[UPDATEDx2] Lien on Me: Allen West Calls for "Personal Responsibility" Undermined by Personal Financial Record; Will Tea Party Protest Him?
Ha ha, just kidding about the tea party protest. Not likely these folks turn on one of their own "patriots," even if the recent revelations suggest that West has done exactly what he and his tea party allies have pilloried the government for doing: spending money you don't have.
The West campaign has released a statement calling it "sad" that Congressman Ron Klein's reelection campaign has claimed -- falsely, according to West -- that the IRS put a lien on a home the Republican candidate owned in Indiana.
Video and more after the jump.
Here's the statement from West's campaign:
"It's sad that Klein has chosen to play politics as usual at a time when our country needs principled leadership -- especially considering the fact that he flat out lied about Allen ever having an IRS lien in Marion County. Let me say this again. Allen West, and his wife Dr. Angela M. Graham-West, have never resided, nor owned property in Marion County, IN, and there was never a valid IRS lien placed upon them. Since Ron Klein approved this message, then Ron Klein owes the West family a formal public apology for this outrageous lie in his first campaign ad in 2010.
At last check, the West campaign was still rounding up documents to prove that the lien was an error by the IRS.
I've contacted a leader with the South Florida Tea Party, Everett Wilkinson, to find out whether its membership was aware of West's personal financial history and, if not, whether this affects the group's perception of West.
UPDATE: Wilkinson responded: "We were not aware, and we will be asking him about it."
But West's personal financial history isn't the only thing that puts him at odds with the principles of his tea party advocates. For 22 years, West collected a paycheck from a part of the federal government that is among the most wasteful spenders: the Pentagon.
Hours after the polls closed in the primary election Tuesday night, Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22) released the first commercial of this campaign. The spot informs voters about West's lack of personal responsibility and long pattern of unpaid debts and bills -- based on public records and West's own hypocritical words.
In response, West's campaign manager, Josh Grodin, told the Palm Beach Post Tuesday night he would "provide proof Wednesday that the document cited in the Klein ad is not valid." Grodin also added: "It's sad that Klein has chosen to play politics as usual at a time when our country needs principled leadership especially considering the fact that (Klein) flat out lied about Allen ever having an IRS lien in Marion County. Let me say this again... there was never a valid IRS lien placed upon them. Since Ron Klein approved this message, then Ron Klein owes the West family a formal public apology for this outrageous lie in his first campaign ad in 2010."
On Wednesday West's campaign did not release documentation and West's campaign manager Josh Grodin told the Palm Beach Post "he's still rounding up documents that will show a 2005 IRS lien against West in Indiana, the centerpiece of Klein's ad, was a mistake that the IRS corrected.
As of Thursday, more than 40 hours later, Allen West has still not produced a shred of evidence to support his claim. The Klein campaign, on the other hand, produced original public records to demonstrate that the statement in the ad "the IRS filed an $11,000 lien against West for back taxes" is irrefutably true.
And that's not even the worst of it. Klein's campaign included a litany of quotes in which Allen West invokes core principles of "accountability" and "individual responsibility" as it relates to federal spending. Like this doozie, from a town hall on August 2:
"How many of you all, I mean Angela beats me up about this all the time, stop writing checks, you don't even know what is in there. You can't run a household like that. So it is not just having a budget but then we need to have a balanced budget amendment that says you must stay within the means of this country. You know, right now, it is whatever they feel that they want, and that is not how you can run a business, that is not how you can run a household."
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