C.D. 1: Zeldin campaign kickoff features controversial former Rep. Allen West

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Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Lee Zeldin, Republican and Conservative Party challenger to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), said today that former one-term Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) - a controversial tea-party hero - will be the special guest at his campaign kick-off on Sept. 8.

West and former 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin were the two best known conservatives to urge the impeachment of President Barack Obama this summer, despite House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) insisting he has no plans to do so, even though he's suing the president for overstepping his authority by delaying the employer mandate under Obamacare.

“It’s with great excitement that I am announcing our Fall Campaign Kickoff Rally, with special guest Former Congressman and Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West," said Zeldin, a state senator from Shirley, in a statement.

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West is an outspoken conservative who was elected to a south Florida district seat in 2010 as a tea party favorite. But after redistricting, West narrowly lost in 2012. Since then, through his appearances on television and through his writings on his website, West has often made news with his provocative take on politics and his anti-Obama attacks. 

in June West called for the U.S. House to impeach Obama for making the trade of five high-level Taliban leaders at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl. West's appeal for impeachment remains on his website.

But after Democrats found the threat of impeachment to be a big fundraiser among their base supporters, West backtracked on July 30, writing: "Do not take the bait from Obama and the Democrats, even though we all know his unilateral negotiations with a terrorist organization to release five senior members of the Taliban truly represent a high crime and misdemeanor."

This week, West penned another provocative essay, concluding: "Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause... All the circumstantial and anecdotal evidence points to that conclusion."

West likely will fire up Zeldin's conservative followers, but he's not going to appeal to the district's Democrats and some non-aligned voters, who gave Obama a 51 percent victory in the 1st District on the East End of Long Island.

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Zeldin's campaign spokesman did not respond to a question about whether Zeldin supports the impeachment of Obama. 

In an email about the campaign kick off, Zeldin's campaign said, "It’s clear that our country is headed in the wrong direction and that we need to make some changes. After 12 years with the same liberal Democrat Congressman in office, the First Congressional District of New York has an opportunity to choose new leadership, a stronger voice and a fresh perspective."

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. at VFW Post 4927, 31 Horseblock Rd. in Centereach, NY.


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