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Allen West rips ‘cowards’ who walked out on his Middle East speech in Chicago

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by George Bennett

Allen West at a Palm Beach County GOP dinner this year (BRUCE r. BENNETT / PALM BEACH POST)


Former Rep. Allen West of Palm Beach Gardens spoke about the Middle East at DePaul University in Chicago on Monday night and, according to West’s account, nearly half his audience staged a walkout.

“I guess the truth hurts,” West wrote on his website.

Conservative Republican West was no stranger to controversy during his stormy single term in Congress (here’s one example, and here’s another), and he seemed to relish ticking off a segment of his audience at DePaul.

“But I had my own fun at DePaul. As I stood waiting to speak and surveyed the crowd, it was easy to pick out the ones there to make some protest statement — especially on a college campus where the topic was the Middle East and the Israeli-Arab situation,” West wrote.

West said it was after he made remarks critical of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its late leader Yasser Arafat that about 30 people in the crowd of 70 walked out “at the command of some individual…To me they were cowards who refused to hear anything that countered their radical agenda.”

West wrote that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict must be based on “a recognition of the right for the Jewish state to exist. There has to be a renouncing of Islamic terrorism.”

8 quotes that probably will be edited out of later editions of Allen West’s new book

Friday, April 4th, 2014 by George Bennett

Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln are among the famous figures misquoted in former Rep. Allen West's new book.

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West‘s new book is brimming with quotations from famous figures on the virtues of small government, the need for the Second Amendment, the importance of honoring veterans and the perils of redistributing wealth.

Several of the quotes in Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom are familiar — but have been flagged by historians as erroneous.

West joins President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in being duped by one George Washington quote that is widely circulated but, according to historians, wasn’t said by America’s first president.

Four quotes that West attributes to Thomas Jefferson have been branded “spurious” by researchers at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. West’s book also attributes words to Abraham Lincoln, Alexis de Tocqueville and Patrick Henry that have been debunked by historians.

Read the full article here.

See the bogus quotes after the jump…

(more…)

‘Congressman who can count’? Blackjack player Schlesinger puts different spin on CPA Murphy slogan

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 by George Bennett

When Democrat Patrick Murphy ran for Congress in 2012 against Republican Rep. Allen West, he contrasted his experience as a Certified Public Accountant with West’s reputation for polarizing rhetoric.

“We need a few more people in Congress who can count, and a few less who divide,” Murphy said in one campaign ad.

Two years later, half a dozen Republicans are hoping to unseat freshman Rep. Murphy in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18. One of the Republican hopefuls is Alan Schlesinger, a former legislator and mayor in Connecticut who’s also a card counter at blackjack.

“Isn’t it about time we have a congressman who can count?” Schlesinger quipped last week.

Stories about Schlesinger’s gambling caused some problems for his 2006 campaign for Senate in Connecticut. Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read Schlesinger’s explanation in this week’s Politics column.

GOP congressional hopeful Ellen Andel, endorsed by Allen West, drops out of race for Murphy seat

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by George Bennett

Ellen Andel speaks at recent GOP candidates forum.

The candidate endorsed by former U.S. Rep. Allen West for a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional seat is dropping out of the race.

Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel snagged West’s endorsement last year in her pursuit of the Republican nomination to challenge freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. Murphy defeated West in a close and expensive 2012 race.

In a statement this afternoon, Andel said: “After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to end my run for Congress. The stress on my family has become more than I am willing to accept, and their health and happiness are my first and foremost priorities. I have a deep gratitude for all those who have believed in me and supported me. You will remain in my thoughts as I continue to advocate for a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

While West was a prolific money-raiser in his campaigns, his backing didn’t boost Andel’s fundraising. She collected only $45,532 through Dec. 31 and began 2014 with $5,537 in her campaign account. Murphy has raised $2.1 million and began the year with nearly $1.8 million cash on hand.

With Andel’s departure, the GOP field still includes former state Rep. Carl Domino, former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest, former Connecticut lawmaker Alan Schlesinger and Jupiter nurse Beverly Hires.

NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ depicts socialite-thief with Allen West and Ted Cruz

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by George Bennett


Images of a pair of tea party icons — former U.S. Rep. Allen West of Palm Beach Gardens and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — showed up briefly in NBC’s crime drama The Blacklist on Monday night, depicted with a high-end thief named Madeline Pratt (played by Streepian actress Jennifer Ehle).

“This is the Madeline Pratt you all know and love – politically active, influential, a good citizen,” says actor James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington while images of the Pratt character appear on overhead screens in photos with West and then Cruz.

“What you don’t know is the Madeline Pratt that I love — 6 million in diamonds stolen from a DeBeers outpost in the Congo, security fibers used in printing the Czech Koruna taken from a mint in Prague and used to produce counterfeit bank notes. The Madeline Pratt you know fosters relationships with incredibly powerful people. The one you don’t exploits those relationships in ways that impact national security.”

Said West via text message this morning: “I guess NBC will do anything for ratings, and I have never seen the show.”

No public meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Patrick Murphy, but her fundraiser will help him

Monday, February 24th, 2014 by George Bennett

Murphy and Pelosi in 2012 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi once showed off freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, to the Washington media, declaring that Murphy’s 2012 defeat of Republican Allen West “sends a message to a new generation of Americans that their voices will be heard at the table.”

But when Pelosi visited Palm Beach County last week for a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches speech and a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Murphy was miles away. A public appearance with liberal Pelosi probably wouldn’t help Murphy in a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district that leans slightly Republican. But the DCCC money Pelosi raised will help Murphy and other Democratic House candidates.

Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read more about it in this week’s Politics column.

Fundraising for Republicans hoping to oust Murphy lags behind other successful challengers

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by George Bennett

The combined 2013 fundraising of GOP candidates (from left) Domino, Andel, Schlesigner and Turnquest was about one-fifth of Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy's total.


With $116,938 from contributors and another $279,527 of his own money invested in his congressional bid as of Dec. 31, former state Rep. Carl Domino is the top money-raiser among Republicans who have filed for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Murphy raised $2.6 million through Dec. 31, which may make him the top Democratic money-raiser in the House this year.

Even setting aside Murphy’s prodigious fundraising, the money raised by Domino and other Republican candidates in District 18 should set off warning bells for the GOP in a race the party has billed as a top national priority. Recent history shows Domino and the GOP field are lagging behind the fundraising of other challengers who unseated congressional incumbents in Palm Beach County districts.

Since 2006, five members of Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation have lost their seats — Republican Reps. Clay Shaw and Mark Foley in 2006 (Foley resigned before the election, but his name remained on the ballot), Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney in 2008, Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in 2010 and Republican Rep. Allen West in 2012.

In each of those cases, the winning challenger had raised more money from contributors by Dec. 31 of the year before the election than Domino has raised. Even when his substantial personal contribution is added in, Domino lags behind four of the five successful challengers in total fundraising.

Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read more about it in this week’s Politics column. Short-term passes are available for as little as 99 cents a day.

Potential GOP challengers to Rep. Patrick Murphy meet in West Palm Beach today

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by George Bennett

Six Republicans vying for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, are expected to attend a Republican Club of the Palm Beaches candidate forum in West Palm Beach today.

Follow PostOnPolitics.com and @gbennettpost on Twitter for updates from the event, which is scheduled to begin at noon.

Since narrowly defeating former Rep. Allen West in 2012 in a district that leans slightly Republican, Democrat Murphy has been identified as a top target by national Republicans. But the Republicans who have opened campaigns for the District 18 seat do not appear to have gained much traction with contributors while Murphy has amassed a warchest of more than $1.5 million.

Republicans expected at today’s forum are Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel, former state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter, former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest, former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger, Tequesta resident and former state House write-in candidate Beverly Hires and Ilya Katz, who ran as a no-party challenger against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2012 and says he intends to run in District 18 this year.

Democrat Patrick Murphy’s potential challengers aren’t on national GOP’s ‘radar’

Thursday, November 21st, 2013 by George Bennett

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a list today of 36 House candidates who are “On The Radar” for 2014.

None of the up-and-coming Republican hopefuls are from Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional District 18, where freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy has been identified as a top national target.

Four Republicans have opened campaigns in District 18 — Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel, who recently landed the endorsement of former Rep. Allen West; former state Rep. Carl Domino; former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger; and former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest — but their fundraising has been lackluster compared to Murphy’s $1.4 million cash on hand. Former state House majority leader Adam Hasner has not ruled out joining the Republican field.

The only Florida congressional candidate on the GOP’s “radar” list is Carlos Curbelo, the Miami-Dade school board member vying for the seat of Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia in Miami.

Allen West embraces his inner samurai in ‘Guardian of the Republic’

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by George Bennett

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West‘s book will be titled “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom.”

Written with the help of aide Michele Hickford, the Crown Publishing Group release is scheduled to hit bookstores on April 1. But the cover has been released on West’s new website and it depicts the conservative firebrand in a suit and tie while seated on a motorcycle.

Encyclopedia Brittanica describes ronin as “any of the masterless samurai warrior aristocrats of the late Muromachi (1138–1573) and Tokugawa (1603–1867) periods who were often vagrant and disruptive and sometimes actively rebellious.”

Challenger out-raises Hastings in individual contributions, but PACs boost incumbent

Monday, October 21st, 2013 by George Bennett

PAC checks pad the re-election account of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and other incumbents.


The latest batch of Federal Election Commission reports confirms one of the many advantages of incumbency — the tendency of PACs to shower money on sitting members of Congress.

Enright

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, raised only $7,425 from individual donors during the quarter that ended Sept. 30. His Democratic primary challenger, Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Jean Enright, snagged $19,065. But Hastings enjoys a big fundraising edge thanks to PAC contributions.

Freshman Reps. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, have seen a big boost in PAC money since winning their seats last year. And Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, has received nearly one-third of his 2014 contributions from PACs.

Subscribers can read more about it in this week’s Politics column. One-day passes to MyPalmBeachPost.com are available as well.

Also in this week’s Politics column:

– Former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff sets a timeline for deciding on whether she’ll seek a rematch against Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs.

– Former U.S. Rep. Allen West is launching a new website, but he doesn’t own the allenwest.com domain name. Find out who does and what the owner says about giving it up.

– Find out which local official incorporated a Standard & Poors statistic into the opening prayer at last week’s Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.

Before Allen West, conservative media star, there was Allenwest Inc., San Diego printer

Friday, October 18th, 2013 by George Bennett

West

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West has launched a new website that collects his writings, provides links to his many TV appearances and offers information on his foundation, political action committee and forthcoming book.

The site is www.allenbwest.com, featuring the conservative firebrand’s middle initial in the domain name.

The domain name allenwest.com was not available. It belongs to a company in San Diego called Allenwest Inc. that prints labels. The owner, Albert Allen, said he registered the domain name long before Allen West was a national figure.

‘We’re not going to change it or give it up right now — no offense to the former senator,” the printer told the Politics column.

Allen West to headline fundraiser for GOP congressional candidate Ellen Andel

Thursday, October 17th, 2013 by George Bennett

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West will headline a Nov. 8 fundraiser for Republican Ellen Andel, one of four GOP candidates who hopes to unseat West’s 2012 Democratic foe Patrick Murphy.

Six female members of Congress are also on the host committee for the $500-a-head event at the Palm Beach Gardens home of Adrienne and Michael Papa.

Murphy narrowly defeated West in one of America’s costliest U.S. House races last year. Andel, a Juno Beach councilwoman, is running for the GOP nomination for Murphy’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat. Other Republicans in the race are former state Rep. Carl Domino, former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger and former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest.

Calvin Turnquest enters GOP primary for Murphy congressional seat

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 by George Bennett

Turnquest

Former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest says he’s entering the 2014 Republican primary race for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional seat held by freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel, former state Rep. Carl Domino and former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger have already opened Republican campaigns. Former state House majority leader Adam Hasner remains a potential GOP candidate as well.

Turnquest, 44, is the only black candidate in the race. He says he hopes to persuade Republican primary voters that he would be a more viable candidate in the general election than his GOP rivals.

“I’m the only one that can take away a portion of his (Murphy’s) base,” said Turnquest, who said he was referring to black voters. Blacks make up 9.7 percent of registered voters in congressional District 18. “If you look at the big picture and see which candidate can go toe to toe with Patrick Murphy in general election, I think I am the one to do it.”

Murphy narrowly won the seat last year by defeating a black Republican, former Rep. Allen West.

Pafford’s money plan for Dems, Domino’s West-free fundraising pitch, Andel’s Rooney connection & more

Monday, September 30th, 2013 by George Bennett

Can Pafford raise money for Dems statewide?

State Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, has been a weak fundraiser throughout his political career. Now he’s in charge of recruiting candidates and raising money for Democratic state House races across Florida.

Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read about Pafford’s approach to his new job in this week’s Politics column. Low-price one-day passes are also available.

Also in this week’s Politics column…

– Find out the name of the fourth Democrat considering the open Palm Beach County Commission primary for the western District 6 seat of term-limited Jess Santamaria.

– After invoking former Rep. Allen West’s name in recent fundraising pitches, Republican congressional hopeful Carl Domino doesn’t mention the conservative firebrand in a Friday solicitation. Domino explains why.

– Two members of the Rooney family hosted a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Ellen Andel last week. Will Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, get involved?

– The latest anti-Obamacare effort from Boca Raton orthodontist and conservative activist Larry Kawa.

Allen West’s role reduced at PJ Media

Thursday, September 26th, 2013 by George Bennett

West (left) promoting PJ Media's Next Generation TV with a cardboard likeness of himself earlier this year.

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West of Palm Beach Gardens will “transition” from being full-time director of programming for an internet TV show to being a part-time contributor “in order to give him more time to focus on his political interests,” PJ Media announced today.

PJ Media released a statement late this afternoon through a PR firm, Black Rock Group, after Buzzfeed.com reported that West was leaving his job “after an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a ‘Jewish American princess.’ “

“He was not fired,” Black Rock’s Elizabeth Beadle said this afternoon.

Asked about West’s alleged use of the anti-Semitic term, Beadle said, “We don’t comment on internal matters based on policy.”

West could not be reached late this afternoon.

The conservative firebrand narrowly lost his reelection bid to Democrat Patrick Murphy last year. In January, he joined conservative PJ Media as director of Next Generation programming and co-host of an internet TV show aimed at younger viewers.

Palm Beach County’s Limbaugh, Coulter, Ruddy on conservative clout list; Rubio not in top 25

Monday, September 16th, 2013 by George Bennett

Palm Beacher Rush Limbaugh tops conservative Townhall.com’s list of “The 25 Most Influential People On The Right For 2013.”

Four U.S. Senators make the list — but not Florida Sen. and onetime tea party fave Marco Rubio. Rubio is one of 30 people making Townhall’s honorable mention list. Also getting honorable mention are Palm Beacher Ann Coulter and Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy of West Palm Beach.

Senators deemed more influential on the right than Rubio include emerging conservative stars Ted Cruz (#9) and Rand Paul (#14). Sen. John McCain is no favorite of conservatives, but Townhall ranks him #11, explaining that “because of his stature and his shamelessness about betraying the people he represents, McCain is the biggest Republican power player in the Senate.” Sen. Mitch McConnell is called “timid” and a “terrible communicator” but ranks #18 by virtue of his position as Senate Minority Leader.

Other notable Floridians who didn’t make Townhall’s top 25 or one of the 30 honorable mention slots include former Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. Rep. Allen West.

State Rep. Gayle Harrell decides against bid for Murphy congressional seat

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 by George Bennett

Ending months of speculation, state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, said today she will not seek the nationally targeted Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 congressional seat of freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

“Thank you to those who encouraged me to run for the U.S. Congress. Your faith and belief in me is truly humbling. However, I believe Tallahassee is where I will have the biggest impact and make the most difference for you and our community,” Harrell said in a statement this afternoon. She said she’ll open a re-election campaign for her state House seat.

Three other Republicans have opened District 18 congressional campaigns — former state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter, Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel and former Connecticut GOP Senate nominee Alan Schlesinger. Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner has been eyeing the race as well.

Harrell, who has represented a Martin-St. Lucie district for a combined 9 years in Tallahassee, is probably better-known than those other Republicans in the Treasure Coast, which accounts for 58 percent of the voters in the congressional district.

Harrell ran for Congress in 2008, placing second to eventual U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney in a three-candidate Republican primary.

Murphy is one of only nine Democrats in the House to win election in a district that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. Murphy edged Republican incumbent Allen West last year and is considered a top 2014 target by the national GOP.

Murphy to hold his first town hall meeting via phone on Thursday

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 by George Bennett

Freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, will hold a town hall-style teleconference with constituents on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Automated phone calls will go out to thousands of residents of Murphy’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 inviting them to participate in the teleconference. Constituents can also sign up to participate by clicking here before noon on Thursday.

It’s Murphy’s first town hall-type meeting with constituents since taking office. Former Rep. Allen West, the Republican who narrowly lost to Murphy last November, held two in-person town halls each month with constituents.

West’s events routinely packed hundreds into meeting halls. Proponents of the teleconference format say it allows a member of Congress to reach thousands of constituents.

Said Murphy spokeswoman Erin Moffet Hale: “This is his first telephone town hall and while he has not held any events labeled a ‘town hall’ to date, he has participated in almost 200 public events that are more personal in nature, allowing for better constituent outreach and communication than a large ‘town hall’ event would foster.”

Allen West breaks silence on Trayvon Martin, blasts ‘usual suspect race baiters’ and ‘white liberals’

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 by George Bennett

West

Former Republican Rep. Allen West, who in 2012 said George Zimmerman had “no authorization” to shoot Trayvon Martin and called the slaying “an outrage” meriting a federal Department of Justice probe, has weighed in on the case for the first time since Saturday’s acquittal of Zimmerman by a jury in Sanford.

In a Facebook post today, West didn’t comment on the verdict or the shooting itself, but blasted “usual suspect race baiters” and “white liberals” who he says are using the case for political gain.

West, who was one of two black Republicans in the 112th Congress and whose Facebook page has more than 339,000 “likes,” got 21,000 likes, 8,000 shares and 2,000 comments in the first two hours after posting on the subject.

Here’s what West had to say: “Yes, Trayvon Martin shooting was a tragedy which the usual suspect race baiters and progressive media are using for political gain. Where is the outrage for the recent killings in Chicago of a 6-month-old black baby, 16-year-old black honor student, or 17-year-old black teenager who refused to join a gang? The focus is on the symptoms which promote political gain, not the disease which now afflicts the black community. And I am tired of white liberals invoking the heinous memory of lynchings.”

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