Allen West, Tea Party Wünderkind, Funnels Campaign Cash to Two New Nonprofits
|What's next for West?|
Allen West, the outspoken Palm Beach Gardens Tea Party Republican congressman who lost his reelection bid late last year, has shuffled hundreds of thousands of dollars in leftover campaign money to seed the Allen West Foundation and American Legacy Guardians.
"Further details as to the mission and activities of the Foundation will be released in the coming weeks," said Michele Hickford, West's spokesperson, who held the same job on his campaign. Thanks to a national Tea Party following, West collected nearly $20 million leading up to November 2012. After the foundation contributions, West has about $914,000 left.
Even after a two-week legal battle showed that his opponent, Democrat Patrick Murphy, West had $1.5 million remaining in campaign coffers, West transferred $250,000 to each foundation, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. We reached out to Hickford to find out West's plans for the foundations and what he'll do with the remaining $1 million but have yet to hear back. West recently said he would launch an internet talk show with the conservative PJ Media.
West rose to national attention after a variety of comments, some less crazy than others, won him a place in the heart of the Tea Party. He called President Obama a "low-level socialist agitator," according to Reuters, and called the president's supporters a "threat to the gene pool."
West spent more than two decades in the Army and was a battalion commander during the Iraq War. He was relieved of his command in 2003 and fined $5,000 after firing a gun near an Iraqi man's head during an interrogation.
West, who was one of only two black Republicans in the House, nearly became the next Joseph McCarthy after claiming 81 Democrats were members of the Communist Party but never identifying them.