NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY For Immediate Release: June 28th, 2010
West Must Apologize to Floridians for Outrageous Statement Defending BP While Oil is Washing Up on Florida’s Beaches
The Florida Democratic Party demanded that always-controversial Republican congressional candidate Allen West apologize to hardworking Floridians for disgracefully taking the side of BP and its apologist Congressman Joe Barton, who also happens to be a West campaign donor.
As the fallout continues from Barton’s outrageous apology to BP chief Tony Hayward, including the Republican denouncing a $20 billion escrow account funded by BP to help pay damages from the spill and calling it a “shakedown” of the company, West is standing proudly with Barton and big oil moguls.
As the Tampa Tribune reported, “At a business luncheon in Palm Beach Gardens, West said that while he was ‘angry with BP’ for the spill, ‘when you have an executive branch that goes to a private sector business and takes their private equity funds and demands that they put it into an escrow account, something is upside down in this country. That is a very dangerous precedent that we establish.’”
West — who is running for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District — has also taken $1,000 in campaign contributions from Barton’s “Texas Freedom Fund.”
“You have got to be kidding me. Whose side is Allen West on?” Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said. “How dare Allen West ask Florida taxpayers to foot the bill for the recklessness of an oil company, while oil is washing up on Florida’s beaches and people’s livelihoods are at stake. Allen West is clearly more concerned with the finances of a multi-billion dollar foreign corporation than he is with fishermen, charter boat operators, small businesses, hotels, restaurateurs and everyone who is being devastated by this horrific oil spill.”
“We call on Allen West to apologize to Floridians for his shameful and despicable defense of Barton and an irresponsible oil company, and further to return the campaign cash he received from Barton’s Texas Freedom Fund,” Jotkoff added. “Floridians expect answers from Allen West and deserve to hear directly from him about his outrageous loyalty to Big Oil, and why he is not standing with the people who want to hold BP accountable for every dime worth of damage.”