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Posted by zeakster on October 20, 2008

Deerfield Beach Observer

By Andrea Freygang
October 16, 2008

Republican candidate Lt. Col. Allen West for District 22 converted at least one Democrat to vote for him during a debate Oct. 11 at South Florida Bible College in Deerfield. West was supposed to debate sitting Congressman Ron Klein, who didn’t show up for the event.
“I was disappointed but not surprised since he’s an absent legislator and votes with (Nancy) Pelosi (House Speaker) and he’s not representing us,” said Jerry Zapatos, an Independent who attended the event. “I usually vote Democratic, but he is the right person and I can see the man (West) as president one day.”
West answered a number of questions in a townhall format with questions from the audience.
West spoke of his experience in the military, spanning 22 countries and three different wars.
“My life has been defined by three words – service, sacrifice and commitment,” said West. “You can’t understand those until an individual has put [his/her] butt on the line for country.”
Citing District 22’s 22 percent foreclosure rate, West lambasted Klein for not helping the district while supporting the recent bailout of Wall Street (Klein is on the federal finance committee) and accepting funds from special interests in the financial world.
The first question asked about West’s stance on making tax cuts permanent.
“These are tough economic times and we’re transferring wealth to other countries from the taxes you pay to the government. If you want to spur the economy, you have to give the money to the American people and small businesses to invest,” he said. “What no one is talking about is the lower 30 percent [of people] don’t pay taxes. It’s a socialized economy. I’m a fiscal conservative by practice.”
On reduced energy dependence, West said the country needs to diversify and supports drilling if there is state revenue share, including for Florida.
“We are the Saudi Arabia of coal and need to develop clean burning coal, [use] nuclear,” he said. “In the 70’s and the 90’s, we were told it would take 10 years to [develop] our oil. We also need to look at sugar ethanol. All we need is a visionary leader.”
On Iraq, West said America needs to stop leaving places and seal the deal, citing Beirut, Somalia and the first Iraq war in the 90’s.
“We have to commit [with] resolve,” said West who has been in Iraq several times. “We still need a working American military to protect Americans working in Iraq. We have to stop being politically correct and develop a strategy to work over the course of time and stop sending money to Saudi Arabia.”
On right-to-life issues, West told the crowd that he “believes in life that starts from conception.” He also took a stance against gay marriage.
On a more recent issue, the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, West said he would not have voted for it.
“It’s a big step towards a socialist state when the government gets involved in private industry and buys banks,” he said. “Also, no one is talking about how it happened.”
On immigration, West felt border patrol should fall under the Department of Defense with more training and resources.
Audience members seemed impressed with West’s responses to the questions.
“He’s what we need in District 22,” said Ken Strand. “Integrity, honesty, a truly positive attitude and a great representation of the people.”


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