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Tags: Allen West

Allen West Talks to NRO about Defense Cuts in a Dangerous World



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Former Representative Allen West joins NRO at CPAC to talk about the outlook for Governor Rick Scott’s reelection bid in Florida, the impact of the Obama administration’s defense cuts on national security, and how conservatives can speak to the entire electorate.

He also briefly mentions the possibility of running for office again . . .

Tags: Allen West

Wealthy Republican Aims to Win in Allen West’s Old District



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Few congressional defeats stung conservatives as much as Representative Pat Murphy’s defeat of Allen West — NR Cruiser — in Florida.

Besides the popularity of West among conservatives, the district was hardly tough territory for Republicans. Florida’s 18th congressional district is one of only nine in the U.S. that elected a Democrat to the House but gave more of its vote to Mitt Romney last year. Two Republicans announced bids early, former Connecticut state lawmaker Alan Schlesinger (you may remember him as the token longshot Republican in the 2006 Joe Lieberman–Ned Lamont Senate race) and Juno Beach vice mayor pro tem Ellen Andel. But the Republican field now features a veteran state lawmaker with serious financial resources at his disposal, Carl Domino.

Domino served four terms and lost in the 2010 GOP Senate primary; as of 2012, his personal financial disclosure forms listed his net worth as roughly $24 million. He was the wealthiest state legislator in Florida during his term. His old state-legislative campaign site can be found here; his financial firm’s site can be found here.

West has said he’s open to challenging GOP senator Marco Rubio in 2016.

Tags: Allen West , Patrick Murphy , Ellen Andel , Alan Schlesinger , Carl Domino

Needed: Conservative Leaders in for the Long Haul



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Sarah Palin chose to resign as governor of Alaska in 2009, and then declined to pursue a 2012 presidential bid.

After the 2012 election, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina stepped down as senator to head up the Heritage Foundation.

In Florida, Allen West lost his bid for reelection to Congress in 2012, and he now serves as “Director of Next Generation Programming” at PJ Media and is a contributor to Fox News.

Now Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has decided to retire from Congress.

Joe Scarborough cites Palin, West, Bachmann, and Hermain Cain and argues that their ascents and declines illustrate how “flamboyance” rarely translates into a lasting political impact.

Of course, flamboyance doesn’t necessarily mean political doom. Congress and the governors’ mansions still include plenty of Republicans who are hardly shrinking violets: Senators ;Rand Paul, Tom Coburn, and Tim Scott, Representatives Darrell Issa, Jason Chaffetz, and Steve King, Governors Nikki Haley, Scott Walker, and Bobby Jindal. Virginia’s attorney general and GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli might fit that bill.

But the conservative movement probably ought to examine why some of their most prominent leaders elected to high office voluntarily depart the scene when they would seem to still have a lot of metaphorical gas left in the tank. Running for reelection is difficult — particularly difficult, as West learned, when the district lines shift, or if one’s state or district isn’t as certain in its embrace of conservatism as you are. Being a leader outside of office, giving paid speeches, doing media appearances, writing books . . . that’s much easier on the officeholder, his or her personal finances, and their family.

It’s hard to blame someone for wanting the less difficult path. And yet, it’s much harder for the conservative movement to move the ball forward if its leaders depart after a while.

Tags: Michele Bachmann , Allen West , Sarah Palin , Jim DeMint , Herman Cain

Polls: Allen West Still Ahead, but Can He Hang On?



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You don’t see public polls in House races very often; pollsters have a tougher time ensuring that the people they call are in the right district, because the area-code lines rarely precisely align with the district lines.

But this morning there are two polls out in Florida’s 18th district, a race that features one of the most well-known, and headline-grabbing, House Republicans, Rep. Allen West.

In 2008, West ran against Rep. Ron Klein and performed quite strongly in a tough year. In the 2010 rematch, West won handily, 54 percent to 46 percent, as Florida Republicans rolled to big gains across the state. But after the 2010 census, Florida’s 22nd district shifted to D+5; West is now running in the adjacent 18th district, which scores R+1.

Because of his outspoken conservative views, West represents one of the Democrats’ top targets, and both West and his opponent, Patrick Murphy, are well-funded.

One poll out this morning has West barely ahead:

A Sunshine State News poll of 752 ‘Likely’ voters conducted by Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service (VSS) gave a slight, 49 percent to 48 percent edge to West — with just 3 percent remaining undecided entering the final weeks of the Congressional District 18 contest.

But the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows West with a solid lead:

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is leading his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by nine points, according to a new FLDemocracy/WPTV/ TCPalm poll released Thursday. Among likely voters surveyed, 51 percent support West and 42 percent back Murphy. Eight percent are undecided.

If West hangs on, it will likely be in part because of West using hard-hitting ads like this one:

Tags: Allen West , Patrick Murphy

Allen West: The Firebrand from a Swing District



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During the debt ceiling debate, I was surprised to see Rep. Allen West of Florida loudly backing the Boehner plan, and wondered if his position reflecting his swing (in fact, slightly Democrat-leaning) district. Over on the home page, I take a look at the early contours of West’s 2012 reelection bid, and find he’s not in as much trouble as Democrats hope. If his district lines are redrawn, they could include heavily Democratic communities in three neighboring districts – but the question is whether a GOP-heavy state legislature would do that to one of the party’s rising stars.

Allen West, scuba diving with an American flag.

 

Right now, this is the only way Allen West is underwater. Photo courtesy Allen West’s Photostream on Flickr.

Tags: Allen West

No 2012 Senate Bid for Allen West



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The Florida GOP Senate primary is already crowded. But despite some murmurs, Rep. Allen West will not be joining them, nor does he seem interested in a spot on the 2012 GOP ticket. He writes today, “I’m humbled by all of your encouragement to run for higher office. However, I am focused solely on winning FL-22 in 2012. This is my path.”

Tags: Allen West

Because You Want to Read This Headline:
Allen West Way Ahead



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At this point, I wouldn’t put too much stock in any poll for a November 2012 matchup, least of all House races. But a poll about a new member of Congress might be useful to get a sense of what kind of a first impression he’s making with his new constituents.

With that in mind, Allen West fans, enjoy:

A very early poll indicates that South Florida’s blunt-spoken Republican Congressman Allen West, a tea party darling, is favored by likely voters over his most prominent Democratic opponent Lois Frankel.

Viewpoint Florida, a public-opinion research firm that conducts automated phone polls, says a sample of voters favored West over Frankel by 53 percent to 38 percent, with 8 percent unsure.

West led the poll because he got overwhelming support — 83 percent — from Republican voters while only 69 percent of Democrats favored Frankel. Independent voters were split 45 percent to 45 percent.

Perhaps more telling:

Some 50 percent of the sample had a favorable impression of West, while 36 percent had an unfavorable impression. Only 28 percent had a favorable rating of Frankel, while 36 percent viewed her unfavorably.

A lot will happen in Florida and in the country between now and November 2012. But at least for now, West has started on the right foot.

Tags: Allen West , Lois Frankel

The Sleeveless Candidate



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Allen West has another Democratic challenger, departing West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel.

The Palm Beach Post examines her campaign’s strange sartorial obsession:

Frankel didn’t offer opinions on the stimulus bill, specific ways to address the national debt or what she thought about the situation in Libya. But she worked seven sleeve-rolling references into a 10-minute interview.

* “I just want to roll up my sleeves like I’ve done here in West Palm Beach and try to get a more vibrant economy here in South Florida.”

* “I’m not into the political bickering and the name-calling, really, just rolling up my sleeves. And I think that’s what we need — people who roll up their sleeves and solve problems.”

* “My approach as mayor has been to just roll up my sleeves, get things done. There’s a new vibrancy despite a very, very tough economy that’s all over the world today, but I believe West Palm Beach has a new vibrancy. It’s really been working with lots of other people where we just rolled up our sleeves to get things done.”

* “I have a very different point of view after being mayor for eight years. I love the nonpartisanship aspect of it. I’ve had Democrats and Republicans on my commission. I can’t say that we’ve never voted along party lines. We’ve identified problems and issues, we’ve rolled up our sleeves. Look, we don’t always get along but in the end it was about solving problems, creating economic vibrancy.”

* “So much of it is just, you know, you identify issues, you roll up your sleeves. I’m not running to be a national star. I am running just to be someone who’s going to work very hard for the people back home and right now the issue of the day is jobs, jobs, jobs and that’s what I’ll be focused on.”

Perhaps Vice President Biden will campaign for her, declaring that she’ll “literally roll up her sleeves.”

Expect a pugnacious campaign:

Charges against the son of Mayor Lois Frankel and a friend who were involved in a scuffle with a protestor during SunFest have been dropped, his attorney and father Richard Lubin said Friday.

Ben Lubin, 32, who left the service last year after tours of duty as a Marine captain in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his friend, Jason Elden, were charged by West Palm Beach police with strong-armed robbery. A man who joined police protestors outside at SunFest gate April 30 said the two pushed him and tried to take away his protest signs. Police held signs during the city’s annual music festival after the city denied a raise and eliminated step pay increases.

Self-described “media buyer” Jim Whelan had joined the police union protest that week carrying a sign that said: “Clean Up City Hall With Frankel Wipes.” He held a news conference the following Monday and said he thought the charges should be dropped.

“I understand now that he was upset that I was criticizing his mother,” Whelan said at the time. “. . . Mr. Lubin spent a night in jail, and that is as far as this should go. I will settle for a simple apology, and then put this matter to rest by dropping any and all charges.”

Tags: Allen West , Lois Frankel

Allen West’s Opponent: Let’s Unite Florida Against Extremists Like Him



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Florida congressman Allen West has his first declared opponent, a Democrat with a familiar name, Patrick Murphy. A Democrat with the same name represented Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district until this year.

Murphy’s first web video features him declaring, “I love my country. I love South Florida. And I’m not going to stand by while right-wing extremists like Allen West continue to divide us!”

“Unity!” demands the man who labels his opponent and the 54 percent who elected him “extremist.”

Tags: Allen West , Patrick Murphy

Slew of Defeated House Democrats Not Interested in 2012 Comeback Bids



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Sometimes, after a politician is defeated, they don’t come back — or at least not the next cycle:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said last month that he had contacted former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) about running for her old seat in 2012 . . .

Unfortunately for Israel, she may have other plans. After joining a Washington law firm earlier this month, Herseth Sandlin on Thursday dissolved her campaign committee — a move that generally means a candidate has no plans to make a quick return to politics.

In fact, Herseth Sandlin is just the latest 2010 loser to close down his or her committee; she joins a host of former Democratic members from conservative-leaning districts who have done the same.

Former Blue Dog Reps. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) and Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and another conservative Democrat, former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), have also shuttered their campaign committees in the aftermath of the 2010 election. (Hill has said he will not run again.)

Throw one more onto the pile:

Add ex-Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) to the probably-not-running-again list. He’s joining a FL lobbying firm.

Well, at least they’re finding jobs in this economy.

Klein lost to Allen West last cycle, 45 percent to 54 percent. Under the current district lines, Florida’s 22nd congressional district scores a D+1 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, and Obama carried it, 52 percent to 48 percent, in 2008. Klein’s disinterest doesn’t end the Democrats’ chances of retaking the seat, but it is a bit surprising.

Tags: Allen West , Baron Hill , Bobby Bright , Ike Skelton , Ron Klein , Stephanie Herseth Sandlin , Travis Childers , Walt Minnick

Allen West, Introduced By... Mark Foley?



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Er…. what?!?

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, a pariah with many in the GOP after he abruptly resigned in a 2006 Internet sex scandal, is slowly regaining acceptance with some local Republicans.

Foley spoke to a Palm Beach County Young Republicans meeting last week — his first time headlining a GOP event since his resignation — and on Tuesday he introduced new U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, at the grand opening of West’s district office in West Palm Beach.

What, did somebody make a bet about putting the most popular and least popular Republicans together at the same time?

Tags: Allen West , Mark Foley

Allen West: There’s No ‘Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln or Reagan in Egypt.’



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Via Twitter, Rep. Allen West of Florida joins the ranks of Republicans critical of Obama’s response to Egypt: “Obama shouldn’t demand the departure of Mubarak without knowing who fills void. No Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, or Reagan in Egypt.”

Tags: Allen West , Barack Obama , Egypt

Allen West: No Interest in Being on 2012 GOP Ticket



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Rep. Allen West’s, R-Fla., disinterest in the 2012 GOP ticket is positively refreshing:

In an interview Saturday evening on ‘Conservative Republican Forum’, with hosts Steven Rosenblum and Daria DiGiovanni, Republican Congressman Allen West (FL-22) was asked if he was thinking at all of running for President or Vice-President in 2012. His response was, “Well of course not.” He went on to say, “It’s so important that we as conservatives avoid the cult of personality style of leadership. But we really do elevate people based upon merit and talent. And, you know, I have to prove myself as an American statesman, as a political leader, and not just someone that is able to, you know give some good speeches. I have to be able to get up there and create legislation and get legislation pushed though and make myself a game changer on the House floor.”

West also argued against the “entitlement mentality” in the nomination process, and said that, “We cannot continue to have the model of Bob Dole against Bill Clinton or John McCain against Barack Obama. We’ve got to do something totally different.”

As a newly-elected congressman, West was an unlikely choice for either slot on the GOP ticket, but as a fiery African-American war veteran from a swing state, his name would be mentioned a lot more frequently than your average freshman lawmaker…

Tags: Allen West

Smile, Congressman West!



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Thirteen minutes ago, the office of newly sworn-in Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.) sent out this photo, in an e-mail labeled “We did it!”

Allen West, being sworn in, but not smiling.

Come on, Congressman. It’s your day to be sworn in to an office you campaigned for and worked hard to achieve. Sure, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, but you’re allowed to smile.

Three minutes ago, his office sent out the same message with this photo:

Now Allen West is smiling.

Now that’s more like it!

Tags: Allen West

Good News for GOP in Florida and Oregon, Okay News in Michigan



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A few House polls out this morning, all okay to good news for the GOP. In most of these, I think the more relevant number is the level of support for the incumbent.

In Florida:

Republican Allen West narrowly leads U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in a bruising battle for South Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows. West leads Klein 47-44 in the survey of likely voters conducted Oct. 17-19. Nine percent of respondents are undecided.West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, lost by 10 points to Klein in 2008, a strong year for Democrats. But with Republicans surging this fall, West is picking up more independents, along with solid tea party support. “West has to be the slight favorite here simply because of the turnout differential,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News. Lee reported that West’s 3-point lead grows to 5 points among respondents who say their chances of voting are “excellent” (49-44) and 4 points among “2x” voters, or those who cast ballots in both the ’08 and ’06 general elections (48-44).

In Michigan:

Freshmen Democrats Gary Peters and Mark Schauer hold small but significant leads in their fights to hold onto congressional seats in Oakland County and south-central Michigan, even as Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder is pounding his Democratic opponent in both districts, a new Free Press-WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) poll shows. Peters leads Republican challenger Andrew (Rocky) Raczkowski 48% to 43% in the 9th District, while Schauer leads former Rep. Tim Walberg 45% to 39% in the hotly contested 7th District race, according to the poll conducted by EPIC/MRA of Lansing.

By the way, Politico touts these polls as “Big for Dems in the West.” Er . . .

And in Oregon:

In an election for US House of Representatives in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District today, Republican challenger Scott Bruun edges Democratic incumbent Kurt Schrader 51% to 41%, according to an exclusive KATU-TV poll conducted by SurveyUSA. Bruun, elected to the Oregon House in 2004, runs strong among men and younger voters. Schrader is within striking distance among women and older voters. As it has in other geographies, SurveyUSA here probes to see if those who rarely vote in congressional elections, but who say they are uniquely motivated to vote in 2010, are voting Republican. One theory underlying much of the 2010 campaign narrative is that Republicans are uniquely motivated, Democrats uniquely dispirited.

As I said above, separate from name ID, people already know how they feel about the incumbent; they’re not likely to develop a sudden bout of admiration between now and Election Day.

Tags: Allen West , Rocky Raczkowski , Scott Bruun , Tim Walberg

A Man on a Mission, To Get an Admission



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I think if Allen West tells you to admit something, you had better admit it.

A lot of the last-minute negative attacks are the Democrats begging the electorate, “please, please, please, let’s talk about anything except our record over the past two years.

James Carville, 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Carville, today: “You can’t just talk about the economy.”

Tags: Allen West , Ron Klein

Florida Democrats Deserve One-Digit Salute for Revealing West’s Nine Digits



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Florida’s Democratic party just sent Allen West’s Social Security number to thousands of Floridians in the mail.

It’s terrible. Having said that, I pity the fool who tries to steal Allen West’s identity.

Tags: Allen West

Allen West Unveils His First General-Election TV Ad



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If Allen West wins his House race in Florida, he is going to be a superstar.

Heck, some would argue he’s a superstar now. His opponent, incumbent Democrat Ron Klein, has a lot of money. But West has been raising money quite well, too.

Tags: Allen West , Ron Klein

If the NRCC Didn’t Buy Ad Time in Your District, There’s Probably a Reason



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Over at the Club for Growth, David Keating notices the NRCC “Young Guns” who aren’t getting any TV ads from the committee, at least not in the first wave.

At first glance, most of these candidates look like they’re in okay shape and aren’t in dire need of NRCC ads in their district.

AR-2, Tim Griffin: Leads early polling, has a cash advantage on his Democratic rival.

FL-22, Allen West: Phenomenal fund-raiser as is. He’ll need every dime he can get against well-funded Ron Klein, but in the end, West just needs enough to ensure he isn’t blown away in the advertising war.

IL-14, Randy Hultgren: Perhaps he’s one of the more surprising omissions, but it’s a suburban Chicago seat and that means an expensive television market.

NJ-3, Jon Runyan: Former NFL star shouldn’t have a hard time raising additional funds; he’s already given $300,000 to his own campaign.

NM-1, John Barela: He’s sitting on $537,000 in cash, according to his most recent filing.

NY-29, Tom Reed: This seat is deemed one of the seats most likely to flip in November; the NRCC probably concluded Tom Reed is doing fine, at least for now.

OH-13, Tom Ganley: This Republican is just going to have to get by on the $3 million or so he’s given his campaign so far.

PA-8, Michael Fitzpatrick: Pretty expensive media market (Philadelphia). In his last report, Fitzpatrick had more than $660,000 in the bank, so he’s actually well-stocked, even though rival Patrick Murphy has much more.

VA-11, Keith Fimian: Expensive media market (Washington, D.C.). Fimian’s behind in the most recent cash-on-hand numbers, but he’s raised more than $1 million over the course of his campaign.

VA-9, Morgan Griffith: Perhaps a bit surprising, but rival Rick Boucher is already running from Obama, and Griffith is probably going to be outspent no matter how well he raises money. This race will probably come down to whether a deeply conservative district (R+11) wants to keep sending a Democrat to Congress.

UPDATE: Interesting. I am informed that the NRCC did make a late addition to their list, reserving air time for the race in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district to help out Jon Runyan.

Tags: Allen West , Jon Barela , Jon Runyon , Keith Fimian , Michael Fitzpatrick , Morgan Griffith , Randy Hultgren , Tim Griffin , Tom Ganley , Tom Reed

Big Money Headed West



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GOP challenger Allen West is taking on one of the best-funded Democrats in the House, Ron Klein, down in Florida. But he’s starting to catch up. West collected $1.4 million this quarter, and has $2.2 million on hand. Klein hasn’t released his numbers yet, but he had $2.6 million on hand last quarter.

Tags: Allen West , Ron Klein

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