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Rep. Allen West tears into fellow Rep. Wasserman Schultz in e-mail

Florida was at war on the floor of the U.S. House on Tuesday.

Rep. Allen West tore into a fellow South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz with a personal e-mail that decried her as the "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives."

Her offense? Criticizing West for supporting the House GOP's "cut, cap and balance" debt-reduction plan that Wasserman Schultz said would hurt Medicare recipients in Florida. Wasserman Schultz spoke on the House floor shortly after West had given a speech in favor of the plan. He learned of her words and fired off the e-mail, which rocketed around Washington.

The subject line of the e-mail: "Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman Schultz."

"Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige," wrote West, a tea party favorite elected in November. "You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives.

"If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!"

Wasserman Schultz of Weston is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and her criticism of the Republican plan calling for deep spending cuts was fairly standard.

But it touched a nerve with West, who is also from Broward County.

The GOP-controlled House passed the debt-reduction plan on a nearly party-line vote. But it's dead in the Senate, which is led by Democrats.

Adam Hasner endorsements

2012 U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner picked up three endorsements this week that, the campaign said, show he is the preferred grass roots candidate in the Republican field.

Hasner got the backing of FreedomWorks PAC, the Republican outfit that helped fund the tea party movement and could make independent expenditures against his rivals. He also picked up endorsements from the Conservative Women's PAC, and American Future Fund PAC.

Buchanan is a big spender

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, tops the House in use of taxpayer-funded mailers, the Washington Post reported.

In the first quarter of 2011, House records show, Buchanan spent $142,198 on mailings and other means of mass communication. That was more than any other U.S. representative, and about 19 times the average expenditure of $7,500. Among his colleagues, 209 representatives got by without spending any money in that quarter, according to House records.

The Post noted that it's somewhat awkward for Buchanan — who voted against a proposal to raise the federal debt ceiling without spending reductions attached — to call for belt tightening in Washington while spending liberally himself.

Scott sacks LeMieux's partner

Robert Hackleman, a longtime law partner of Republican U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux, was not reappointed to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, Gov. Rick Scott announced this week. Rutledge Liles, a former Florida Bar president, will succeed him.

Scott reappointed Jason Unger, an attorney for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign team, to the commission.

Scott also relieved Philip Freidin, the husband of Fair Districts Florida boss Ellen Freidin, from the Miami-based Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. Scott instead appointed Holland & Knight lawyer Dan Fridman.

Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau writer Michael C. Bender contributed to this report.

Rep. Allen West tears into fellow Rep. Wasserman Schultz in e-mail 07/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:02am]
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