Allen West's Illegal Underwater Flag Trip Was Organized by Taxpayer-Funded Tourism Board

Categories: Politics
Congressman-Allen-West-celebrates-Learn-to-Dive-month.jpg
West's underwater salute comes courtesy of the visitors bureau.
The dive trip in which U.S. Rep. Allen West violated federal law by bringing along an American flag was organized by a tourism group funded by tax money.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau organized the dive trip to promote "Learn to Dive Month." It was supposed to bring attention to local dive companies, visitors bureau spokesman Jessica Taylor said. West had previously volunteered his skills as a diver to promote local scuba operations, Taylor said, so visitors bureau officials figured he'd help  bring extra attention to the event.

Asked whether a taxpayer-funded organization should organize a dive trip with such a polarizing political figure, the visitors bureau issued a one-paragraph response from President Nicki E. Grossman. "'Politics is above the water line," the response read. "This was 60 feet below the water, planting a flag with disabled veterans showcasing the positive benefits of the sport of diving for a worthwhile charity."

West's trip has garnered national media attention since first reported June 14 on the Pulp. Independent journalism site PolitiFact disputed the claim that West broke federal law, despite a U.S. Code that forbids the flag from getting wet. Meanwhile, the Washington Post wrote that West was "in trouble" for the trip. West emailed his supporters a response to the article calling the Pulp "idiot Liberals," "delusional dummies," and "a bunch of losers."

Visitors bureau officials say they didn't shell out any money for the trip beyond a photographer the organization hired to shoot photos. The boat captain donated his services and equipment use for the trip, they say.

In her response, Grossman boasted that the event helped people celebrate Flag Day.

"Greater Fort Lauderdale kicked off Learn to Dive Month with our local US Congressman, a military hero and master PADI diver, who joined U.S. veterans from Diveheart to salute a flag in the ocean," the release read. "Millions of people had the opportunity to see that happen in Broward County to celebrate Flag Day, via the resulting media coverage."


Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter: @ericbarton.

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14 comments
Leo Berman
Leo Berman

Eric Barton has no credibility. He promotes his friend's restaurants and the first paragraph here indicates that he's incapable of even feigning objectivity.

The only thing we learned from this article is that Alan West is a good man and Eric Barton isn't.

nanook5
nanook5

"Come to Florida, Where Destroying a Country & Torturing Their People Gets You Elected to Office"

sounds appealing to me.

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

I'm confused. When did the phrase "war criminal" get changed to mean "military hero"?

Kangeroo Kid
Kangeroo Kid

Eric, how is this not on the cover this week? Or maybe a special issue? Have the networks seen your reporting on this? Are you submitting this for the pulitzer or are you waiting to do the book first? Knock out stuff here! Don't you listen to the haters. South Florida is much better off with high quality journalists like yourself on this blog instead of that hack Norman.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Good damn commie pinko socialists!

How come I don't see you guys at the meetings?

NOBAMAisGOODBAMA
NOBAMAisGOODBAMA

What a stupid crock of Oumgbama ass kissing crap.Eric Barton is guilty of making illegal false accusations against Allen WestSHAME ON YOU and your poor excuse for journalism.

Ind_Thinker
Ind_Thinker

Eric - You should remember the "boy who cried wolf" story.  When you post crap like this about Rep. West, that's exactly what you're doing.   I don't know alot about him, so I am interested in reading the stories the mainstream media isn't covering.  With the legitimate issues involving this guy, I struggle to get past the liberal slant and try to figure out the story objectively.  When you try to make an issue out of something ridiculous like this, it makes me think there might be something behind the West supporters' cries of racism and biased reporting.

Skip Commagere
Skip Commagere

Thanks Eric -- for printing a perfect description of  yourself and the publication you work for. "idiot Liberals," "delusional dummies," and "a bunch of losers."

No Laws broken. Good times had by all. Funds raised for DiveHeart.org. Local diving publicized. Perhaps if you soaked your head once in a while, you'd have a better outlook on life.

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

I'd be all for "The Daily Fluff," as long as instead of "reporters" we're called "fluffers."

CSMcDonald
CSMcDonald

Man this blog keeps going downhill.  You need to stop calling stuff like this "The Daily Pulp" - it's an insult to the proper reporting and stories that Bob Norman broke on this blog.

Created controversies like this belongs in the Daily Fluff.   All you do with this kind of non issue is cement West's status with his followers and those who are undecided.

Hell, I think the man should have been court-martialed and dishonorably discharged and that he's an insanely poor choice for a congressional representative and I think you're coming across as a bunch of childish jerks.

abba dabba
abba dabba

Jeeez Eric, telll us how you REALLY FEEL about west!

Tom L.
Tom L.

There are about a thousand ways to violate the flag code, and none are illegal. The ways include having a shirt that depicts the flag, or heaven forbid, dropping that shirt on the grass or the bathroom floor. But there is also, while  displaying the flag on a wall vertically, putting the star field on the viewers right, though this may seem the natural way to do it. And that flag on the moon is out all night (which is two weeks long!) without a light.   

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Skip.

I know something about narcissism so I have to ask you...  Are you that narcissistic to think if someone doesn't agree with your viewpoint, they must obviously have a poor outlook on life?

Perhaps Eric is still seething (like many of us) over West's torture of an innocent civilian.   No amount of diving for trinkets (and press coverage) will ever erase that image from our minds.

Maybe ease up on that exotic gas mixture.   You're starting to see pink elephants.

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