Archive for the ‘Letter’ Category

Readers, I feel like just having fun today — and invite you to come along for the ride! Nothing is better than just letting Allen West speak for himself, so here is his latest weekly update, which I’m posting it in its entirety, with comments and links by me in brackets, and anything boldface is mine, not Rep. West’s.  Enjoy!

Dear Patriot,

Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans who shall read this missive. Another week has flown by and what an eventful one!

Before I begin, let me say one simple thing. The most important civil liberty of an American is their life. As a matter of fact, it is the first inalienable right addressed in the Declaration of Independence.

This week, we had a vote to extend three provisions within the PATRIOT Act; Library Provision, Roving Wiretap, and Lone Wolf. I voted YES for these extensions and many of you called me a traitor and felt that I had turned my back on your 1st and 4th Constitutional rights.

A law abiding United States citizen has nothing to fear from me and my vote. However, I shall NOT ALLOW the enemies of our State to find gaps in which they will exploit our misplaced benevolence. There is a simple reason why radical Islamic terrorists and their supporters are successful in infiltrating Western nations. They take our founding premise of liberty and turn it against us. I say, NOT ON MY WATCH.
[If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you already know that the most important report thing for every American to read is the Center for Security Policy’s report Shariah: The Threat to America, which shows how the infiltrators do it, and names names.]

I can assure you that I will not allow this enemy any quarter, and shall uphold my commitment to our Constitution and all of you.

Now, onto one of the most eventful weeks in my life.

The week began with meetings with several local political and business leaders and impact players. The best part of the day was being invited to the Pinecrest School in Ft. Lauderdale and addressing the 5th grade class. When you stand before these young boys and girls, it energizes you and steels your resolve to fight for their future.

To those who are going to whine and complain about the $100B in federal spending we want to cut….go speak to a 5th grade class. I shall not burden them with the debt we have amassed. One 5th grader, Madison Hawthorne wrote me the most lovely note!

I also had the chance to address the Seniors at the school and their questions centered on the events in Egypt and the economic situation. They get it and recognize the seriousness of the domestic and foreign policy positions in which we find ourselves. These are our future leaders. I am committed to visit as many High School Senior classes in our district as possible.
[For those of you who don’t know, after West retired from the Army, he was a high-school history teacher, because he wanted to serve the next generation. During his active-duty years, he was also a college ROTC instructor for a time, and received awards for his excellence in teaching.]

Monday was also a big event in my life, as I turned 50 years of age. And no, there is no mid-life crisis! I did have a surprise birthday party that evening!

I flew back to DC early Tuesday, with many South Florida constituents, including local Mayors, on the plane. First on my agenda once I got back in the office, was a meeting with the incredible Brigitte Gabriel, President and CEO of ACT! for America. This woman is fully charged and focused and determined to secure the safety of her country. [Find out more at http://www.actforamerica.org/]

I had the chance to spend time with constituents at the showing of the film “Iranium” and was able to see one of my foreign policy heroes, Mr. Michael Ledeen. [You can watch “Iranium” online or purchase the DVD by clicking on the “Iranium” widget in this blog’s right-hand sidebar.] I then went to the Florida League of Cities reception and met the local Mayors before we had our Wednesday meeting. Another fantastic meeting was with former Presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, who is President of American Values.  [More info at http://www.ouramericanvalues.org/]

Our Congressional office was honored to host the Head Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Ms. Karen Mills. She and I had a great discussion about reducing the regulatory burden on our small businesses and setting the conditions for their growth. I also was successful in having her agree to come down to CD-22 and visit our local economic engine, the South Florida business community.

We wrapped up Tuesday evening at the National Press Club where we participated in a Tea Party town hall meeting. It was an incredible, interactive event which reached over 2.5M people online. Watch it here. I was honored to share the stage with several US Senators and my House colleagues Steve King and Michele Bachmann. It is always great to have the chance to share perspectives and thoughts with the people whom we are elected to serve.

Due to the lateness of the hour, my Chief of Staff and I decided to hit our favorite Chinese food joint and while I was there in line, he received an incredible call. It was from the organizers at CPAC who asked me to be their keynote speaker. What an honor!

Wednesday got off to a great Army start when the Army Liaison hosted an Army Day in the lower Rayburn Building parking lot. The best part was the range being open and I got to fire two clips of 9mm, after my opening warning shot, we were dead center tight shot group.  [Allen West has got our back!] It was there that young Army SGT Jason Aubin asked me if he could attend CPAC, and I said absolutely.

I decided to introduce that young hero to the gathering later in the week, which is no violation of the Hatch Act because it was not a political campaign event. How dare any liberals attack an American Soldier who has fought to guarantee their freedoms. It was my honor to have that young man walk on stage with me.

We had our GOP Conference meeting and as you know this past week we made the decision to honor the pledge of cutting spending by $100B. The pundits and the liberals are already decrying this and seeking means to make this effort unnecessary and accuse the GOP of promoting a government shutdown.

Let’s have an honest conversation, should we do nothing? Should we allow former Speaker Nancy Pelosi back in charge and again see a $5T increase in the debt, which occurred over her four years as Speaker? When will anyone look the House and Senate Democrats in the eye, as well as the President, and let them know we have to enact this massive undertaking because of their FAILURES!

We have a spending problem in Washington D.C. and the typical liberal tactic of fear mongering and class warfare diatribe, no longer holds any credibility in America. America was never intended to be a bureaucratic nanny-state and we are going to begin turning this ship around. As for this Conservative Congressman, the message is clear. The liberals had their shot and they threw dirt on the car that was run into the ditch.

We are going to build a new car!

[Touché!  Way to take Obama’s car-in-the-ditch metaphor and turn it against him! LOL!]

Wednesday is always the heavy day with committee and subcommittee meetings and even with all that was going on we were able to make all required meetings.

Wednesday evening, I was invited to the annual Weyrich Awards dinner and it was a Who’s Who in the conservative movement. I had the distinct privilege of giving one of three five minute speeches from new freshmen. My message was simple and titled , ‘What Makes a Winner in America.’

Thursday was the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and you could feel an energy in Washington DC. Hat tip to all those who came over and visited our Congressional office.

The morning started with a House GOP Freshman class meeting where we made it clear that the pledge stated $100B and that was what we supported.

I gave my first one minute speech on the House floor that day in support of H.R. 72 which seeks to reduce the regulatory burden coming from the federal government agencies. [This small-business owner thanks you, Rep. West!] It was also the day that our House GOP leadership committed to the $100B in spending cuts. Yes, there is pain involved, but the longer we will go along deceiving ourselves, the pain will only increase.

It was later that day when we had two meetings, one with Speaker John Boehner, and the other with Armed Services Commiteee members, that set our clear path for confronting the Continuing Resolution. My position is that across the board would not suffice, we have to make the hard decisions and go into each specific program and create a line by line justification. I am quite sure at our next series of town hall meetings we will make this a topic of discussion.

Thursday evening, I attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation reception at PepsiCo. I was excited to meet the President of the Foundation and other prominent individuals.

Friday morning kicked off with an Awards breakfast where I and several other Freshmen Iraq veterans were honored for our past, present, and future service by the CEO of American Defense Systems, Inc. Afterwards, I proceeded to another of the many Armed Services classified briefings, focusing on the Middle East. After the meeting, I had a chance to drop by the U.S. Special Operations Command display where I thanked our most highly trained warriors for their service. I also got to see some of the new tactics techniques and deployment platforms being used by our SpecOps.

I then went back for an Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the cyber threat and the Department of Defense’s role. This was a highly informative meeting and we had best get our act together in this critical aspect of the 21st century battlefield. My afternoon was spent with more meetings but they were good ones with a local flair.

I had an energized meeting with the new Co-Chair of the Republican Party, Sharon Day, who is also a constituent.  [How cool is that?!] We talked about messaging, focus, and political strategy as we move forward in 2011.

I wrapped up Friday by developing my first draft of the CPAC speech and sent it to my two closest confidants, my Chief of Staff Jonathan Blyth and Joyce Kaufman….based upon their review and insights, I knew we would have a winner.

Saturday morning, I arose at 7:00 am and had a nice 8 mile run through DC and around the entire Washington Mall. [8 miles, woohoo! You’re an inspiration, Rep. West!] Running along the symbols of America’s national character just gives you a certain sense of what it means to be a citizen of this great Country. It also provides me the clear opportunity to visualize the coming event, the CPAC keynote speech. I got back to the “Batcave”, made some written notes for the speech, washed clothes, showered, dressed, and headed to the office.

I made my final changes to the speech, did three read throughs, and at 2:00 pm we departed for CPAC. I attended my first CPAC in 2008 and walked through the conference trying to get anyone to recognize me and our Congressional race . In 2009, I did not attend CPAC and in 2010, I was given the final 15 minute speech slot before the keynote which was Glenn Beck. Now, here I was, a brand new United States Representative about to deliver the closing speech to the largest gathering of Conservatives in America.
[That 15-minute speech in 2010 was one of his best — but that was also the weekend he gave the incredible 20-minute speech at Pam Geller’s “Jihad: The Political Third Rail” conference. Click on the links if you haven’t seen them yet!]

The response to my walking the halls was completely different from 2008 and 2010. The Palm Beach Post followed me around along with the Washington bureau of the Sun-Sentinel. We did several interviews, to include Geraldo Riviera, and we hit ABC News, Fox, PJTV, Newsmax, and Bloggers row (now that was a blast, an impromptu press session). [You can watch that session on yesterday’s blog post here.] At 5:00 pm, we headed to the “green room” and sat awaiting our turn, kind of like the Gladiator awaiting to enter the arena, as you hear the cheers and roar of the crowd. Then came the moment, Congressman West, we are ready. You say that final prayer, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee o Lord my God.” You stand there at the end of the stairs and listen to outgoing American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene introduce you……and then he says your name and looks over. The first step is always the hardest, then you look upon a crowd of 3,000…game on.

And the rest is history and recorded on You Tube. Click CPAC

Steadfast and Loyal,


God has been so merciful to us, to give us this man, at this time, in this country. Godspeed, Allen West!

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I do hope all West to the West Wing 2012 readers are fans/followers of Allen West’s own Facebook page. This is where Congressman West himself posts what he wants his constituents as well as all of us, his supporters all over the country, to see and read. There are lots of nice treats such as photos of the Congressman, his family and other notables, not to mention his weekly updates, which are wonderful. Judging from his “update” letters since his election on November 2, I would venture the opinion that his letters are among the most engaging, interesting, inspiring and even, with some regularity, amusing, of any Congressperson!

You should go to Facebook and read the whole thing (you don’t have to be a Facebook member to read it, only to comment on it), but here are some excerpts:

Last week got off to a thrilling start with an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to express my positions on the critical economic issue which we face. It was extremely important for me to convey to Mr. Wallace that I do not believe in fear-mongering leadership. No one follows an individual who panics or instills fear in tough situations, people are drawn to those who calmly outline a vision for success and victory….

Swearing in day began as a Soldier would have it, a 0500 hrs run with two friends, Brendan Barry and Vince Virga along the National Mall from the Capitol down to the Lincoln Memorial. It was a nice 7 mile run for me but enabled me to put all this into perspective. As an American Warrior, my life has been spent standing upon freedoms rampart guarding the institutions of liberty for our Constitutional Republic. Later that day, I would again take the oath first taken on 31 July 1982 but this time I would be serving inside one the institutions that make America great, yes, exceptional. The middle Son of Buck and Snooks (my parents’ nicknames) would soon be walking among places of greatness.

The first ceremony of the day was to be sworn into the Congressional Black Caucus, the first Republican in almost 20 years. It was the right thing to do and regardless of the media attention, all went well and the reception was just fantastic. When Representative John Lewis came up that day to shake my hand, I reminisced the days when my parents voted for him…and I told him such. I let him know that I attended Henry Grady High School  and he let me know that his dry cleaners is the one across the street from my Alma Mater, which I clearly remember. Incoming CBC Chairman Rep Cleaver spoke about “rebuilding the wall”, and I told him that after having stood as a sentinel upon the external wall of freedom…….I am ready to take my post on the wall of restoring our Republic, recommitting to our principles, and reclaiming our American pride.

So enough of that memorable stuff, you all sent me up here to work so here are some key points;

–          I had a meeting with the Obama Administration Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs to the US House, Dan Turton, on Thursday. We presented him with a letter outlining three major focus areas, small business growth, Afghanistan (to include concerns about Rules of Engagement and our heinously imprisoned American soldiers), and relations with the State of Israel.

–          I had my first two House GOP meetings with the Armed Services and Small Business Committees. I will be canvassing for small business owners who wish to come and testify before the committee. As the schedule permits, I will be taking a CODEL (Congressional Delegation) visit to Afghanistan.

–          I signed on as a co-sponsor on several pieces of legislation, some as an original cosponsor;  Repeal of Obamacare, Balanced Budget Amendment, Prohibition of Federal funding to Public Broadcasting, End of Lame Duck Act, Repeal of Obamacare Individual Mandate, Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition (ending federal taxpayer funding to abortions), and the Birthright Citizenship Bill (prohibiting use of 14th Amendment for children born to illegal immigrants in America), and Stand Alone requirement for Defense Appropriations (MILCOM/Veterans Affairs) Bills.

There has been a lot of media attention given to me and you all must realize that I shall always be straight and to the point. One thing I have seen here already is that truth seems to be subjective and relative in the D.C. world. And as Jack Nicholson’s character COL. Nathan Jessup stated in the movie “A Few Good Men”, there are those who cannot handle the truth.

The strangest things this week: First, the taxpayer funded Institution of Peace.  Funny, I thought that was the business of the Pentagon. It is a lovely building just off the back corner from the Lincoln Memorial.

Second, standing at the media interview area in the Cannon rotunda and watching a Democrat Congressman apply makeup on his face, and it was his own personal makeup. If anyone ever sees me applying makeup to myself, you have explicit orders to ask a Capitol Hill Police Officer to arrest me.

I was in the district through this past Tuesday morning and  attended  the Palm Beach Police officers ball Saturday and the Zionist of America meeting in Boca Raton on Sunday.  Saturday morning, I had an appearance on Fox and Friends.

In closing, it is an honor to serve all of you, those who voted for me and those who did not.

Steadfast and Loyal,


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A letter from Allen West

The Go West For Allen West blog has Congressman-elect West’s December update to his South Florida constituents. It gives you a nice feel for all he’s been doing lately — and of course his personal warmth, honesty, love of country, and eagerness to serve shine through:

Greetings Patriots!

Greetings to all of you who shall receive this weekly missive. What a week, as we draw closer to a very Merry Christmas.

We received our Congressional committee assignments this past week, and I was humbly pleased to secure positions on the House Armed Services and Small Business committees. These two committees will afford me the ability to serve America by protecting our military and also the foundational economic engine for our country, small businesses.

In keeping with the latter, I also had the chance to visit several places that promote job creation and opportunity in our South Florida community. First, I had an impressive tour at the main campus of Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale. During the tour, I learned how the Obama administration is attacking “for profit” education institutions. Next, I had a breakfast with members of the Ft. Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority. After that, I went to the groundbreaking for the United Technologies Test Fire and Safety site at the Pratt Whitney, Sikorsky campus. During the tour of Pratt Whitney, I had a chance to walk through the Blackhawk helicopter assembly line…brought back some great memories!

Also very memorable, was my attendance at the annual Holocaust Survivors luncheon, held in Boca Raton at Temple B’nai Torah. I cannot even begin to express the emotion of being with those who suffered through such a horrific ordeal. In my remarks to the crowd, I stressed my firm commitment that “never again” means exactly that. It is a message which America must clearly send to the despots, dictators, autocrats, and theocrats who threaten the modern State of Israel, which we rededicated in 1948…but has existed for 5771 years.

There were a couple of events this week which were simply fun to do. The first was Thursday evening in Jupiter where I spoke to the Palm Beach Sheriffs Office SWAT annual Holiday dinner. I told these brave men and women that they are the everyday guardians of our community and examples of leadership. Being in that room with them reminded me of what it means in America to be exceptional…..and a hat tip to SWAT Captain Robert Allen.

On Friday morning, I visited the high school of my oldest daughter, Aubrey, and talked with several Senior classes on our current economic situation. These young people are far more attuned and savvy than we were back in 1979 when I was a high school senior!

Also this week, I sent a letter to GOP Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor referencing the 2011 House calendar pertaining to it only having 123 days for us to be in session on Capitol Hill. Perhaps I have come from a different background, but I truly believe that the desperation and criticality of these times demand greater exertions from those elected to serve America. We shall see if the calendar is adjusted.

On December 14th my wife Angela celebrated another birthday…and I am not so stupid as to say how many. It is always a nice time for Aubrey and Austen to sing to Angela and express their love…..no, I do not sing and my love had better be expressed in a gift!

Lance Corp. Jose Hernandez

December 14th will now also have another significance for me…in memory of someone that I have never met and did not know…but yet I am bonded to forever. It was the day that Marine Lance Corporal Jose A. Hernandez, of Lake Worth, Florida, lost his life in Afghanistan. Hernandez would have turned 20 years old this coming week. On Friday night I was privileged to attend, along with Angela and former Congressman Mark Foley, the beach side candlelight vigil for this young warrior who gave the last full measure of devotion.

The following morning, the sacrifices of this young Marine were immediately apparent. We turned over almost a thousand toys to Marine Reserve Non-Commissioned Officers for the Toys for Tots program. The service of Lance Corporal Hernandez means we live in a Country where we are free to give to those less fortunate. We live in a Country where warriors such as our Marines can serve on distant battlefields and yet show their kind benevolence towards those who are less fortunate here in America.

May my Warrior Brother requiem en pace…………

In keeping with the theme of sacrifice, our family attended the 27th Annual First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale Christmas pageant. The wonderful evening full of spectacular singing and performances reminds us of what Christmas truly means. It is the time to remember that “God so loved us all that he gave us His only begotten Son”. This is the most special gift of sacrifice for those of us who are looking for that which will fill the spiritual void in our lives.

We must understand that there is nowhere in our founding documents where separation of church and state is mentioned. It is a reference to a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist minister alluding to our country never having a head of state which is also the head of church. Separation of Church and State does not mean the separation of faith from the individual. Many thanks to Pastor Larry Thompson and First Baptist Church of Ft Lauderdale for an incredible pageant event.

Also, thanks to my own Pastor, Scott Eynon of Community Christian Church in Tamarac, for calling me this week just to say he was keeping me in his prayers!

Something to watch out for! My appearance on Israel TV January 18th on the number one English language show in Israel, “Tuesday Night Live in Israel.” The show is broadcast throughout all of South Florida on Comcast, Atlantic Broadband and on JLTV on DIRECTV, and into 26 million homes nationwide. I had the chance to be interviewed with the show’s host, Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel on Sunday while he was in town briefly. The taping will be aired on the January 18th show-which by the way will be taped live in America- in Ft. Lauderdale.

In closing, I would like to offer my congratulations to President Barack Hussein Obama for coming to grips with the reality check of November 2, 2010. His efforts to ensure that the American people will not have a huge tax increase on 1 January is to be commended. However, we in the 112th Congress shall work hard to end the necessity of unemployment checks before the 13 month extension point. Furthermore, we look forward to working with the President on creating effective, efficient, and limited federal government as we curtail spending and reduce the size and scope of a bloated, redundant, and duplicitous Washington DC.

Lastly, just a final thought…the past two years have seen the highest amount of casualties in Afghanistan, we have ten of our Warriors sitting in prison at Ft Leavenworth, North Korea has sunk a South Korean naval vessel and fired 200 artillery rounds into South Korea, Iran marches on towards reaching nuclear capability, our borders are unsecure and a border patrol agent was just killed as Mexico begins to resemble Iraq or Afghanistan………..and the most important Strategic defense issue for the lame duck Congress was to repeal the policy called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

My priorities will be to ensure the enemy which killed LCPL Jose A Hernandez gets killed, wherever he exists……my concern is not making our military conform to individual behavior. However, the liberal left of this lame duck Congress, and some misguided Republicans, are truly more concerned with whom members of our fighting force sleep and appeasing, at a last gasp, impertinent special interest groups.

Utterly disturbing, totally pathetic.

Steadfast and Loyal,


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This really steams me.

These were the “mainstream” headlines last week:
“Allen West bats Eric Cantor for weak Congressional calendar”; “GOP freshman charges Cantor with crafting weak Congressional schedule”; “Republican rep.-elect picks a bone with a top leader in his party”…
Look at that language, please.  “bats”… “charges”… “picks a bone”…

What does the average person think when they see headlines like these?  They think: “troublemaker” — and worse.

Well, if you (unlike the average American) take the trouble to read the actual letter Allen West sent to House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, surprise, surprise!  Who would have guessed?  It’s the very model of respect and civility.  Of course.  What else would you expect from a career military officer — especially from such a class act as Allen B. West?

Here. Read it for yourself.  (Note especially, in the second-to-last paragraph, West’s gracious and sincere expression of appreciation to Cantor for the good changes Cantor has already made.)

Dear Majority Leader- Elect Eric Cantor:

I have now had several days to review the Congressional Calendar and return to my District to listen to many of my constituents’ views regarding the schedule for the First Session of the 112th Congress.

I believe this schedule does not sufficiently reflect the concerns of the American people as expressed on November 2nd.

The election demonstrated that the voters, including the citizens of the 22nd District of Florida, wanted the United States Congress to aggressively address the many challenges facing our nation. As we both know, Congress needs to work to create jobs, reduce the deficit, strengthen our economy, limit the size of government, and contend with a plethora of national security issues.

Even though the schedule contains 123 days and 32 weeks of session which is consistent with first sessions in previous Congresses, I believe the citizens of this nation, as demonstrated by their action at the ballot box this year, do not want a Congress that is consistent – even in terms of scheduling – with the past.

Further, the schedule, as proposed, means the House of Representatives will not meet the mark of 90 days in session until September of 2011, just a matter of days before the end of the Fiscal Year. The American people expect the Congress to do a thorough review of our nation’s spending priorities, and I believe the number of days in session do not provide an adequate amount of time for such oversight.

I am sure we both agree that the issues before us today require the Members of Congress to go beyond what has been the accepted practice in the past to meet the challenges of the future.

I am very concerned that the House of Representatives consistently stays in session for only two weeks on Capitol Hill, followed by one week in the District. Further, the schedule puts the House of Representatives in recess when the U.S. Senate is in session — and vice-versa. Certainly the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate are going to need to work in concert to enact legislation to move this nation forward.

I understand from more senior colleagues limiting votes during the day between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. will allow the essential committees work to be uninterrupted by votes on the floor. Further, the elimination of many ceremonial pieces of legislation will allow for more time on the House floor to work on essential business. Finally, establishing an adjournment date of December 8, 2011, sends a message to the American people that their House of Representatives is going to work all twelve months of the year. I want to thank you for initiating these important changes.

However, after listening to the citizens of the 22nd Congressional District of Florida over the course of the election cycle and hearing their concerns and understanding the challenges we face as a country, I promised my constituents I would go to Capitol Hill and work every day to help solve these problems. I hope that the Leadership, if it becomes clear that we are not meeting the promise we made to the American people, will modify the schedule in order for us to accomplish the important task we have before us.

Very respectful,

Allen West
22nd District of Florida

cc: Congressman-Elect Austin Scott

Hat tip: The Other McCain

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