Allen West Speaks at Boca Raton Chapter Meeting
Click for a video of this event.
Now that the New Year fireworks have subsided, it is time for the Palm Beach County Tea Party to start 2012 with a few fireworks of our own!!! And, that we did on January 3rd, at the Boca Greens Country Club, for the Boca Chapter’s first Monthly Dinner/Speaker event of the year. Our guest was none other than Congressman Allen West- a political figure who has done much to galvanize and inspire the Tea Party, and the Congressman knows that the Tea Party has been highly influential in getting him to his chair in Washington, DC.
Colonel Allen West
An early cold front, with temperatures in the high 40’s to low 50’s greeted our diners and other attendees, with a beautiful sunset overlooking the golf course. Despite a huge crowd of over 200 people, the dinner line went quite smoothly. The sumptuous buffet included any number of delicacies, which seemed to be appreciated by all. This month we changed the raffle scenario somewhat, and tickets were sold with the ability to win various prizes that were donated by local businesses. This went over quite well, and we enjoyed record sales of raffle tickets.
Starting promptly at 7:00, Boca Chapter Coordinator Alex Berry began the proceedings with the Pledge of Allegiance. We were blessed to have Lou Galtiero sing the National Anthem for us. Alex Berry then explained who the Tea Party is, and how our organization is set up. After various announcements were made, County Coordinator and Co-Founder Pam Wohlschlegel took the podium to recognize other members of our group, as well as give people an idea of upcoming events.
Alex then introduced Allen West to a cheering crowd- he shook hands on his way to the podium to a standing ovation. It was clear that he is much admired amongst those in our Tea Party, even though we ask him some tough questions, and have kept him accountable throughout his time as an elected official. He must have sensed this, because the first topic he addressed was his vote on the National Defense Authorization Act. There has been much hysteria surrounding loose verbiage in the bill, which has led many to believe that it would allow any military personnel to indefinitely detain American citizens “suspected” of terrorist activity, or of being a “belligerent”. The Congressman read aloud, straight from the bill (HR 1540) from a specific page (I believe he said page 657), under section 1021, which says, “Authorities – Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States”. He then challenged the audience to cite for him any other part of the bill that would overrule or subjugate what he had read. He gave the audience a few seconds, and then said, “Thank You!”. It was a dramatic opening salvo to a power-packed speech, which was appreciated by the crowd.
His speech was short, so that he could field answers from the large crowd gathered. The questions were all well received and answered. There appears to be little doubt that the Congressman enjoys direct interaction with his constituency. The questions varied from Term Limits, to Immigration, to the Federal Reserve, and our National Debt. He handled each question with care and aplomb—and certainly gave the answers that the Tea Party wanted to hear regarding each one. West remains an ideological favorite among conservatives, despite some of his somewhat controversial votes in the past.
Before being whisked off to do an interview with Neil Cavuto, West circulated amongst the crowd after he concluded his last answer.
The raffle prizes were then drawn, and the enjoyment of like-minded fellowship carried on well into the evening, spilling out from the dining room, into the foyer, and out into the portico valet area on this chilly and crisp evening. We look forward to more great meetings in 2012 for our Boca Chapter—please INVITE YOUR FRIENDS to our next event, which will be on February 7th, 2012!!! Remember—we always have our Boca Chapter Dinner/Speaker event on the FIRST TUESDAY of every month, so mark your calendars! We now have ELEVEN months to make a difference for the next election, so please get involved if you aren’t yet, and STAY involved if you already are!
Pictures from Alex: