Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 9:33 a.m.
The Allen West national fundraising machine got a new arm yesterday, when the South Florida congressman filed forms with the Federal Election Commission to form a joint fundraising committee with Georgia Rep. Paul Broun.
The "Broun-West Committee" was listed on a revised statement of candidacy from West yesterday and formed a fundraising alliance with one of the only members of Congress whose statements are more off-the-wall than West's. To give you a hint of what Broun's all about:
"Barack Obama is a Marxist president," he said at a Tea Party rally
in March. "America is on the edge of a precipice staring down into a chasm of socialism. What are we going to do? Are we going to step off or jump off? Or will we turn around and walk up the hill of liberty?"
The hill of liberty. Broun and West are two peas in a pod. But Broun is much wackier than just meaningless patriotic rhetoric -- he's a medical doctor who doesn't believe in evolution, for example, so be careful when it comes time to treat your drug-resistant bacterial infection, because he thinks it just popped up out of a puddle or something.
It's unclear what this fundraising partnership will mean -- maybe nothing, but the paperwork allows the Athens, Georgia-based committee to collect funds on West's behalf, and it at the least signals an alliance between West and Broun. Technically, though, Broun hasn't filed any paperwork about the committee, so it's possible that West's new committee is with a different Broun that happens to share the same address as Paul Broun's treasurer.
West has three other committees to which he's a joint fundraising representative: in Arizona, North Carolina
, and Virginia
. He's raised money from all 50 states
totaling more than $7.6 million, more than every other member
of the House except Speaker John Boehner and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
We'll keep an eye on Georgia next time financial documents are due, but significantly more than half of West's itemized contributions are already coming from outside of Florida anyway; now he's just got the help of a guy who tweets things about socialism
during the State of the Union. Here's the new form, so you know I'm not fibbing: