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Oil spill politics: Dems rip Klein challenger West on drilling

by George Bennett | May 4th, 2010

The Florida Democratic Party is blasting Republican congressional challenger Allen West for his past support of offshore drilling and his heretofore limited response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

West is challenging U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, in a race that has gained national attention as West’s fund-raising has dwarfed the incumbent’s for the last two quarters.

Klein has opposed expanding offshore drilling while West has favored it. After the Deepwater Horizon explosion, West wrote on his campaign website Sunday that the gulf spill is “very worrisome” and that America needs to enhance its energy independence.

Says Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff: “West’s only response to the crisis has been a two word mention on his campaign blog. Rather than hiding behind his computer screen, maybe Allen West could demonstrate a little courage and publicly declare his continued support for drilling off Florida’s beaches. This just goes to show how breathtakingly out-of-touch he is with the residents of the 22nd District.”

After the Democratic blast, West offered a lengthier response today voicing concern and calling for safeguards while adding “Any person permanently taking oil exploration off the table is closing the door for an energy independent United States, thus further enabling our enemies to hold us hostage and fund terrorists that continue to plot attacks against us.”

Read West’s statement after the jump….

Republican congressional candidate Allen West on the Deepwater Horizon spill:

“As an avid diver and someone who recently participated in a beach clean-up with constituents of District 22, I am concerned about this incident. A complete investigation into the cause of the explosion is of utmost importance.  We must also put safeguards in place aimed at preventing future incidents, and corporations must be held accountable for their actions.  I am disturbed at the lack of urgency and slow response exhibited by the Obama Administration as thousands of  gallons of oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico.

I support developing the full spectrum of energy resources available, as energy independence is vital to American National Security.  This “all of the above” strategy will create jobs in Florida, which is suffering an unprecedented unemployment rate of 12.3% under Ron Klein’s watch.

Any person permanently taking oil exploration off the table is closing the door for an energy independent United States, thus further enabling our enemies to hold us hostage and fund terrorists that continue to plot attacks against us.”

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27 Responses to “Oil spill politics: Dems rip Klein challenger West on drilling”

  1. Sid Dinerstein Says:

    Dear Friends:

    This is laugh out loud funny.
    We have a President in the White House that makes George Bush look like a positive genius on Emergency Response and the Dems want to blame Allen West.
    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Sid

  2. Reuben Says:

    Sid, get real. Nothing could make George W. Bush look like a genius under any circumstances. I don’t blame West, and I don’t blame President Obama. I blame us, the people, for ignoring this problem for so long and for politicians from both parties who are so intent on getting reelected they will say or do anything, even at the cost of what’s best for the people of this country.

  3. Reality Says:

    Please Sid,
    Your comparison of W to Obama is laugh out loud funny. W’s pea brain, and Allen West’s for that matter, couldn’t hold Obama’s intellectual “jockstrap.” Instead of defending your party’s lockstep position on drilling off our coasts, which you now CAN’T, you resort to comparing Obama and Bush. You sir, ARE the joke.

    At least Obama has looked at what’s happened and hardened his stance against offshore drilling. Thats the right thing to do. Sticking to the party line in this situation is plain stupid. People want to see that our leaders can assess, and address, a situation based on FACTS, not on whatever the party line is, popularity aside.

  4. Ace Says:

    We need accountability…

    Monday, May 3, 2010
    Turning the Tide on Lawcap and Fincap

    http://inpoints.blogspot.com/2010/05/turning-tide-on-lawcap-and-fincap.html

  5. Don't Go West Says:

    Allen West is insane. He would embarrass our community if elected to the Congress. His radical agenda and off the cuff remarks are a liability that our district should not take on.

    DON’T GO WEST!

  6. Joe Schmoe Says:

    Reality – I have to say, “YOU’RE A MORON” A couple of weeks before the platform burned and sank Chairman Obama announced the US would allow drilling off the Florida coast…now he’s completely turned 180 degrees after this disaster. Haven’t you all realized he says exactly what you all want to hear but does whatever he wants….just like his campaign. I’m no Bush ditto head but the idiot in the Whitehouse now is worse than stupid. HE’S DANGEROUS.

  7. Ron Says:

    Everybody does realize that rigs are still pumping out oil in the Gulf as we speak. That US production accounts for one third of all oil used by the American public.

    Drill. Nasty, dirty accidents occur. We need to devise better ways of cleaning up.

    The failure on this oil platform was a subcontractor’s work, not Bp’s.

    Klein is an elitist from an east coast ivy league school. Obama has too many ivy leaguers clogging up our government.

    Klein=Obama=TAX and SPEND SPEND SPEND!

    D E B T and MORE T A X A T I O N!

  8. NOWEST Says:

    Read about how allen west was kicked out of the military, fined $5,000 and avoided courtmarshall for torturing an innocent Iraqi Police officer. http://nowestfl22.blogspot.com/
    He makes one bad decision after another…

  9. JGP Says:

    Even if the US doesn’t drill offshore, Cuba has its’ own offshore Gulf drilling underway–and it’s beyond our control.

    An NOAA scientist is on the record as saying 95% of the oil could have been contained if the government adopted prior recommendation, but instead the Obama Administration waited a week before doing anything.

    For info. on the NOAA report:

    http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/fire_boom_oil_spill_raines.html

  10. ELC Says:

    I can not vote for either but if I could
    neither would get my vote anyhow. I don’t know enough about West but Klein is a first class jack-ass and always was. The man has no brain cells whatssoever and if he could kiss Obama’s
    behind-he would do it just to get brownie points. A brain is a terrible
    thing to waste-in Klein it is already
    lost. I do hope he loses.I’m keeping my
    fingers crossed that he does. Good-bye
    moran.

  11. Seth Platt Says:

    When allen west is asked on Fox news, “Would they really be in favor of drilling offshore, Palm Beach? Would they really?”
    WEST answers: 
    “Yes they would,”

    My Question: DOES ANYONE LIVING IN PALM BEACH WANT OIL RIGS OFF YOUR BEACHES?
    My answer: NO

    CAN YOU TELL THIS GUY HAS BEEN LIVING IN TEXAS FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS?

    WEST IS BAD FOR FLORIDA.

  12. Seth Platt Says:

    REPUBLICANS = BIG OIL
    REPUBLICANS give OIL Companies whatever they desire including huge tax subsidies during windfall profits at the expense of the consumer, and running our foreign Policy by starting unnecessary Wars.
    While Dems call for restrictions and bans on drilling off shore Repugs like West, Cannon and Haridopolos urge for drilling even closer to shore.

  13. nemo Says:

    Sabotage…it plays right into the proven environmental game plan.

  14. getyourfactsright Says:

    @Ron-

    Rep. Klein went to Ohio State. Last time I checked, The Ohio State University was more concerned with dominating big ten football, not masquerading as an “east coast elite ivy league school” as you say.

  15. Joe Budd Says:

    At the Federal Convention meeting in Philadelphia in May 1787 there was concern over creating too large a standing army so the delegates were looking to restrict its size to 5000 men. George Washington mockingly proposed to amend the restriction of a standing army of 5000 men by forbidding any enemy to invade the United States with more than 3000.

    Likewise, energy independence has significant national defense implications. Since we cannot make a law capping the price of oil, nor can we tell evil dictators how to spend their oil profits, nor can we restrict Cuba from signing leases with China (can you say Chinese drywall) to drill within 50 miles of the Florida Keys then I say we concentrate our efforts on ways to make drilling safer rather than play politics with this disaster.

    Taking a stand against drilling is easy right now. I’d like to know where Mr. Klein was when his constituents were asking him to hold a healthcare town hall meeting. Oh that’s right, he was in hiding!

  16. Independent Says:

    To Seth Platt – but I suppose it’s okay for some other chump to have oil platforms off their beach so you can still drive your car?

  17. Ed Fulop Says:

    Well said, Joe.

  18. Alan Bergstein Says:

    So, a Democrat bigwig says that Col. Allen West lacks “courage.” A decorated battlefield hero, who for 23 years in the military put his life on the line is now called a coward? If Ron Klein is so filled with “courage,” why has he refused every single community group’s request to have a debate between him and West? Hey, Democrats, tell Klein to come out of his gated, million buck, secure Boca mansion and show his “courage” by standing toe to toe with Allen West and facing him like a man. FAT CHANCE!!
    Alan Bergstein

  19. luckydog Says:

    So dems, any oil well can cause a pollution problem. So lets just shut them all down. Problem solved. Now have you got a dependable bicycle?

  20. Reality Says:

    Joe”Scmuk”: Yes I realize Obama opened up to the “drill baby drill” crowd, much to the chagrin of his base. I didn’t like it, but understood that he was TRYING to be bipartisan in his approach by compromising. My point is that this disaster has made him re-think that stance, which opens him up for criticism for being a flip flopper. But he nevertheless DID IT in an attempt to compromise on the energy issue. In other words, HE WAS TRYING TO GET SOMETHING DONE. And he has risked criticism from obviously unsophisticated folks like you who don’t really understand the intricacies of politics and can’t accept that he’s YOUR President. It wasn’t popular for him to go against his party or his base on drilling, but he did it. I don’t call his way dangerous, I call it pragmatic LEADERSHIP.

  21. bc Says:

    lucky dog,ive got one and i ride 60 -80 miles per day.legs of steel.it wouldnt hurt if people rode their bike the 1/2 mile to publix or their kids elementary school.get your old schwinn out of the garage and pump up those tires.

  22. Teenage republican Says:

    HEY NO WEST,

    HOW DARE YOU TRY TO DISCREDIT A 23 YEAR OLD ARMY COMBAT VETERAN WHO PUT HIS BUTT ON THE LINE SO THAT IGNORANT PANZY LIBERAL BLOGERS LIKE YOU CAN BITCH AND COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW YOU HATE AMERICA!HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SHOT AT BEFORE?

  23. Independent Says:

    Anyone who can put the two words ‘obama’ and ‘bipartisan’ in the same sentence and be serious, is a complete and utter MORON. Just what has he done that’s BIPARTISAN since he took office? West is an honest, brave man of conviction, which is unfortunately why he will not be very successful in congress. You need to be a lying coward with no morals who can be bought by the Obama bullies with back-room golden handshakes…

  24. Don't Go West Says:

    ALLEN WEST IS BAD FOR FLORIDA.

    He’s a nightmare for our communities. He will embarrass us all if we are fooled into voting for him because he is a good speaker. He is ultra-right wing; paid by the oil companies. Say goodbye to our beaches and hello to more oil slicks. Don’t let this slick, sick man represent us in Washington.

    DON’T GO WEST!

  25. yupyup Says:

    you gotta love the elitist comment ron went to ohio st and case western for law school but i am sure both mid west institutions would be honored to be called elitist ivy league schools. by the way since when did becoming educated become a bad a thing?

  26. Ed Fulop Says:

    Hey Seth, Reality, and NOWEST –

    Reprint from Politico:
    Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

    While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

    BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

    During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html#ixzz0n5ulEwYg

  27. Mark Zist Says:

    This article misses the point and bows to the environmental extremism of the EPA. Americans still favor drilling despite this incident by a nearly 2-1 ratio – but the Enviro nazis insist this should end all drilling. Maybe we should have banned boats after the Exxon Valdez disaster.

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