Campaign 2010

Oct 18, 2010

NBC 6 Miami Report on Allen West’s (FL-22) Biker Supporters Harassing Democratic Campaign Staffer


Tonight, NBC 6 Miami reported on a new Allen West (FL-22) controversy: West’s biker supporters caught on tape harassing a Florida Democratic Party campaign staffer. Citing safety concerns, Florida Democratic Party officials have stopped covering the Allen West campaign.

This comes just days after NBC News’ Lisa Myers reported that Allen West (FL-22) has ties to an infamous motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate, the Outlaws. The Justice Department has said that the Outlaws produce and distribute methamphetamine, and engage in other criminal activities including arson, homicide, and prostitution.

NBC 6 Transcript:

First, a new controversy in one of the key congressional races has come to light. NBC Miami's political reporter, Steve Litz live in the newsroom with the exclusive interview.

Reporter: This involves the Allen West, Ron Klein race in district 22, that’s Broward and Palm Beach counties and Kevin, this one is a doozy. It's not uncommon for a campaign worker to go to an opponent's event and videotape that candidate speaking and that material sometimes shows up in those negative attack ads. Well it's not the friendliest political practice, as you can see in this video.

Male voice: You know you're not wanted here.
All right. You guys made that clear.
It's private.
  You really want to do this?
  We're doing it.
You can do it all day.

Reporter: Is this too intimidating on the campaign trail?

Tracker: Hey, hey, hey, hey. This is a free place.
Male voice: And we’re free to stand here.
Tracker: As long as you don't touch me. I was trying to walk that way.
Male voice: Get the [bleep] out

Reporter: A campaign worker for Democrat Ron Klein trying to videotape his Republican opponent, Allen West, at a veterans rally at a public park in Del Ray Beach. The video shows West supporters verbally harassing the 23-year-old videographer. Threats can be heard on the video tape. The West supporters force him to get back into his car.

Listen to how University of Miami professor of politics, Donald Jones describes the incident, “Thuggishness. These are troubles wrinkles coming at a time when West doesn't need them. He needs to hold together this coalition of economic and social conservatives that the Republican party represents.”

Reporter: I had an appointment to interview Allen West earlier today, but he canceled. I e-mailed this video to his campaign manager who issued this statement. "I saw a kid who was asked to leave. These are Vietnam veterans, they are not thugs. They were attending a private Allen West function to honor American veterans."

Florida Democratic Party officials say they took the videographer off the campaign trail fearing for his safety.

Reporter: You can hear in the background of the video Allen West telling the videographer to leave and that’s when those escorts moved in. The videographer says that one West supporter hit his camera. You saw in politics that it can get ugly. 15 days until election day. Bring it on. I am Steve Litz, NBC Miami.

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