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• West says allowing openly gay and les- bian personnel to serve will "break down the military": "West, a former U.S. Army colonel, asked by an audience member about the abolition of the ban on openly gay people serving in the armed forces, said he opposed the move but it's too late to change. He said new recruits must conform to military stan- dards. 'When you take the military and you tell it they must conform to the individual's behavior, then it's just a matter of time until you break down the military,' he said." (The Tampa Tribune) • West calls Obama supporters a "threat to the gene pool": "Are there REALLY 80% of Americans who want higher taxes? I must con- fess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool." (The Florida Independent) • West accuses liberal women of "neuter- ing men," causing federal debt to grow: "'We need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to the fight for you. To let these other women know, on the other side — these Planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neu- tering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That's what we need you to do. Because if you don't, then the debt will continue to grow.'" (The Florida Independent) • West says Muslim congressman rep- resents the "antithesis of the principles upon which this country was estab- lished": "Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, appeared recently on the South Florida-based program The Shalom Show and said that Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim mem- ber of Congress, represents the 'antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.'" (The Florida Independent) • West calls for "censoring" news orga- nizations publishing material obtained from Wikileaks: "I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled [Julian Assange] to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts. So that's kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime." (The Florida Independent) Then, of course, there's the company he keeps. Shortly after winning office, he hired right wing radio host Joyce Kaufman as his chief of staff. Some of her most memorable statements (emphasis added): • "In August 2007, when discussing illegal immigrants, she said on her show, 'If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it.'" (The Florida Independent) • "Among the Kaufman clips ricocheting around the Internet is [one] in which she says … : 'I don't care how this gets painted by the mainstream media, I don't care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don't work, bullets will.'" (The Palm Beach Post) Kaufman quickly resigned after many of her incendiary remarks came to light. West blamed the reaction on "sexism and misogy- nist behavior," as well as the "racism" of his opponents. % Sarasota News Leader February 7, 2014 Page 58

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