Allen West: Following the Money

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Allen West has raked in the dough.
Congressional candidate Allen West has gained national attention for his enormous campaign haul -- he'd raised $4 million by August, compared to $2.5 million raised by his opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron Klein. It's time to examine the origins of all that dough. Some of the top contributors, whose donations were compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, might surprise you. Who knew West had such a penchant for tires?

1. TBC Corp. $21,200. Based in Palm Beach Gardens, this company sells tires through big-name stores such as Tire Kingdom and Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers.

2. Bank of America. $11,000. Otherwise known as Bailed Out of America, this firm received billions of your taxpayer dollars when the economy went bust. Luckily, it still had plenty of dough left over to lobby on Capitol Hill.

3. Hypower Inc. $10,500. A Fort Lauderdale-based contracting company that does electrical and engineering work. Interestingly, it's owned by the Paul-Hus brothers, including Richard Paul-Hus, the North Broward Hospital Board treasurer, appointed to the board by (then-Republican) Gov. Charlie Crist.

4. Sunshine PAC. $10,000. This group is affiliated with former longtime Republican U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. It should shock no one to learn that Clay wants West to follow in his footsteps representing the 22nd congressional district, which covers the coast from Oakland Park to Palm Beach Gardens.

5. Freedom Project. $10,000. House Republican Leader John Boehner's PAC to elect Tea Party-type candidates to Congress. In 2009, the PAC received at least $5,000 from Koch Industries, the oil giant that has also given handsomely to Marco Rubio's campaign.


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