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Allen West, the Republican incumbent running for the Florida 18th Congressional District, is one of the poster childs for the Tea Party and the kind of politicians that speak for them.   Who can forget Allen West comparing himself to 19th Century abolitionist Harriet Tubman and comparing civil rights leaders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson to "plantation overseers"?   Or his claim that Obama supporters were a threat to the gene pool?  Or West's Chick-Fil-a stunt that insulted the Congressional Black Caucus?

Congressman West will be facing a strong challenger in Patrick Murphy who is the Democrat running for FL-18.  Murphy is a real Democrat who will be a big improvement to a wignut like Allen West.

UPDATE: Per BostonBilly's Request, I will add the links that I have at the bottom of this diary here(as well as keep them at the bottom)
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Make no mistake about it, Allen West agrees with Willard Mitt Romney about the so-called "47%".  He said so himself noting that Romney was a "little clumsy" about the wording.  In addition, Allen West is virulently anti-Medicare.   In 2011, he had said that Medicare would destroy America.

“I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,”

In contrast, Patrick Murphy says on his issues page on Social Security and Medicare:

I will oppose any change to Social Security and Medicare that will negatively impact our seniors.

Seniors today are under an unacceptable strain – with Medicare costs continuing to rise and a Congress that’s intent on undermining Social Security.

Not to mention, Republicans who would rather trade guaranteed care for seniors for coupon care for seniors to finance more deficit-busting tax cuts that only help the 1%.  

Murphy supports ending tax loopholes that let corporations offshore their money, investing in clean energy and infrastructure.   Allen West? He loves Big Oil and their tax breaks.

Allen West's love for Big Oil goes beyond tax breaks.   He supports more offshore drilling, and said that the BP oil spill was "an isolated incident"  To Congressman West's credit though, he wouldn't drill in the Everglades.  

Patrick Murphy knows something about the damage that the BP Oil spill caused:

Immediately following the BP spill, I spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico leading the efforts of Coastal Environmental Services to remove oil spilled in the BP disaster.  The spill was devastating not only to the environment, but also to the coastal communities, fishermen, restaurant owners, and hotel workers of the region.  The ripple effect was enormous and is still being felt.
Patrick Murphy believes in investment in education while Allen West supports getting rid of the department of Education:
According to the Miami Herald, Allen West “has called for the end of the U.S. Department of Education – a department he says has grown too much.”  [Miami Herald, 7/16/10]
Congressman West also wants to destroy teachers' unions.

On civil rights, Murphy has this to say:

I believe that all Americans should have equal rights, regardless of race, creed, gender, religion, or sexual orientation – including the rights to marry, adopt, and be free from discrimination.  I am committed to fighting for the equal rights of the LGBT community both here in Florida and across the nation.
Allen West's positions on LGBT issues are laughable and wrong.   He claims that workplace discrimination of the LGBT community doesn't exist.     Think Progress had the facts on that one though:
Though West may not like to acknowledge it, workplace discrimination against LGBT people is very real. In 29 states, it is perfectly legal to fire you for being gay. (In 34 states you can be fired for being transgender.) This is not a mere prospect. Between eight and 17 percent of gay and transgender workers have been fired or not hired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; that rate more than doubles for gay and transgender people who have experienced workplace discrimination.
West also said that marriage equality is a "rabbit hole" and "not important".   I am reminded that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  So yeah, West is wrong there too.  West also opposed DADT repeal saying once that gay soldiers would break down the military.   It's the one-year anniversary of DADT repeal this week, and I don't see any indication of letting those in the LGBT community serve openly is harming the military at all.  The fact that we're not losing good men and women in our military due only to their sexual orientation is a good thing, and Republicans who want to go back to the bad old days of where LGBT military had to stay in the closet to serve are against the troops and only serve a homophobic agenda.  

On Immigration,
Patrick Murphy has this to say:

Immigrants serve as an important part of our communities: living and working here, paying rent, buying food and groceries, and paying taxes. They contribute to the health of shop owners and cities throughout our nation.

I believe undocumented workers that have otherwise observed our laws should be given a reasonable path to legality.  This is a policy that historically was supported by Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Obama - all of whom have proposed ideas as to how to accomplish this.

I strongly support the DREAM act which opens a path of legality to students who have graduated from US high schools and attend college or join the military.  Not only is this fair, it will provide our college system with greatly needed additional revenue and our military with a much needed infusion of eager and motivated soldiers.

Murphy's approach to immigration reform is progressive and it's humane.   His strong support for DREAMers is a huge plus for me.  His rhetoric on how immigrants are our neighbors and an important part of our communities is very helpful too.

Allen West on Immigration?   He's a 14ther(he co-sponsered an Unconstitutional bill to strip American citizens born in this country of their citizenship if their parents were undocumented), he compared undocumented immigrants to invaders (note to Congressman West: No human being is illegal.  Illegal describes actions, never people) and called the DREAM Act a "voter fraud conspiracy".

It's plain to see that Patrick Murphy would be a huge upgrade to a hateful Tea Party Republican.  Patrick Murphy would be one more vote for Nancy Pelosi, one more vote for ENDA and DOMA repeal, and one more vote for immigration reform, which would likely be a key part of Obama's second term if we have Democratic control of both houses of Congress.  

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