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Gizzi on Politics: West Update; Perry’s Taunt; McAuliffe Scores

By John Gizzi
Wednesday, 17 Apr 2013 09:39 AM More Posts by John Gizzi

Since his failed bid for a second term as a House member from Florida, Allen West has been mentioned as a possible candidate for various offices in 2014.

Some fans of the retired U.S. Army colonel want West to seek a rematch with Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.

Others have urged the former congressman to run for the open office of lieutenant governor of Florida next year, and there is even mention of West returning to his birth state of Georgia to run in the 12th District held by Democratic Rep. John Barrow, who narrowly won the seat in 2012.

But signs so far are that West may take a pass on running next year as he seems to be enjoying his work with the Pajamas TV Network in Washington, D.C.

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In addition, West recently donated $400,000 of his left-over campaign cash to the Allen West Foundation, a nonprofit he founded to “educate and inspire the next generation of conservative minority and veteran leaders.”

Perry Ads Urge Illinois Businesses to Flee to Texas

After infuriating California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown with commercials urging businesses who don’t like the Golden State’s high taxes to move to more business-friendly Texas, Republican Gov. Rick Perry has set his sights on another state where a Democratic governor raised taxes.

Recently Perry and TexasOne — a group sponsored by businesses and chambers of commerce in the Lone Star State — took out ads in a Chicago business journal urging Illinois businesses to “get out while there’s still time.”

Characterizing the business environment in Illinois as one “designed for you to fail,” the ad contrasts it with Texas’ lack of a state income tax, lower worker compensation taxes, and a bigger workforce.

More than a few Perry watchers are convinced that the advertising in California and Illinois are early signs he will make another bid for the Republican presidential nomination in three years.

McAuliffe Doubles Up Over Cuccinelli in Fundraising

Although polls show them neck-and-neck in the race for Virginia’s governorship this fall, Democrat Terry McAuliffe took the lead in fundraising over Republican Ken Cuccinelli during the first quarter of the year.

McAuliffe raised about $5.1 million in the first three months of the year, including a $100,000 check from Bill Clinton, The Washington Post reported this week. McAuliffe served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee while Clinton was president.

Cuccinelli, the Virginia state attorney general, raised about half that amount — $2.4 million — in the same period, with major donors including the Republican Governors Association ($1 million), the billionaire Koch brothers ($25,000), and billionaire investor Foster Friess ($25,000).

Georgia State Rep. Seeks to Make GOP History

With the decision of Georgia’s Republican Rep. Paul Broun to run for the Senate next year, signs are strong that his Augusta-area 10th District will send the first woman Republican to Congress in Peach State history.

State Rep. Donna Sheldon, Georgia’s House caucus chairwoman, said last week that she would try to succeed Broun.

Sheldon’s bid got a boost the same week when state Sen. Bill Cowsert, long considered a strong possibility to succeed Broun, said he preferred to remain in the state Senate.

Graves Takes Second Shot at Bachmann Seat

Just as Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was in London for the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, businessman Jim Graves, the narrow Democratic loser in 2012, announced he would take another crack at the congresswoman in 2014.

Easily one of the most controversial members of Congress for her outspoken comments on every issue from abortion to allegations of Arab-American officials having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Bachmann staved off Graves by about 4,200 votes — or 1.2 percent of the vote last year.

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GOP Hopefuls in Illinois Fundraising Battle

With about 11 months to go before the Republican primary for governor of Illinois, three Republican contenders are already active in the fundraising game.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has raised more than $740,000 in his state account and state Sen. Bill Brady, the narrow 2010 loser for governor, has about $280,000 in two different funds.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, who lost the GOP gubernatorial primary to Brady by about 300 votes in 2010, has raised $105,000 this year.

Millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner has opened an exploratory committee and is likely to fund a campaign from his own vast personal wealth. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to say whether he will run for re-election.

John Gizzi is the former political editor for Human Events, working for the conservative weekly from 1979 to 2013. Gizzi is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence, was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV talk shows.

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Since his failed bid for a second term as a House member from Florida, Allen West has been mentioned as a possible candidate for various offices in 2014.

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