 2011, Patriot Day 2011, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support the campaigns of the following individuals: Tom Latham, Sean Duffy, Allen West, Lou Barletta, Mike Fitzpatrick, Pat Meehan, Charlie Bass, Frank Guinta, Joe Heck, and Francisco Canseco. The joint fundraising committee
raised $79,500 from February 2011-September 2011. The treasurer was listed as Lisa Lisker. [FEC
Patriots Day 2011, 1/24/12]
Young Guns Joint Fundraising Committee in Washington, D.C. In September 2011, the Young Guns Joint Fundraising Committee, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support: Martha Roby, Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross and Allen West. The committee was terminated in December 2010. The committee made no contributions and no disbursements. Thomas F. Maxwell was listed as the treasurer. [Young Guns Joint Fundraising Committee, accessed 1/24/12] Surge Victory Committee in Alexandria, VA. In September 2011, the Surge Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee, was established to support: Chris Gibson, Joe Heck, Adam Kinzinger, Illario Pantano, Miriannette Jane Miller Meeks, Tim Griffin, Steve Stivers. The committee was terminated in December 2010. The committee raised $91,150 in OctoberNovember 2010 from 11 individuals including $10,961 to Allen West. [Surge Victory Committee FEC
Termination Report, 11/26/10]
Dismissed Idea of Presidential Bid At a February 2011 town hall, West dismissed the idea of running for President of the United States saying, “I believe that we can’t have leadership by a cult of personality. I have to prove myself. I have to prove myself as a statesman, as a capable legislator. Look—everyone knows how I feel about this country. But there are some things that I have to learn about the machinations of Washington DC, so that I can be an effective leader.” [Politico, 2/22/11] Held Town Hall Meeting Outside the District In February 2011 West held a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach at the E. Pat Larkins Community Center which is located outside of West’s Congressional district. The center is located in the 23rd district represented by Alcee Hastings. [postonpolitics.com, 2/21/11] Raises $433,000 in 1st Quarter The NY Times reported in April 2011 that “Figures released by the Federal Election Commission last week showed that Mr. West raised more than $433,000 in the first quarter of year, ranking third among all freshman Republicans. And he has already spent much of that, mostly on direct-mail fund-raising and other expenses.” [NY Times, 4/22/11] Claimed He Scares the Liberal Establishment In April 2011, the NY Times profiled the rise of Allen West’s “Star Power.” According to the NY Times, Mr. West success in a Democratic district comes from the fact he scares “the liberal establishment.” West expanded on his statement to say: “You’re looking at a black man who was brought up in the inner cities, career military, a conservative, married going on 22 two years, two beautiful daughters, and for whatever reason that really does scare them. My theory is that for whatever reason I could cause others like me to reject these liberal social-welfare policies.” [NY Times, 4/29/11]
Political Beliefs Hew Closely to the Most Conservative Members of the House In April 2011, the NY Times profiled the rise of Allen West’s “Star Power.” According to the NY Times, “Mr. West’s political beliefs hew closely to the most conservative members of the House; he was among the 59 House Republicans who voted against a deal worked out with Democrats to finance the government through the rest of the year, arguing that the included spending cuts did not go far enough, and says he will not vote to lift the nation’s debt ceiling without more cuts.” [NY Times, 4/29/11] Has Not Backed GOP Presidential Candidate Yet In June 2011, at a town hall meeting, West said he had not chosen a candidate to support for the GOP Presidential nomination. He also said that "In the Republican Party, they cannot continue to believe in leadership by entitlement."
[The Sun-Sentinel, 06/09/2011]
Recorded Robocall for Corwin In May 2011, West recorded a robocall for Jane Corwin, the Republican Candidate in the New York 26th district special election. In the call, West said that ““Jane Corwin is the only endorsed tea party candidate and the only candidate who will stand up to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and their out-of-control spending agenda.” [Roll
Formed His Own PAC In February 2011, Allen West formed the Guardian Leadership PAC. According to his April Quarterly report, the Guardian Leadership PAC had $26 cash on hand. [FEC Statement of Organization, 2/16/11; FEC 2011
April Quarterly Report, 4/18/11]
Railed Against Obama in Weekly Newsletter In July 2011, West railed against a number of Obama proposals, saying that they would adversely affect economic growth. According to West, “He has proposed raising taxes during a weak economic recovery which would adversely affect long term sustainable growth. He has proceeded to seek increase of capital gains, dividends, and estate taxes. He has not considered reducing the corporate/business tax rate of 35% in order to incentivize private sector growth. He has promoted a widening chasm and divisiveness in America due to his incessant class warfare rhetoric. He has nationalized several aspects of free market production in the automotive, financial, and healthcare industries in violation of the principles of capitalism and free enterprise.”
Mr. West continues his list of grievances by explaining that “He has expanded a ‘dependency’ class in America reflected in a 41% increase in food stamp recipients,” “He has created a shadow government,” and saying that “He has supported an inept and incompetent Attorney General.” [Allen West Weekly Update,
Made Fun of President Obama’s Remarks on ATM’s In July 2011, West made fun of President Obama’s comment that banks are using less workers by switching from bank tellers to ATM machines. Obama said that “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to be much more efficient with fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller.” West mocked Obama, saying that “The cause of unemployment is too many ATMs. We need to have more bank tellers. To heck with technology, innovation and information technology growth and development. We just need to have more bank tellers. As matter fact of we probably shouldn’t have cell phones. Let’s bring back Lily Tomlin and we have switchboard operators once again. And gas lantern fillers. And street sweepers. Real street sweepers.” [Accuracy in Media YouTube, uploaded 6/18/11]. Said President Was Failing In June 2011, West said that the President is failing at his job. In an interview, he explained that “All we want him to do is be an American president, but he is failing at that. So I think that instead of seeing himself as the emperor of the world which that is starting to be tarnished. He is not the great savior that people thought he would be. He’s just a guy, and he’s failing and I think the fact that you see someone who did not have the experience that a lot of people talked about is starting to come to fruition now.” He also said that Obama is pretty close to being the worst president ever, saying that “He’s getting pretty close, Jimmy Carter is pretty happy right now.” [Youtube, 06/18/2011] Started His Own PAC In February 2011, Allen West formed the Guardian Leadership PAC. According to his July 2011 Quarterly report, the Guardian Leadership Pac had $ 3026.00 cash on hand. [FEC Statement of Organization, 2/16/11; FEC 2011 July Quarterly Report, 7/12/11] Democracy for America Targeted West and Riveria In August 2011, Democracy for America will run an ad in Reps. Allen West and David Rivera’s district. According to Huffington Post, “And in another sign that liberal-minded organizations still place GOP obstruction at the top of their list of chief obstacles, one such group is going up with a new ad campaign accusing the GOP of endangering the American Dream.The ad, sponsored by Democracy for America, will air nationally at first -- with a prime time spot during NBC's ‘Meet the Press’ as well as ‘Inside
Washington’-- before it is tailored for local versions that target individual lawmakers. The first two targets, one DFA official tells The Huffington Post, will be Reps. Allen West and David Rivera, both Republican freshmen from Florida.” [Huffington Post 8/32/2011]
Note: Democracy for America uploaded “Don’t Kill the Dream” to YouTube. [YouTube, uploaded 8/22/11]
Allen West for Senate? In August 2011, the Washington Post reported that Allen West may be seeking to run for Senate against Bill Nelson. [Washington Post, 8/16/2011] West Gave GOP Presidential Candidates Advice In September 2011, Rep. West gave candidates vying for the GOP nomination advice. The Tampa Bay reported West said, ’In South Florida when you say 'Ponzi scheme', the first thing we think about is Madoff and Rothstein," he told the Buzz. "You have to be careful of the words you say. Just the same as Michele Bachmann coming down and saying drilling in the Everglades." West said that's not a good idea." [Tampa Bay, 9/13/11]
Called for Tighter Oil Regulations In May 2011, West called “for independent safety certification of offshore rigs and a system similar to the United Kingdom's tightly regulated North Sea” and said that “such strong safeguards would allow him to support putting BP in the mix for drilling permits.” [New York Times, 05/04/2011] FAU National Marine Renewable Energy Center Briefing and Tour In August 2011, West will be holding an FAU National Marine Renewable Energy Center Briefing and Tour on August 11 from 9:30 to 10:45am. [West Congressional Website, August 2011]
Concerned About Expansion of Drilling in Gulf of Mexico in GOP Transportation Bill In February 2012, West said that he was concerned the GOP transportation bill that would use revenues from expansion of domestic oil drilling to offset maintenance costs of roads and bridges. West was concerned about drilling off of the gulf Coast and said that he was still studying the measure.
[The Hill, 2/13/12]
Voted Against Measure to Prevent Everglades Drilling
In February 2012, West voted against a measure to prevent oil and gas exploration in the Great Lakes and Florida Everglades. West previously reprimanded Michele Bachmann for supporting oil drilling in the Everglades and promised to “straighten her out” for her “incredible faux pas.” [Florida Independent, 2/17/12] Reiterated Support for Drilling and Natural Gas Exploration off Florida’s Coast In February 2012, West reemphasized his support for drilling and natural gas exploration off of Florida’s coast. West earlier voted to lift the moratorium on drilling off Florida’s coast and complained that President Obama’s energy policies were responsible for the $70 cost of filling up his Hummer’s gas tank.
West Attacked EPA on False Charges In October 2011, it was reported that West cited false information about the EPA’s employment figures. "The objective of this administration, truly the objective of the liberal progressives, is to get more people wedded to government either by subsistence check or employment check. […] When you hear an EPA that wants to hire 230,000 new government regulators that will cost the taxpayer $21 billion, when you have (U.S. Sen.) Harry Reid coming out and saying that we need to hire more people in the public sector over the private sector that's not how we are going to restore our economy. But that's how they would create a victim class, an entitlement class, a new welfare state that will be totally dependent upon them that will change national level elections hence and forever more." [Politifact Florida, 10/21/11] Questioned About Cutting Funding for Environmental Protection Agency In March 2011, West, at a town hall meeting in Florida, was asked by a constituent “Who is going to protect our air if we don’t have the EPA?” West claimed the agency would have enough personnel to carry out its mission saying “you can throw a pebble and you will hit 10 bureaucrats walking across the street.” [The Palm Beach Post, 3/23/11] West Dismissed BP Spill as “an Isolated Incident,” Wanted to Bring Drilling Closer to the Coast In January 2011, West brushed off the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as “an isolated incident.” Rather than push rigs into deeper waters, West wanted to bring them close to shore. He said, “We need to make sure it’s close enough so we don’t have what happened in the Gulf, where [the leaking well] was so deep we couldn’t get out there and take the emergency procedures to rectify that type of spill.” [The Sun Sentinel, 1/27/11] …One Week Later: Supported Drilling “Off the Horizon, which No One Can See”
In February 2011, West supported “limited oil exploration and also limited national gas” offshore -- “off the horizon, which no one can see.” [Sun Sentinel, 2/03/11] West Touted Support for Hurricane Preparedness on the Same Day He Voted to Cut It In June 2011, the DCCC revealed that Allen West touted his support for Hurricane Preparedness on the same day he voted to cut it. Allen West Claimed He Was Helping Floridians Better Prepare for the Hurricane Season. On June 2, 2011, Allen West issued a press release touting his support for “three bills that aim to help Floridians better prepare for Hurricanes and other natural disasters.” In his press release, West noted that “every $1 spent on mitigation, $4 in post storm cleanup and rebuilding is saved.”
[West Press Release, 6/2/11]
West Voted to Cut Pre-Disaster Mitigation Funding by 20 Percent. On June 2, 2011, Allen West voted to cut Pre-Disaster Mitigation funding by $10 million. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The measure appropriates $40 million, $10 million (20%) less than current funding and nearly $45 million (53%) less than requested, for the National PreDisaster Hazard Mitigation Fund, which provides grants to assist state and local governments in implementing hazard mitigation activities.” [HR 2017,Vote #409 , 6/2/11; CQ House Action Report Fact
Sheet No. 112-7, 6/1/11]
West Has Voted to Slash Funding for the National Weather Service On February 19, 2011, Allen West voted for a continuing resolution which aimed to cut the National Weather Service’s 2011 budget by 30% or about $126 million. [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11;
National Weather Service Forecaster: Budget Cuts Would “Heighten Risk for Loss of Life.” “There is a very heightened risk for loss of life if these cuts go through. The inability for warnings to be disseminated to the public, whether due to staffing inadequacies, radar maintenance problems or weather radio transmitter difficulties, would be disastrous,” said Joseph Calderone, a forecaster for the National Weather Service since 2002. “If these cuts go through, there is the potential that 22 local Weather Forecast Offices (such as our own) would be closed for 27 days and this would continue over a five month period […] The national centers, such as the Storm Prediction Center and the National Hurricane Center, would go to reduced workweeks.” [CNBC, 2/24/11] Hurricane Center Not Immune to Cuts. “Congress’s move will necessitate work furloughs and force rolling closures of Weather Warning Offices across the country […] The National Hurricane Center is not immune to these cuts as furloughs and staffing cuts will add strain to the program. The Hurricane Hunter Jet, which provides lifesaving data and helps determine a hurricane’s path, could also be eliminated.” [National Weather Service Employees Organization, 3/15/11] Busier-than-usual Hurricane Season Predicted. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a busier-than-usual 2011 season, predicting 12 to 18 named storms in the Atlantic basin, with six to 10 hurricanes. Three to six of those storms are expected to be major, with winds of 111 mph or higher. Officials say
warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures will make for an active tropical season.” [St.
Petersburg Times Editorial, 6/1/11]
West: On the EPA In July 2011, Rep. West discussed his views of the EPA. West said, “When you have the administrator of the EPA come up here and testify before a house committee, she was asked do you take into account the economic ramification or effects upon businesses before you institute your regulation, she said absolutely not. We cannot have that type of mentality coming out of the EPA; because they were not able to legislate cap and trade, they are now trying to regulate it.” [West Tele Forum, 18:00, 7/27/11] West Voted for Anti EPA Bill In July 2011, Rep. West voted for H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act which was sponsored by Rep. John Mica. According to McClatchy, the “House bill would revise the Clean Water Act to prevent the EPA from setting water-pollution standards when it finds that state standards don't protect public health […] The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who objected to EPA water regulations for algae in Florida rivers [..] The House passed the bill Wednesday night. The 239-184 vote was largely along party lines, with only 13 Republicans opposed.” [H.R. 2018, Vote #573,
7/13/11; McClatchy, 7/13/11]
West: Had Words for Bachmann In September 2011, Rep. West informed Rep. Bachmann that the everglades are off limit.
The Hill reported that West wrote the following to Rep. Bachmann: ” “I understand you may not fully
understand the importance of the Everglades’ before going on to detail the history and environmental characteristics of the subtropical wetlands.Oil drilling in the everglades has taken place since the 1940s, but has remained relatively limited. As pressure has increased to locate new and cheap sources of energy, environmental activists have pushed back against attempts to increase the extent of the exploration. ‘The Everglades represents one of the most cherished treasured of the United States, and should be off limits for exploration of any kind of natural energy resource.’“ [The Hill, 9/13/11] West Voted for Bill that Would Limit EPA Regulatory Responsibilities In July 2011, West voted for H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act which was sponsored by Rep. John Mica. According to McClatchy, the “House bill would revise the Clean Water Act to prevent the EPA from setting water-pollution standards when it finds that state standards don't protect public health […] The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who objected to EPA water regulations for algae in Florida rivers [..] The House passed the bill Wednesday night. The 239-184 vote was largely along party lines, with only 13 Republicans opposed.” [H.R. 2018, Vote #573, 7/13/11;
West Voted for Bill that Would Limit EPA Regulatory Responsibilities
In July 2011, West voted for H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act which was sponsored by Rep. John Mica. According to McClatchy, the “House bill would revise the Clean Water Act to prevent the EPA from setting water-pollution standards when it finds that state standards don't protect public health […] The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who objected to EPA water regulations for algae in Florida rivers [..] The House passed the bill Wednesday night. The 239-184 vote was largely along party lines, with only 13 Republicans opposed.” [H.R. 2018, Vote #573, 7/13/11;
Hired Former Lobbyist to Work on Official Staff In March 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics released a database showing that West had hired Joshua Grodin to be their legislative director. According to CRP Grodin had previously lobbied for Vets for Freedom. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 3/8/11] Supported Term Limits During a February 2011 town hall meeting, West said he believed House members should not serve more than eight years and Senators should not serve more than 12 years. [Palm Beach Post, 2/22/11] Criticized Democrats for “Their Inept” on Official Letterhead In a February 2011 letter to his constituents written on official letterhead, West criticized Democrats saying: Have they no shame in realizing that their inept, incompetent failures are the reason why we are debating this continuing resolution?” he wrote in a letter to people in the 22nd congressional district…I have never seen a greater assembly of petulance and sophomoric behavior as what I have witnessed this week on the floor of the House of Representatives. [weblogs.sun-sentinel.com, 2/18/11; west.house.gov, 2/18/11] Former Rep. Mark Foley Introduced West at Opening of District Office In February 2011, Former Representative Mark Foley introduced West at the grand opening of West’s district office in West Palm Beach. Foley, who resigned over sexually charged e-mails to male former congressional pages less than six weeks before the 2006 midterm election, also spoke at a Palm Beach County Young Republicans meeting the week before. [The Palm Beach Post, 2/04/11]
Foreign Policy and Defense Issues
Said U.S. Should Protect Itself From China, a Country “Irrefutably” Seeking “World Communism” In March 2012, West said that the United States should protect itself from China because it is a country seeking “world communism.”
“If we cannot protect the sea lanes of commerce, we leave ourselves vulnerable not just militarily, but economically, to a power in China that continues to seek world communism as its ultimate goal, irrefutably so,” said West. [The Hill, 3/22/12] Opposed Closing Guantanamo Bay Prison In February 2012, West opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay Prison. West said, “We are creating gaps by which we are being exploited. Political correctness cannot be part of our national security system." [Palm Beach Post, 2/6/12] Called Obama Weak on Iran and Said U.S. Had to Give a “Viable Military Threat” In February 2012, West accused Obama of being weak on Iran and said, “If I were sitting at the White House I would say two words to Iran- that’s ‘game on.’” “Sooner or later you have to understand that the only thing they’re going to recognize is strength and might, and you must have a credible and viable military threat on the table…We’re telegraphing ourselves to be weak,” said West. [The Hill, 1/20/12] Criticized Administration’s Handling of the Quran Burning Incident in Afghanistan In February 2012, West criticized the Obama administration’s apology for the Quran burning incident and said, “When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide.” "If we had resolute leadership in the White House, we would have explained that these Islamic terrorist enemy combatants detained at the Parwan facility used the Koran to write jihadist messages to pass to others…In doing so, they violated their own cultural practice and defiled the Koran and turned the Koran into contraband." [browardpalmbeach.com, 2/27/12] Said Army Sergeant Accused for Afghan Killings Should be Treated Fairly In March 2012, West said that Robert Bales, the army sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians, should be treated fairly though the killings were “horrible and disgusting.” “My point is this, let our leadership- not the media- determine the fate of Staff Sergeant Bales. Let us not offer him up as some type of ‘appeasement’ to President Hamid Karzai...I want to see the military legal system work its own will and not the will of the political gods,” said West. [The Palm Beach Post, 3/19/12] Questioned the Humanitarian Efforts in Libya In March 2011, West questioned the humanitarian mission in Libya. He said: I’m not happy that this was launched when the congress was sent home on a week-long recess. There was no congressional approval. I would like to know who the rebels are; there is a force behind this. Where did the rebels get their weapons from and what is the
rebels’ command structure? I don’t want our soldiers to fall into a trap. [South Florida SunSentinel, 3/30/11]
Claimed that President was “Manipulated” into Intervening in Libya In March 2011, West criticized President Obama claiming that the President was “manipulated by the media” into intervening in Libya. “I have more questions now than I did then. A major concern is that the president has now agreed to contract out U.S. armed forces to any perceived “humanitarian” disaster as manipulated by the media across the world.” [Palm Beach Post, 3/30/11] Toured Guantanamo Bay In 2011, West toured Guantanamo Bay to inspect prisoner treatment and learn more about the military court system. In 2003, West, who is a retired Army officer, was fined 5,000 for firing a hand gun near the head of an Iraqi policeman during interrogation. [Miami Herald, 03/06/11] Remained Quite Upon Return from Guantanamo Bay Following his return from Guantanamo Bay, West remained relatively quiet stating only that the detainees get better treatment than some U.S. prisoners. He said, “I found detainees have firstclass medical care, access to 21 satellite TV stations, and bountiful meals.” [Miami Herald, 3/08/11] West Believed A “Stronger Hand” Was Needed in Egypt In a January 2011 interview with Mike Huckabee, West reacted to the riots in Egypt and Huckabee’s bringing up of the Muslim Brotherhood by saying, “Sometimes it does require a stronger hand to keep those radical elements at bay.” Most said at the time that the stronger hand was what Mubarak had used and in return, the Egyptians rebelled for democracy. [Broward Palm Beach News, 2/01/11] West Adamant About Stopping Muslim Brotherhood West continued to spew anti-Islamic remarks in a January 2011 town hall meeting. When asked about the Egyptian riots, he compared them to the 1979 Iran revolution and made special note to call out the Muslim Brotherhood. “President Carter, President Obama, Iran, Egypt, the Shah, Mubarak, the Ayatollah, the Muslim Brotherhood. It is scary parallel. We cannot allow the Muslim Brotherhood to fill the void of leadership that can occur in Egypt,” West said. [CNN, 2/01/11] Believed We Should Cut Pakistan Aid In May 2011, West announced that he supported cutting off all foreign aid to Pakistan until Pakistan officials can prove that they had no knowledge of bin Laden’s location. In a letter to Rep. Granger, he wrote that “it is quite clear that unless we get a clear explanation of what the Government of Pakistan
knew about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, all foreign aid from American taxpayers to this nation needs to cease.” [West Letter, 5/3/11] Said He Despised Liberals “Faux Concern for Our Military” In May 2011, West sent out a weekly wrap up in which he criticizes liberals on military issues. He wrote “ If there is one thing I despise about liberals and their complicit media allies, their faux concern for our Military...which after this past week, we must all recognize is rooted in political expediency, not sincerity.” [Congressman Allen West Weekly Wrap-Up, 5/2/11] Accused China of Cyberattacks Against US Personnel in Afghanistan In June 2011, The Hill reported that West said “that Chinese hackers launched cyber attacks on U.S. personnel in Afghanistan while he was serving in the country as an advisor to the Afghan army.” In an interview with Fox News, West said that “We have known for quite some time that we have been undergoing cyber attacks from China, as well within the two and a half years that I spent over in Afghanistan, we were experiencing the exact same type of cyber attacks against our communication systems and our information technology systems from China there.” West continued that “We're engaged in an economic confrontation with China and China has clearly said that they do see us as an adversary and they're in a competitive struggle against us,” said West. [Blog, The
Likened DADT Repeal to Social Experimentation In June 2011, in a question and answer session at the Heritage Foundation, West was asked “what efforts should Congress and the top executive leadership do to ensure that force effectiveness is sustained at a superior level?” West responded by saying that “When you look at what our young men and women have to contend with, we’re talking about men and women fifth and sixth tours in combat zones. Now is not the time to appease a very small special interest group and I’ll leave it at that.” West also said that the military simply exists “to win the nation’s wars” and concluded that “the US military is not there as a social experiment.” [Q & A at Heritage Foundation, 29:59, 05/31/2011] Resisted Cuts to Defense Spending In June 2011, a group of 13 freshman Republicans, including West, began petitioning the government “are making an impact mostly by resisting major cutbacks to military spending. West and other tea-partybacked members have found ways to trim a few Pentagon expenses while preserving the main flow of defense dollars, which accounts for one-fifth of federal spending. For now, national security remains a sacred cow in the budget debate in Congress, which has put nearly every other government program, including Medicare, on the bargaining table.”
According to the Sun Sentinel, in an interview with the Heritage Foundation, West said that “the nation needs to build up its Navy to protect American security and commerce, especially when ship traffic increases in 2014 through an expanded Panama Canal. He said the size and focus of the armed forces should be determined not by budget-cutting compromises but by matching resources to meet security needs in a world where terrorists and pirates ignore borders.” [The Sun Sentinel, 06/04/2011] In an interview with the Heritage Foundation, West also said that he “want[s] to continue to look at efficiencies in the Department of Defense to make sure that we streamline it and get it focused on what its core functions and core missions are.” [Allen West at Heritage Foundation, 05/31/2011] He went into more detail, saying that “We worked with the Armed Services Staff because I told them to go out there and look for some places where we could make the cuts. One of the things that I remember when I was a young staff officer in the military, I hated doing powerpoint briefings and so we looked at the printing and reproduction program, we looked at another program that was like a research program that was not very profitable, and then also a workforce and rewards program and so we targeted those three and they passed through the National Defense Authorization Act and over the course of the next 10 years they save the American taxpayer $800 million.” [Allen West at Heritage Foundation, 05/31/2011] Believed President Was Violating War Powers Act In June 2011, in his Weekly Wrap-Up, West stated that “Libya is falling apart, and I shall not support our President’s violation of our law, the War Powers Act of 1973.” West detailed the resolution that the House had passed on the subject, writing that “On Friday, June 3, the House approved H. Res. 292 by a vote of 268-145-1, I was one of 10 Republicans who voted “No.” The resolution would establish that the President has not asked for congressional authorization, and the Congress has not granted it. H. Res. 292 would reassert Congress’ constitutional role on funding, would require the President to provide within 14 days information on the mission that should have been provided from the start, and would reaffirm the vote Congress took last week that says there should be no troops on the ground. I voted “No” because we are all aware of these facts as we have seen the Libya operation reach Day 74, as of this vote. By law the President was to come to Congress at or near Day 60, which he did not do. The time for requesting more reports is long past. I shall not see us commit our most precious resources, the American fighting men and women, into another undefined combat theater of operations. Libya is becoming a classic ‘mission creep’ operation.” [West Weekly Wrap-Up, 06/05/2011] Called Afghan Plan a “Tet” Moment In June 2011, West warned against withdrawing troops from Afghanistan too quickly. West said that “The president’s message about troop reductions is met with skepticism and concern, not just with the Afghan people but even with some of our own troops…I fear that we have a repeat Tet moment where we had an enemy on the ropes, but thanks to (former CBS broadcaster) Walter Cronkite and the media we lost the initiative and the messaging.” [Sun Sentinel, 06/29/2011] Sponsored Controversial Capitol Hill Briefing In July 2011, West sponsored a briefing entitled “Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 50-year History of Infiltrating America.”
According to the American Independent, “It will be the first-ever report of its kind produced entirely by a private group of U.S. citizens, notes West in a letter about it to his congressional colleagues.” “On its website, the group says it has no less than six ‘task forces’ devoted to investigating the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. As noted by Salon.com, the group makes little distinction between ‘Islam’ and ‘Islamic extremists.’ Task Force 4 for example, is simply aimed at identifying ‘Islamic’ businesses, social and religious organizations, schools, etc. throughout North America.’” [The American Independent, 7/08/2011] Called Eric Holder “Incompetent” In July 2011, West said that Holder’s handling of the botched “Fast and Furious” gun scandal showed off his ineptness. West explained that “"This is just another sad chapter in the Eric Holder book of ineptness and incompetence…Eric Holder needs to be brought before an investigative committee and if those charges are warranted he needs to be held accountable. At least the president needs to realize that Eric Holder needs to be removed from the Department of Justice … or else it appears President Obama is complicit and in approval of the actions of his attorney general." [Gill Report, 7/08/2011] West Co-Sponsored Bill That Could Cut U.N. Funding In September 2011, Rep. West co-sponsored legislation which could allow the U.N. to be defunded if Palestine is recognized as an international body. The Miami Herald reported, “The Miami Republican, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted legislation two weeks ago that would, among other things, make funding to the U.N. voluntary and block U.S. funding to any U.N. agency that elevates Palestine's status in the international body.[…] ‘I don't think that it's backwards to demand transparency, accountability and reform,’ RosLehtinen said, surrounded by several of the bill's 57 Republican co-sponsors, including Rep. Allen West of Plantation.” [Miami Herald, 9/13/11]
Gay and Lesbian Issues
West Said Breaking Down the American Family Will Lead to Government Dependency In February 2011, West “said ‘liberal progressivism’ has failed all over the world and he devoted a sizable portion of his speech to social issues, emphasizing his opposition to abortion and gay marriage. ‘If you break down the American family, that leads to government dependency.’” [The Hill, 2/21/11] DADT Will Break Down Military
In July 2011, West said that new recruits must conform to military standards and explained that “When you take the military and you tell it they must conform to the individual's behavior, then it's just a matter of time until you break down the military.” West believes gays can change their behavior, saying that “I can't change my color. People can change their behavior, but I can't change my color." [Tampa Bay Online, 7/24/2011] Gay Marriage is an Oxymoron In June 2011, Allen West said “The term gay marriage is oxymoron.” [You Tube, uploaded 6/3/11] Likened Being Gay to Liking Chocolate Ice Cream In August 2011, West likened being gay to liking chocolate chip ice cream. The Sun Sentinel reported that “In a meeting with the Sun-Sentinel's editorial board yesterday -- which was also recorded on video -- West talked about fixing the nation's debt problem, his vote to increase the debt ceiling, the credit rating downgrade, Islam, his spat with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and of course, the gays. West verified his comment about not being able to change his race but gay people being able to ‘change their behavior,’ then furthered his argument by comparing being gay to liking ice cream or riding scooters.” West claimed that “I like chocolate chip ice cream, and I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream [...]So there's no worry about me changing to vanilla. I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do? You want me to change my behavior and ride a scooter? I'm not into that." [SunSentinel, 8/10/2011]
Gun Issues Health Care Issues
Featured Speaker at Americans for Prosperity Health Care Rally In March 2012, West was announced as a featured speaker at Americans for Prosperity “Hands of my Health Care” rally on Capitol Hill. [americansforprosperity.com, 3/27/12] Said Health Care Contraception Mandate was an Act of an Administration that has “Repeatedly Displayed Their Disregard and Disrespect” for the Constitution In February 2012, West opposed the health care contraception mandate and said it was an act of an administration that has “repeatedly displayed their disregard and disrespect” for the Constitution. “The Obama administration’s healthcare mandate is not about contraception, it is about a President and an administration that has repeatedly displayed their disregard and disrespect for the Rule of Law and the United States Constitution…We are experiencing a President and administration who believe that they
have no limits on their infiltration into every realm of our personal life,” said West. [postonpolitics.com,
West Decried Same Political Tactics He Used to Get Elected In May 2011, West, along with 10 other freshman Republicans, stood on the US Capitol Steps to highlight a letter they sent to the Democrats asking them to tone down the rhetoric regarding Medicare. However, according to the St. Petersburg Times, “This is the same Allen West whose string 'em up rhetoric helped him defeat incumbent Democrat Ron Klein last November. One of the main knocks on Klein was his support of the health care law, a subject that Republicans mobilized behind and protested at Democratic town halls. After Klein ducked an in-person town hall, West implored tea party activists to "make the fellow scared to come out of his house."” [The St. Petersburg Times Blog, 05/11/2011] Received Award From Group Committed to Privatization of Social Security and Medicare In May 2011, West “earned the coveted Guardian of Seniors' Rights award from the 60 Plus Association.”
[West Press Release, accessed 5/31/11]
According to Anita Cosgrove at the Bureau of National Affairs, the 60 Plus Association is the “the first national senior citizens group to endorse publicly privatization of the Social Security program.” [60 Plus
Broke with GOP, Tea Party on Healthcare Vote In May 2011, West voted against a bill that would repeal $100 million in funding for the construction of school-based health centers and questioned the House’s continued efforts to dismantle the healthcare law in a piecemeal fashion. According to The Hill, West “questioned the House’s continued efforts to dismantle the healthcare law on a piecemeal basis.” [The Hill, 05/08/2011] Allen West Said Medicare Does Not Change for Seniors 55 Years and Above In May 2011, West went on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and offered his defense of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan, saying that “I think when you look at Paul Ryan’s plan, first of all, there is no change for anyone who is a senior 55 years and above.” [Fox News Sunday, 05/29/2011] Event at Mae Volen Senior Center In August 2011, West will be holding an event where he will discuss Medicare at the Mae Volen Senior Center on August 12 from 11:15 am to 1:00 pm. [West Congressional Website, August 2011]
Immigration and Border Issues
Supported English-As-Official-Language Bill
In March 2011, West, along with several other Florida Representatives, expressed support for a bill sponsored by Rep. King of Iowa that would declare English “the official language of the United States.”
[Florida Independent, 3/17/11]
Called DREAM Act “Reprehensible” In July 2011, West called the DREAM Act reprehensible. “Rep. Allen West (R-FL) attacked a recent DREAM Act hearing in the Senate as ‘reprehensible’ and complained that elected officials such as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) were being ‘almost treasonous’ by inviting undocumented children and young adults to attend the hearing.” [Political Correction, 7/08/2011] West Called Administration’s Actions on Immigration “Amensty” According to NewsMax, West cited Homeland Security Department chief Janet Napolitano’s announcement last week that the federal government will allow illegals not charged with other crimes to remain in the country and will not deport them. ”It’s absolutely a form of amnesty, and it does go against our Constitution,” says West, who called for a congressional investigation into the administration action. [NewsMax 6:30, 8/22/11] West said, “$250,000 is not a lot of money when you are talking about a family” In July 2011, Rep. West discussed corporate taxes and the bush tax cuts during a telephone town hall. West said, “Cut corporate tax breaks from 35 to 22 percent then you eradicate all loopholes and subsidies and when you talk about subsides for oil companies, actually the largest American oil company is only ranked 15th or 16th in the world. It’s not like they’re number one in the world. We are only talking about 4 or 6 billion dollars all of them together. That won’t really be a huge dent in the debt we have of $14 trillion. That’s my stance on that. But when you start talking about the Bush tax cuts, once again it was President Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress that said they wanted to extended that for another two years[…] The loss of the jobs we have seen here in the United States of America has nothing to do with the taxation on the upper brackets. It has everything to do with the tax regulatory burden that is not allowing these people to grow. $250,000 is not a lot of money when you are talking about a family.”
[West Tele Forum, 10:30, 7/14/11]
West Equated Muslims with Terrorist In September 2011, Rep. West explained his views towards Muslims in a video. Talking Points Memo reported, “And after frequently equating Muslims with terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, West insisted he didn't have a problem with those who practice what he deemed a ‘theocratic-political construct, ideology.’ ‘I am not sitting up here and condemning people who call themselves Muslims,’ West said. ‘I have been in Muslim countries, I have fought beside Muslims, I have helped some of my previous interpreters over in Afghanistan get green cards to come here and be a part of this great thing that we have in the United States of America.’ ‘But I think now's the time that we have to challenge this ideology and if we are to peacefully co-exist I think that they have to come into the 21st
century and push aside some of these seventh century ideals that they still hold onto,’ West said.” [Talking
Points Memo, 9/8/11]
West Held Event Criticizing ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ In September 2011, Rep. West sponsored a screening of a movie about opposition to the ‘Ground Zero Mosque.’ The Miami Herald reported that West said, “If 10 years or nine years after Pearl Harbor, if the country of Japan had come to the United States of America and said, 'We want to erect a memorial to Japanese naval seamanship at Pearl Harbor,' what would we have said? Decades from now, centuries from now, we much remember what happened on September 11, 2001,’ […] ‘I don't think it's a war on a culture," he said, "but I think we need to recognize some of the ideological differences that separate us, and if you want to get to a point of having peaceful coexistence, I think it's where they need to reform some of these things.’”
[Miami Herald, 9/8/11]
Said Israel Faced “Second Holocaust” from Iran without American Support In February 2012, West warned that a “second Holocaust” could happen in Israel if the United States did not protect the nation against the threat posed by Iran. “You’re looking at a second Holocaust” if Israel doesn’t “know they can trust and depend on the stars and stripes…to provide them support,” West told attendees of a townn hall meeting. “There will be no spiritual homeland for Christians to return back to…There will be no homeland for the Jewish people in the United States for their birthright. This is a dangerous situation and we have to take the Iranians for their word,” said West. [Huffington Post, 2/27/12] Views on Middle East Even More to the Right of the Strongest Israel Supporters In April 2011, the NY Times profiled the rise of Allen West’s “Star Power.” According to the NY Times, “His views on the Middle East tend to tack even more to the right of the strongest supporters of Israel. During his campaign, Mr. West posted on his Web site a statement saying: ‘I do not support any creation of a Palestinian state, to do so would be to create a terrorist state. There is already a state for the Arabic people residing in the region called Palestine, Jordan.’” [NY Times, 4/29/11] Claimed “Malicious Intent” in Obama’s Comments Towards Israel In May of 2011, West wrote in his Weekly Wrap Up that President Obama’s comments regarding Israeli borders at a recent speech have demonstrated his “conscious, nefarious, and malicious intent.” [Broward/Palm Beach News, 05/25/2011]
In a statement on his website, West stated that "I do not support the creation of a Palestinian state, to do so would be to create a terrorist state. There is already a state for the Arabic people residing in the region called Palestine, Jordan." [Allen West for Congress Website, accessed 5/31/11] Said that Palestine Does Not Deserve a State In July 2011, West explained that Palestine does not deserve its own state. West explained his statement by explaining that they do not deserve a state because “there has never been a state called Palestine, we’re talking about nomadic Arabs. And what really concerns me is this reconciliation pact between Fatah and Hamas…Palestine is a region and once upon a time everyone who occupied that region had on their passport ‘Palestine,’ there has always been a state of Israel…So we need to respect that, and the people who called themselves Palestinian need to have a right and a respect of that state of Israel.” [Allen West Interview, Youtube, 06/16/2011] Event at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce In August 2011, West will participate in a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Networking Event on Thursday, August 18 from 6 pm to 8 pm. [West Congressional Website, August 2011] West On Meeting With Netanyahu In August 2011, Allen West wrote to his supporters about his upcoming trip to Israel in a weekly newsletter. West wrote, “In Israel, I will get the opportunity to meet with a true Leader, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. At a time when western civilization has no leading voice, I believe the only one that resonates, speaks Hebrew.” [West Weekly Wrap-Up, 8/22/2011]
Labor and Working Family Issues
Said Payroll Tax Cut Extension Would Take Revenue from Social Security Fund and Increase Deficit In February 2012, West said the payroll tax extension would impact Social Security while increasing the deficit. “Some may argue the payroll tax deal will not affect Social Security. This could not be further from the truth. The federal government’s general operating account will be used to compensate for the lost revenue in the Social Security Trust Fund, which will increase the deficit and add to the nation’s debt,” said West.
[Sunshine State News, 2/17/12]
West on Payroll Tax Cut Extension: “Middle-Class Americans will be Footing the Bill for this Political Gimmick”
In February 2012, West voted against an extension of the payroll tax cut. West said the extension would impact homeowners and homebuyers. “This supposed payroll tax decrease is really a backdoor tax increase on homeowners and first-time homebuyers. The deal is being paid for by added fees on FHA-backed loans. Homeowners with FHAbacked mortgages represent more than one-third of mortgages in the United States. Those middle-class Americans will be footing the bill for this political gimmick,” West said. [Sunshine State News, 2/17/12] District Office was Location of Rally in Support of Federal Unemployment Insurance Program In February 2012, West’s district office was the location of a rally in support of continuing the federal unemployment insurance program. West opposed continuation of the program. According to the National Unemployment Law Project, ending the program would cut unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans by March and more than 3.3 by June. [sun-sentinel.com, 2/14/12]
Called Democratic Support of Entitlement Programs an “Insidious Form of Slavery” In February 2012, West said that Republicans supported the safety net, but rejected it becoming a “hammock” "For this reason, the Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us…Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom,” said West. [The Hill, 2/15/12]
Activists Target Allen West over Jobs In December 2011, local activist protested West on job creation. “50 local activists are now in Washington D.C. along with thousands from across the United States for a three day protest […] Local activists plan to try to meet with Congressman Allen West and Senator Marco Rubio to urge them to focus on job creation instead of party lines.” [ CBS 12, 12/5/11] West: Wisconsin Senators are “Cowards,” Comparable to Army Deserters In a 2011 letter to supporters, West called Wisconsin state senators who refused to return to the state to prevent a vote that would deny collective-bargaining rights for public employees “cowards.” He went on to say that the actions of the Wisconsin senators were contrary to democracy. “What kind of representative democracy have we become when elected officials run from executing their prescribed duties?” said West. [Sun Sentinel, 02/28/11] Targeted by Jobs Now PAC In August 2011, Jobs Now PAC posted “help wanted” ads for members of congress, “since they won’t be creating any jobs during their five week vacation.” [Sun Sentinel, 8/9/2011]
West said, “ We Do Not Need to Extend Unemployment Benefits” In September 2011, Rep. West’s weekly wrap-up discussed taxes and unemployment benefits. West wrote, “I agree with reducing the corporate/business tax rate down to 21% and eliminating all loopholes and subsidies -- something I have championed since before being sworn in.[…] We do not need to extend unemployment benefits.” [West’s Weekly Wrap-Up, 9/12/11] West’s Town Hall Meeting Scene of Protest In October 2011, at a town hall meeting held by West in palm Beach, protesters associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement gathered outside the church. [Palm beach Post, 10/17/11] West Supported Legislation to Expand Services of Blue Star Mothers of America In August 2011, West supported legislation to expand the definition of “mother” to veterans to include grandmothers, foster-mothers, and female legal guardians within the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. organization. The bill is H.R. 2815. [Weekly Wrap-Up, 8/10/11] Protesters Formed Mock Soup Line Outside West $10,000-per-plate Fundraiser In September 2011, protestors gathered outside West’s $10,000-per-plate Fundraiser in Coral Gables in Miami. The protestors carried West’s effigy on sticks and expressed discontent with the job market. [NBCMiami, 9/8/11] West Denounced Occupy Wall Street Protestors In October 2011, West denounced the movement for its “laughable hypocrisy” and said it was dangerous for any Washington politician to embrace the movement. Curiously comparing the movement to both the Nazis and the communists, West said, “I think there is a danger in the people on Capitol Hill starting to embrace this movement, especially now that we know that the American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party are also starting to align themselves with this Occupy movement.” He also noted that “when you talk to these Occupy Wall Street gangs, they’re all over the place. It’s like a shotgun as opposed to a precision-guided munition.” West also dismissed protesters’ claim that Wall Street is responsible for the nation’s economic woes and high unemployment. He disputed Obama’s contention that Martin Luther King Jr. would have supported the Occupy protesters. [Newsmax, 10/18/11]
Other Social Issues
Said Islam was No Different From Nazism or Fascism In March 2012, West characterized Islam as an ideology no different from Nazism or Fascism. The Hill reported, “West added that Islamism is a ‘theocratic-political totalitarian ideology no different from Nazism, Fascism, and Communism which threatens the free world.’” [The Hill, 3/22/12]
West Commented on Video of Marines Urinating on Taliban Corpses In January 2012, Allen West commented on the video of Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. West wrote on the incident: “All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill […] The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (nonjudicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter. As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.” [Weekly Standard,
Warned Obama Not to Play Race Card In January 2012, West used MLK Jr. Day to warn Obama through a Facebook note not to play the race card in his 2012 campaign. West wrote, “This campaign must be about ideas, policy and the direction of this country, and the President must not hide behind a curtain of so-called racial bias…My message to President Obama is this: ‘Mr. President, your very presence in office demonstrates Dr. King’s dream has indeed come true. But how devastated would Dr. King be to know the Americans who are still fomenting racism at the highest levels are the very people for whom he fought for and died?’” [The Hill, 1/17/12] Said Military Leaders Should be “Very Careful” About Following Orders In January 2012, West complained about Obama’s new military strategy and said that people in the military should be careful about following orders. West said, “And you know I've had a lot of people ask me about that because the responsibility of our senior generals has to be to the men and women in uniform. They have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military." West insinuated that they should consider stepping down. [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 1/10/12] Federal Investigation Into Deerfield Housing Authority Turned Up Nothing In December 2011, the Sun Sentinel reported that a federal investigation into Deerfield Housing Authority requested by U.S. Rep. Allen West in July apparently turned up nothing worth pursuing. “A federal investigation into the Deerfield Beach Housing Authority requested by U.S. Rep. Allen West in July apparently turned up nothing worth pursuing.” [Sun Sentinel, 12/31/11] West noted that he saw waterboarding in a movie to justify In November 2011, West noted that he saw waterboarding in a movie to justify.
“"I see that when we continue to read Miranda rights to people such as the underwear bomber, we are using the advantage and leverage that we have," West said. "And furthermore in the movie G.I. Jane, Demi Moore was waterboarded, and we do use that in military training and Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion training." [Broward Palm Beach, 11/14/11] Jewish Groups Blast West for Goebbels Comparison In December 2011, Jewish groups responded to West comparing Democrats to Goebbels “The Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism, dispatched a letter to West, a tea party Republican and freshman representative in a heavily Jewish House district in South Florida, criticizing him for using a Nazi analogy to make a political point. The League said West has used Nazi analogies before in referring to political opponents, which the League said trivializes the Holocaust in which millions of Jews were slaughtered in World War II. The National Jewish Democratic Council also blasted West and demanded an apology.” [CBS 12, 12/16/11] Joined the Congressional Black Caucus In March 2011, the Weekly Standard reported that West was “eager to join” the Congressional Black Caucus. He said, “My parents would have been highly upset if I hadn’t done this.” [Weekly Standard, 3/17/11] West: Military Diversity Report “A Slap in the Face” In 2011, West called a military diversity report that suggested there are not enough minorities in leaderships position “a slap in the face to those who have risen through the ranks.” “We don’t need these outside entities trying to design or shape a military,” West said. [The Daily Caller,
West: Military “Stands for Things that Liberals Don’t Care for” West said, “The military stands for things that liberals don’t care for: standards, discipline, honor, character. And those are things they don’t like because they believe everyone should be equal…that is not what the military is all about.” [The Daily Caller, 03/11/11] Makes Mysognist Comments to Local Women’s Group West: Women “Have Been Neutering American Men.” In April 2011, while speaking to a women’s group, West noted that women “on the other side, these Planned Parenthood women, these Code Pink women, and all of these women have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness…We are not going to have our men become subservient.” [New Times BrowardPalm Beach, 4/25/11] ” Although the number of women in Congress dropped for the first time in 30 years, West stressed the importance of electing men to a women’s group saying “And see, if we're truly going to have strong men that will go up on Capitol Hill, and I'll tell you, it's great to have strong women, but you need to have
strong men in this nation. There's no doubt about it. It’s going to take each and every one of you supporting men.” [New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 4/25/11] Calls Obama “Socialist Agitator” and Thinks White House is a Joke In April 2011, West appeared Laura Ingraham’s radio show and called President Obama a “low-level socialist agitator” and a person who showed “third world dictator-like arrogance” in his speech on the budget. [Fox News, 4/19/11] West: The White House has Become a “Joke.” What once was that powerful image of an American president, that great seal, the Oval Office, the center of strength and might, has now become a joke, a caricature, and a place of weakness. [New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 4/25/11] Sponsored “Sacrificed Survivors” in Congress on September 8 In July 2011, according to Christian Action, “Rep. Allen West (R-Fl) will be hosting a screening in Congress of the Christian Action Network’s film, Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque, on September 8 for those who lost family members and those who survived the attacks. West has a national following as a rising star in Congress, as he fearlessly takes on Islamists.” Jason Campbell, the Projects Director for the Christian Action Network, said that “We are truly honored to have Congressman West sponsor this event, and take his time to host these 9/11 family members and show his opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque.” [Christian Action, 7/25/2011] Response to CAIR: “Nuts” In August 2011, West responded to CAIR with a short letter. According to CBS Miami, “A South Florida Muslim group sent Congressman Allen West a letter asking him to disassociate himself from activists the group considers anti-Islamic. Congressman West did respond and the letter he sent back is raising some eyebrows. If it looks like the shortest letter you’ve ever seen from a member of congress, it probably is. How short? Try one word, in capital letters: ‘NUTS!’” [CBS Miami, 8/15/2011] West: Liberals Push Around Remale and Minority Conservatives In August 2011, West claimed liberals push around female and minority conservatives. West said, “As conservatives, we have to stand up and we cannot allow ourselves to be continually pushed around by the left […] they have a vehement way of going after conservatives that are female and also minority and I’m not going to allow that to happen […] [Liberals] are scared out their wits.” [NewsMax 9:15, 8/22/211] West Said Obama Shredding Constitution Through Executive Rule Making In August 2011, Allen West criticized Obama for “shredding” the constitution.
According to NewsMax, “conservative firebrand Rep. Allen West castigated President Barack Obama for ‘shredding’ the U.S. Constitution by aggressively pushing to impose his agenda through executive-branch rule-making rather than via Congress. West added, ‘I think he’s shredding his responsibilities as the president, and his respect and regard of the Constitution” [NewsMax 8/22/11] Allen West Said ‘We Have Not Overcome’ In August 2011, Rep. Allen West commented on the MLK Memorial opening. He told Post on Poltics, “I think that, if Dr. King were to come back and see what has become of the black community, he would be appalled: The exorbitantly high unemployment rate, the second- and thirdgeneration welfare families, the rampant decimation of the inner-city black communities, the incarceration rate of young black men, and the breakdown of the black family would all bring a tear to his eye…We have not overcome!” [Post on Politics, 8/32/2011] West Questioned If We Need the Department of Labor In July 2011, Rep. West discussed the Department of Labor during a telephone forum. West,” To this day no one has been able to explain to me what the Department of Labor does, do they just go to work, do they study work, and I mean I don’t know. I see this really nice pretty building and I’m sure there is a good bunch of employees there doing yeomen’s work but do we really need that as part of the federal government.” [West Tele Forum, 43:00, 7/27/11]
Had Estimated Net Worth of $176,003 In December 2011, Broward Palm Beach New Times reported that West had an estimated net worth of $176,003. [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 1/26/12] Filed 2011 Financial Disclosure In 2011, Allen West reported earnings of at least $178,432 for 2010. Allen West holds assets valued between $212,000-$580,000. Allen West’s reported liabilities were valued between $125,000-315,000. The following table illustrates Allen West’s earned income for calendar year 2010: Source of Income Calibre, Inc. US Department of Amount of Income (2010) $85,048 $50,268 Amount of Income (2009) $87,330.42 $50,268 Type of Income Salary Military Pension
Defense Raymond James Financial (Spouse) TOTAL Asset / Source of Income
N/A $135,316 Value of Asset 2010 Amount of Income -2010 None
$58,061.58 $195,660 Value of Asset 2009
529 College Investment – DC1 529 College Investment – DC2 First Command Financial – Savings and Checking Account (SP) First Command Financial – 401K/MAP Plan (SP) First Command Financial Life Insurance (JT) Ford Motor Company (SP) Ford Sill Federal Credit Union – Savings and Checking Account (SP) PSE&G (SP)
Amount Type of of Income Income -2009 N/A N/A
$15,001 $50,000 $1,001 $15,000
$15,001 $50,000 $1,001 $15,000
None $1 $200
N/A N/A Interest
Raymond James IRA (SP) Sun Trust 401K (SP) 401K (JT)**
$100,00 $15,001 $50,000 None N/A
N/A $25,000,001 $50,000,000 $25,000,001 $50,000,000 $5,000,0001 $25,000,000 $55,000,000 $125,000,000
401K (JT) **
**Last Three Listed Were Filed Incorrectly Creditor Bank of America Carmax Wells Fargo TOTAL Type of Liability Mortgage Car Payment Car Payment Amount of Liability (2010) $100,000 - $250,000 $10,000 - $15,000 $15,000 - $50,000 $125,000 - $315,000 Amount of Liability (2009) $100,000 - $250,000 $10,000 - $15,000 N/A $110,000 - $265,000
[2011 Personal Financial Disclosure, filed 5/16/11]
West Has Two Outstanding Car Payments In his calendar year 2010 personal financial disclosure, West reported $25,000-$65,000 in liabilities for car payments to Wells Fargo and Carmax. [2011 Allen West Personal Financial Disclosure, filed 5/16/11] West: On Vacation and Salary In July 2011, Rep. West discussed his vacation and salary. West said, “I served 22 years in the United States military. Serving a career in the military is not going to make you a rich man. So, you talk about cutting salary to me, I’m fine. I’m serving you. That’s what I
have always done. As far as vacation, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a vacation this year. And actually I haven’t had a vacation since I retired from the army in 2004.” [West Tele Forum, 45:00, 7/27/11] West said, “$250,000 is not a lot of money when you are talking about a family” In July 2011, Rep. West discussed corporate taxes and the bush tax cuts during a telephone town hall. West said, “Cut corporate tax breaks from 35 to 22 percent then you eradicate all loopholes and subsidies and when you talk about subsides for oil companies, actually the largest American oil company is only ranked 15th or 16th in the world. It’s not like they’re number one in the world. We are only talking about 4 or 6 billion dollars all of them together. That won’t really be a huge dent in the debt we have of $14 trillion. That’s my stance on that. But when you start talking about the Bush tax cuts, once again it was President Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress that said they wanted to extended that for another two years[…] The loss of the jobs we have seen here in the United States of America has nothing to do with the taxation on the upper brackets. It has everything to do with the tax regulatory burden that is not allowing these people to grow. $250,000 is not a lot of money when you are talking about a family.”
[West Tele Forum, 10:30, 7/14/11]
West Enjoyed Luxury Trip In August 2011, Rep. West enjoyed a trip to Israel which was paid for by a Israel lobbying firm. The Sun Sentinel reported, “South Florida U.S. Reps. Allen West and Frederica Wilson were among 81 members of the House of Representatives who traveled to Israel in August, flying business class and staying in luxury hotels for a week of meetings and sightseeing paid for by the charitable arm of a proIsrael lobby.[…] At a time of economic uncertainty and with millions of Americans out of work, members of Congress continue to enjoy the benefits of having one of the best jobs in the country. At a salary of $174,000 a year, generous health care and pension benefits and travel that sometimes includes free trips for family members, elected leaders in Washington are far better off than the average American. West and other Florida representatives told the Sun Sentinel they're mindful of the suffering at home and have cut back on expenses.” [Sun Sentinel, 9/17/11]
West Linked to Florida Governor Rick Scott In October 2011, the Florida Democratic Party gave West a “Rick number of one,” meaning he had a direct connection to Florida governor Rick Scott. [Broward New Times, 10/25/11] West Received Award From RetireSafe In November 2011, West received an award from RetireSafe. “RetireSafe, representing 400,000 seniors nationwide, was joined by local senior advocates Monday in honoring Representative Allen West for his efforts to protect the health benefits and security of Florida's seniors and disabled citizens […]West received the RetireSafe Standing Up
For America's Seniors Award recognizing his accomplishments and service to older Americans. The commemorative plaque was awarded at The Renaissance Assisted Living Facility in Deerfield Beach, Fla.” [Allen West Press Release, 11/8/11] Retiresafe.org Supported Privatizing Social Security. Retirsafe.org has claimed “Personal retirement accounts (PRAs) are good for individuals and good for the economy […] PRA is an account you own and control made up of a portion of your existing payroll taxes invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or simple government T-bills.” [Human Events, 5/15/03] RetireSafe Created “Artificial Grassroots Campaign” in Support of Republican Backed Medicare Policy. Faced with an unenthusiastic response to the Republican Prescription Drug Law, RetireSafe attempted to manufacture paid, artificial praise for the program. RetireSafe paid “healthcare consultants $3,750 plus expenses over six weeks to generate positive news stories about the drug card and offer support to Congress for voting for the Medicare drug law.” This effort was widely recognized as a rightwing organized sham to create the appearance of public support for what in reality, was little more than a handout to drug companies. Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, noted that this “artificial grassroots campaign” was to end a couple of days before the election. He described the initiative as “particularly underhanded.” [The Hill, 9/22/04] Allen West Actually Supported: A House Republican budget that would “essentially end Medicare,” cost millions of seniors more for prescription drugs and would increase seniors’ out-of-pocket health care costs by $6,154. · Voted to End Medicare. Allen West supported the House Republican budget. [H Con. Res. 34,Vote #277, 4/15/11] · Wall Street Journal: The House Republican Budget Would “Essentially End Medicare.” “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11] · House Republican Plan Would Increase the Cost to Current Seniors. “The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program.” [National Journal, 6/2/11] · House Republican Budget Would Cost Seniors More Than $6,000. “The Republican plan will significantly increase the out-of-pocket costs of health care for Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, out‐of‐pocket health care costs will more than double under the Republican plan. Based on estimates from the non‐partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the typical 65-year-old’s out-of-pocket health care costs will increase from $6,154 to $12,513 in 2022—or an extra $6,359.” [Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11] · Republican Budget Would Almost Double Healthcare Costs For Seniors. “The Republican congressman's proposal to privatize Medicare would mean a dramatic hike in U.S.
healthcare costs for the elderly, an independent analysis finds. Seniors would pay almost double — more than $12,510 a year.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11] CBO: Elderly People Would Pay More for Health Care Under the Republican Plan.According to the CBO, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.” [CBO, 4/5/11] West Touted 60 Plus Endorsement; 60 Plus Aired Ads Promoting West. Earlier this year, the 60 Plus launched ad thanking House Republicans for voting in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, lauding it as one that “protects and preserves Medicare, ensuring it will be available to current and future seniors.” The group was spending over $800,000 on radio ads, direct mail and automated calls in 39 congressional districts including Representative Allen West’s district. In May, West touted receiving the “coveted Guardian of Seniors' Rights award from the 60 Plus Association.” [The Hill, 4/21/11; West Press Release, 5/12/11]
Plus Supports Privatizing Social Security. “Using the 62nd anniversary of Social Security as a backdrop, the 60 Plus Association Aug. 14 became the first national senior citizens group to endorse publicly privatization of the Social Security program.” [60 Plus Association’s Release, 8/15/97] Plus Has Long Supported the Privatization of Medicare, Turning Program into Vouchers. The 60 Plus plan from the late 1990s would have privatized Medicare, turning the program into a voucher program that cut benefits and forced seniors to purchase coverage from big insurance. [Washington Times, 6/15/99; Citizens for a Sound Economy/60 Plus Press Release, 2/24/99]
Supported Reform to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid In March 2011, West called for cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He said, “If Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are left on autopilot, if we don’t institute some type of reform, they’ll subsume our entire GDP, by 2040 or 2050.” [Crestview News Bulletin, 3/28/11] West: Must Consider Raising Age for Social Security and Medicare Allen West told reporters at a January 2011 town hall meeting that ideas such as raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare must be considered. At his first major post-election appearance West told the crowd, “We cannot continue to let big three entitlement programs-Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid-run on autopilot.” [The Palm Beach Post, 1/27/11] West: Entitlement Reform Not About “Grandma Dying in the Streets” In February 2011, West expressed support for entitle reform saying, “This is what’s going to hurt the United States of America, if we allow the big three entitlement programs to stay on autopilot. This is not about grandma dying in the streets. It’s not about taking powdered milk out of babies’ mouths.” [Politico, 2/28/11]
60 Plus Association Begin Airing Ads in District In April 2011, the 60 Plus Association launched a new campaign in the district thanking the Member for “protecting Medicare” during the recent budget debates. [60 Plus Association Press Release, 4/27/11] 60 Plus is “a controversial and conservative special interest group that has long fought to privatize Medicare and Social Security”. [DCCC Press Release, 4/21/11] Praised Obama for Willingness to Discuss Cuts to Medicare and Social Security In July 2011, West praised – of all people – President Obama “for his reported willingness to discuss cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of his ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations with Republicans.” West said that “I want to take this moment to commend President Obama for facing the facts that in order for us to bring our fiscal house in order, we need to take necessary steps to address mandatory spending such as Medicare and Social Security.” [Orlando Sentinel, 07/07/2011]
Called Payroll Tax Cuts a Short Term Bon-Bon In September 2011, Allen West called payroll tax cuts a short term bon-bon. “We’ve tried the payroll tax cuts. You get a short term bon-bon but it doesn’t give you anything long term sustainable economic growth and job growth,” said West. [YouTube, uploaded 9/9/11] Called Payroll Tax Cuts Poision In his December 2011 newsletter, West said the payroll tax cut has done nothing to help our economy. “The temporary payroll tax cut has done nothing to stimulate our economy in this past year […] However, the political messaging wants to focus the American people on short-term “candy” which is in truth, longterm “poison.” We are in essence brokering our fiscal future for the insidious masquerade of immediate gratification for the American people. Listen carefully, for this is nothing more than a simple attempt to buy votes.” [Allen West Weekly Wrap Up, 12/5/11] Proposed Eliminating Federal Taxes for DC Residents In February 2011, West said he was unsure whether the District of Columbia should be a state, but suggested that its residents be excluded from paying federal taxes. He said, “If you live in the District, perhaps an exclusionary zone should be set up where District residents do not pay federal taxes.” [The Hill, 2/07/11] Wanted to Eliminate Oil Subsidies In August 2011, West took progressives to task for their beliefs regarding the current tax code.
According to West, “Enough with the rhetorical demagoguery from liberal progressives about oil subsidies (I believe we need to cut the corporate/business tax rate to 20% from 35% and eliminate subsidies and loopholes), on taxing the rich and “shared sacrifice” (the top 1% of taxpayers pay 34% taxes, top 5% taxpayers pay 57% of taxes, top 25% taxpayers pay 86% of federal taxes… move to a flat personal income tax of 13-15% and eliminate loopholes), and no more about corporate jets (this is only about a $300 million in savings per year, and the Democrats fail to remember, it was President Obama who added this tax loophole into his stimulus bill).” [West Weekly Update, 8/1/2011] Supported Tax Overhauls and Flat Tax In September 2011, West said he supported a flat tax of 15%. He also suggested a reduction in the corporate business tax rate “from 35 percent down to 21 percent” and that the government should eliminate loopholes and subsidies. [NPR, 9/22/11] Suggested the Elimination All Deductions Except Two In September 2011, West said the government should eliminate all government tax deductions except the child tax credit and the mortgage interest tax deduction. [NPR, 9/22/11
Tea Party and Extreme Rhetoric
West Told Democrats to “Get the Hell Out of America” In January 2012, West told Democrats to “get the hell out of America.” “We need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and my dear friend the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (Debbie Wasserman Schultz), let them know Florida ain’t on the table […]Take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.”
[Palm Beach Post, 1/29/12; YouTube, uploaded 1/29/12]
West: House GOP Leadership “Sold Us Down the Road” for “Pathetic Policy” In January 2012, West criticized House GOP leadership for not taking a stand against the “pathetic policy” resulting from the payroll tax cut extension deal. West said that the House GOP leadership “sold us down the road” and abandoned “a good piece of legislation that took care of [the tax extension] for one year” by accepting the Senate’s “two-month extension which was absolutely pathetic policy.” When asked about attempts to unseat Boehner, West said, “I’m not going to speculate about that”. [Daily Caller, 1/6/12] West Named a Kamikaze by Daily Beast
In December 2011, West was named a kamikaze by Daily Beast for his willingness to commit political suicide to achieve his goals. [Daily Beast, 12/21/11] Maintained Republican Loyalty in Freshman Year In December 2011, Politico reported that Allen West despite his fiery rhetoric and occasional clashes with GOP leadership had been fairly loyal to the GOP leadership. On key issues, Politico reported, “He keeps them apprised of where he stands on votes and largely refrains from taking to the airwaves to slam his own party.” [Politico, 12/6/11] West: “Gingrich is Carrying 200 Pounds of Political Baggage” In November 2011, West criticized Gingrich for his political baggage. "Well, he's a fighter, but he's also a fighter that's carrying a 200-pound rucksack on his back with all the baggage trying to fight,” West said. "I think the problem with the Republican Party, Laura, and you've been around this more than I have, is that we continue to believe in leadership by entitlement. We don't come up with new faces, new visionary leaders. You look at everyone on this stage -- they've been in this game for quite some time." [Huffington Post, 11/22/11] West Cited by Wall Street Journal for Voting Like Typical Tea Party Freshman In January 2012, Allen West was cited as one of the tea party freshman favorites that had been voting similarly to Republican veterans. “This was supposed to be the most conservative, small-government freshman group of Republicans in Congress since the huge class that was swept into office during the Contract with America days of 1995. But after one year settling in on Capitol Hill, the GOP freshman have been a disappointment, and more conservative leaders and tea party leaders are venting their frustration […] An analysis contrasting the voting record of the freshman class with Republican veterans shows ‘almost no difference,’ says Mike Needham of Heritage Action […] Rep. Allen West of Florida had been a tea party favorite, but even he voted for the debt ceiling extension. On the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill, only 18 frosh opposed.”
[Wall Street Journal, 1/20/12]
House Brought Up Resolution Condemning West’s Remarks In December 2011, The House of Representatives brought up a resolution condemning West’s remarks comparing Democrats to Goebbels. “The House of Representatives defeated a resolution Tuesday to criticize Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) for his remarks comparing the Democrats’ political messaging to the work of top Nazi propaganda head Joseph Goebbels […] The resolution said the House ‘disapproves of the behavior of the representative from Florida, Mr. West, for bringing discredit to the House by offending the memory of those who died during the Holocaust’ […] The resolution would have condemned ‘the repetition of this abhorrent and outrageous sentiment,’ and said it demonstrates ‘not only the willful and malicious misapplication of history, but also his disdain for the decorum of the Congress.’” [Yahoo News, 12/22/11]
Tea Party Freshman Face Scrutiny Back in Home District In December 2011, USA Today reported that tea party freshman are facing scrutiny back in their home districts. “Now those that ended up voting with House leadership are starting to see a blowback in their home districts. Ellen Cole, a supporter of Florida Rep. Allen West, said she still believes West is capable of flying the Tea Party banner in Washington. But she said his votes to increase the debt ceiling, for large budget bills and the Defense Authorization Act have tested her patience.” [USA Today, 12/28/11] Tea Party Freshman Face Scrutiny Back in Home District In December 2011, West urged his colleagues to opposed the debt ceiling increase although he originally voted to allow multiple increases in the debt ceiling. “West, R-Plantation, voted in favor of the August deal, which gave Obama the power to seek two automatic debt increases in addition to the one Congress approved just hours before a potential default. Now, West said, House members should go back to the Capitol to challenge the president.” [Palm Beach
Said Nazi Propagandist Would Be “Very Proud” of Democrats In December 2011, West said that Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would be “very proud” of Democrats for turning public opinion against Republicans. West said, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine. I think that you have, and let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit in this, in enabling them to get that type of message out." [Politico,
House Killed Resolution Condemning West for Remarks In December 2011, the House voted to table a Democratic resolution condemning West for his remarks, with the vote going mostly on party lines. [postonpolitics.com, 12/20/11] West: “G.I. Jane Was Waterboarded” In 2011, West pushed back against Obama’s condemning of waterboarding. West said, “The president is the benefactor of a lot of information that came from waterboarding. When you look at the precedent, non-state, non-uniform belligerents captured on the battlefield under the Geneva Convention are not afforded the same type of rights. We can make that determination. As the president, you need to do those things which are necessary to make sure that the American people are kept safe […] and furthermore, in the movie ‘G.I. Jane,’ Demi Moore was waterboarded.” [Politico, 11/13/11] Allen West Regularly Insults Victims & Survivors of the Holocaust By Using Nazi References
In December 2011, Congressman Allen West said, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” This is just the latest incendiary comment from West, who has a disgusting history of using Nazi rhetoric to slander his opponents.” [Politico, 12/15/11] JTA: West Campaign “Stands Behind ‘Gestapo’ Reference.” “A Republican challenging a Florida Jewish Democrat in a congressional race stood by his use of "Gestapo" to describe a videographer […] At a campaign event on Aug. 19, West compared the videographer filming his speech to the Gestapo. The videographer is reportedly the grandson of Holocaust survivors. ‘I know here today we have a representative from the Florida Democratic Party and he is here to film me and his whole purpose of filming me is to take what I say and allow other people to distort it so they can misrepresent me,’ West said. ‘You know if we allow those Gestapo-type intimidation tactics to prevail in the United States of America what happens to our liberties? What happens to our freedoms?’” [JTA, 8/24/10; YouTube, uploaded 8/19/10] West Compared Our Government to Nazi Germany: Speaking at an event, West said, "In 1930 there was a gentleman in Germany who took away private gun ownership. And you know what happened to that population. You must be well informed and well armed because this government that we have now is a tyrannical government." [YouTube, uploaded 8/24/10] West Compared Obama campaign to Hitler/Nazi rallies. In a radio interview, West likened Obama campaign rallies to “Nuremburg rallies.” [YouTube, uploaded 7/13/11] West says Obama and House Speaker Pelosi use “Gestapo-like” intimidation tactics: “Well, you know what, it is about time that we end this Gestapo like intimidation tactics that we see coming from Nancy Pelosi and also from the president as well.” [Wilkow Majority on YouTube, 8/18/10] West Admitted to Being a Member of White Supremacist Motorcycle Gang In November 2011, after 13 months of denying allegations of his membership to a white supremacist motorcycle gang, West finally admitted his involvement with the gang. In an interview with North Dakota-based radio talk show hosted by Scott Hennen, West responded to a question about black conservatives in American politics, specifically Herman Cain. "Oh come on, I mean you know I was the only black member of a white supremacist motorcycle gang, so liberals and there are certain others I would say even within our party that are not comfortable with strong black conservative voices and I would say there are people that feel very threatened by that because we do stand on principle. We are someone or entities that are out of the mainstream, if you want to call it that so liberals are definitely going to come at you. But I think you also have this inner fight within our primary candidates for that piece of the pie that they want to have." [Broward Palm Beach New Times, 11/8/11] West: Obama’s a Citizen
During a February 2011 town hall meeting, a constituent challenged West on whether President Obama was “legally there or not.” West responded, “I will tell you this: That is the dog chasing its tail. The most important thing is, it’s the policies. That’s what we have to be standing on.” After the meeting, West told the Palm Beach Post, “He is a citizen. He’s the president. I mean, that’s all I know. I am concerned about his policies.” [postonpolitics.com, 2/23/11] West: “Don’t Try To Blow Sunshine Up My Butt” At a February 2011 town hall, Nezar Hamz, the Council on American-Islamic Relations South Florida Executive Director asked West to “show me one verse in this Koran where it says to attack America, attack Americans, or attack innocent people.” West cited violent periods in Islamic history before saying, “I’ve been on the battlefield, my friend. OK? Don’t try to blow sunshine up my butt.” [postonpolitics.com, 2/21/11] Met With Anti-Muslim Leader In February 2011, West met with Brigitte Gabriel, who led the islamaphobe organization ACT! For America. West wrote, “First on my agenda… a meeting with the incredible Brigitte Gabriel, President and CEO of ACT! for America. This woman is fully charged and focused and determined to secure the safety of her country.” In the past, Gabriel has been quoted as saying “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” [Florida Independent, 2/15/11] Jointed Congressional Tea Party Caucus In February 2011, West jointed the Congressional Tea Party Caucus. His spokeswoman said West thought the group would reinforce the values he campaigned on, such as limited government. [Sun-Sentinel, 2/07/11] Chosen to Deliver Key Note Address at CPAC In 2011, West was chosen to deliver the closing address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The speaking time was originally offered to Sarah Palin. West tweeted, “I’ve been asked today to have the honor of giving the closing keynote address at CPAC Saturday. I’m humbled.” [postonpolitics.com, 2/09/11] Spent Sizeable Portion of Speech on Social Issues According to The Hill, west devoted a sizable portion of his speech to social issues, emphasizing his opposition to abortion and gay marriage. He said, "If you break down the American family, that leads to government dependency." On abortion, west said, "I do not believe having a baby is punishment." [The Hill, 2/12/11] Called Rep. Ellison the ‘Antithesis of The Principles Upon which this Country was Established’
During an interview on a South Florida-based program, The Shalom Show, West said Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim representative in Congress, represented the “antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.” When asked about working with Ellison, West responded, “Well I think it’s most important that I stand upon the principles that people elected me to go to Washington, D.C., and represent them on Capitol Hill.” He added, “So that when you run into someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established, you’ve got to be able to defeat them intellectually in debate and discourse, and you to just have to be able to challenge each and every one of their assertions very wisely and very forthright.” [American Independent, 1/24/11] West Concerned about Own Safety Following Arizona Shooting During the 2010 campaign, West called his opponent a “mama’s boy” and wrote a blog about him stating, “I plan to beat you like you stole something dear to me!” The Palm Beach Post called West “one of South Florida’s prime feeders of violent fantasies.” However, after the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, West said, “It’s time for the country to consider the safety of members of Congress” and “We should try to coordinate appearances with the sheriff’s office and police department.” [Palm Beach Post, 1/10/11] West Not Changing Language After Arizona Shooting Despite the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, West told the Sun-Sentinel that he is not going to tone down his rhetoric. West Said: Now that I’ve been sworn into Congress I’m still the type of person that if there are means by which I can inspire people I will use historical references and metaphors, which I have done. My background is I am a tough guy, and in tough times you have to use a little bit stronger language when you start talking about the future legacy of my country. Look, I am not anyone that anyone should be concerned about. I’m just an everyday guy. West also claimed to have no regrets over statements he made on the campaign trail, like “get your musket” and how he wanted to make his opponent, “scared to come out of his house.” Rather than apologize, West looked at what Obama has said in the past about bringing a gun to a knife fight to justify his actions. [Sun-Sentinel.com, 1/11/11] West Blasted Islam Again At Public Meeting At a January 2011 meeting in his district, West was confronted by a South Florida Islamic leader, Nezar Hamze, over West’s previous anti-Islam comments. “You have consistently demonized and insulted my religion… You’ve insulted the prophet,” he said. West fired back, “I will always defend your right to
practice a true religion under the First Amendment. But, I’m not going to stop speaking the truth.” [The Palm Beach Post, 1/31/11] Doesn’t Believe in Leadership by Fear In April 2011, on ABC’s This Week, West said that, “I don’t believe in leadership by fear and intimidation.” In reality, West’s over the top actions and personal associations have proven that fear and intimidation is what he is known for. [ABC’s This Week, 4/17/11] Declared a “Tea Party Defector” In July 2011, the national security chairman of the Tea Party National Convention declared West a “tea party defector.” According to the Broward Palm Beach, “Three Tea Party groups -- the Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, and Trento's United West -- have said they're going to seek opponents to run against West in next year's primary if he continues to support Boehner.” West countered by saying that “"If the folks who one minute they're saying that I'm their 'Tea Party hero' and what, three or four days later I'm a 'Tea Party defector' -- that kind of schizophrenia, I'm not going to get involved in it.” [Broward Palm Beach, 7/29/2011] Event at Palm Beach Gardens with Jupiter Tea Party In August 2011, West will be holding an event at the Palm Beach Gardens with the Jupiter Tea Party.
[West Congressional Website, August 2011]
Said Obama Supporters Are Threat to Gene Pool In July 2011, West admitted that “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.” [Weekly Update, 7/18/2011] West Trashed Obama In July 2011, West said some very disparaging remarks directed towards the President. West explained that “The President’s concern is about getting reelected. The President’s concern is that he is an intransigent, liberal, progressive socialist who is also Marxist because of the class warfare rhetoric that he espouses. And I think that when you heard him on Friday and the more he comes out and talks, the more truly out of touch and incompetent he seems.” [Youtube, 7/17/2011] West: Tea Party Will Not Get Everything it Wants West said that the tea party will not get everything it wants. West said “I explained to [the tea party] that you’re not going to be able to sit back and get 100% of what you want from Washington D.C.” [NewsMax 3:55,8/22/11]
West Telephone Forum: On Ideology and Principles In July 2011, telephone town hall, Rep. West discussed ideology. West said, “But I think you do talk about a greater issue that is the issues of the ideological chiasm that is developing in America. I think it is a type that people sit down and really look at the right type of principles that are tried and true that have been successful, that helped to build this country in 235 years to be the greatest nation the world has ever known. I do not think the growth and rise in the bureaucratic nanny state is part of that solution.” [West Tele Forum, 14:26, 7/27/11] West: On the Tea Party In July 2011, Rep. West discussed the Tea Party and Medicare. He said, “I know a lot of people in the media like to attack and demonize the tea party. The tea party is nothing but a philosophical movement, it’s an ideology movement. It is based upon effective and efficient constitutional government. It is based upon national security, and it is based upon a free market free enterprise system. It’s based upon fiscal responsibility. We need to get the federal government fiscally responsible and that’s how we are going to turn this around. As far as Medicare the only people who have voted to hurt or cut Medicare are the Democrats. Offering a billion dollar in cuts and also this 15 member group of unelected bureaucrats called the Independent Payment Advisory Board; those are the folks who are attacking Medicare.” [West Tele Forum, 53:00, 7/27/11] West Wrote a Letter Criticizing CBC Members In August 2011, Rep. West sent a letter illustrating his disgust by what he calls “hate-filled comments” and is threatening to reconsider his CBC membership. West wrote, “It is unconscionable when a fellow CBC Member, Congressman Andre Carson, comes to South Florida and claims that some in the Tea Party would love to see black Americans 'hanging on a tree.' It is appalling to hear another CBC colleague, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, say ‘The Tea Party can go straight to hell.’ As Chairman of the CBC, I believe it is incumbent on you to both condemn these types of hate-filled comments, and to disassociate the Congressional Black Caucus from these types of remarks. Otherwise, I will have to seriously reconsider my membership within the organization.” [West
West Tea Party and Media Darling By September 2011, Rep. West had been mentioned in the media or interviewed more than any other freshman member. The Orlando Sentinel reported, “(Rep.) West is not just a darling of the tea-party movement. He’s also a mainstream-media darling. West, a Republican from Plantation, leads the freshmen pack with 222 interviews or mentions on news programs since he took office in January. West has been interviewed or mentioned in 17.9 percent of broadcasts involving any of the House freshmen. West is the most prevalent freshman on FOX News and has tallied 101 broadcasts with interviews or mentions this year — an
astounding 29 percent of all broadcasts on FOX in which a freshman was interviewed or cited.” [Orlando
West Was Member of Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus In September 2011, Rep. West was a member of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s tea party caucus. According to Politico, “Only 15 of the 80 freshman House Republicans have signed up for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus, accounting for a quarter of the 60 official tea party Republicans in the House. That also means freshmen, who account for one-third of the House Republican Conference, are under-represented in the Tea Party Caucus […]While the 15 tea party House freshmen voted against the party’s position more often than all other lawmakers — about 13.5 percent to about 12.25 percent — the full set of Tea Party Caucus members voted with the party position more often than folks who don’t identify with the group.” [Politico, 9/14/11; Politico House Vote Analysis, accessed 9/16/11]
Announced $21 Million Grant to Build Fort Lauderdale Airport Runway In March 2011, West announced $21 million grant to build a new runway at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, which is ranked among the top 25 airports in the U.S. [Congressman Allen West Press Release, 3/16/11] Wall Street Journal Blog: Tea Party Favorite Touts . . . Federal Spending? A March 2011 Wall Street Journal Blog noted West’s tea-party rhetoric before writing, “But he’s happy to claim credit for a little federal largesse.” [Wall Street Journal Blog, 3/18/11] West: Grant Money is Not Pork” In March 2011, West defended the $21 million runway grant saying, “Grant money is not pork.”
[Crestview News Bulletin, 3/28/11]
Called for Tighter Oil Regulations In May 2011, West called “for independent safety certification of offshore rigs and a system similar to the United Kingdom's tightly regulated North Sea” and said that “such strong safeguards would allow him to support putting BP in the mix for drilling permits.” [New York Times, 05/04/2011]
Called Planned Parenthood in Black Communities “Offensive” In March 2011, West said that he was offended by Planned Parenthood programs in so many black communities. “It is absolutely offensive to me that Planned Parenthood is located in so many of our black communities,” West said. [blogs.browardpalmbeach.com, 3/24/11]
Supported End of Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood In March 2011, West said that he would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. “Planned Parenthood, they can go out and compete for private dollars.” [blogs.browardpalmbeach.com,
West was a co-sponsor of H.R. 374, the Life at Conception Act On June 24, 2011, West became a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act. According to the Library of Congress, the Life at Conception Act “declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being.” [Library of Congress, accessed 11/10/11]