Conservative Republican Congressman Allen West hasn’t exactly endeared himself to women since assuming office with an often demeaning, patriarchal style.
Tuesday’s report by “Gossip Extra” of a personal letter West sent to his wife in 2003 telling his wife that she was to perform certain sexual acts that were “standard and non-negotiable” upon his return home from serving in Iraq isn’t likely to help.
“I do not want to hear ‘no’ or ‘we’ll see about that.’ ” he wrote his wife, Dr. Angela West. “I want my fantasies to be with you. God has authorized you and you only as my partner for intimacy and that is what I want.”
The nature of his relationship with his wife is between them, but the Florida congressman’s many critics charge that the letter only further illustrates his contempt and lack of respect for women.
A Tea Party favorite because of his fiery rhetoric, West said in April that supporters of Planned Parenthood and women’s rights activists were “neutering American men and bringing [them] to the point of this incredible weakness.”
The perpetual tempest surrounding the often-controversial West has made him an instant sensation among right-wing circles, but it hasn’t helped all that much politically in his re-election bid as he tries to fight off Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.
A new Democratic poll released Monday showed Murphy leading by nine percentage points, although the West camp was quick to dismiss those findings as a “concocted” poll that didn’t reflect reality.
The poll, conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research on Sept. 26-27, found that 52 percent of those surveyed support Murphy, compared to 43 percent for West. The margin widened even more among independents, with 58 percent saying they backed Murphy versus 40 percent supporting the freshman Republican.
The poll surveyed 401 likely voters in Florida’s 18th District and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
“It’s clear that with his extreme, offensive rhetoric and record, Allen West is turning off voters all across the spectrum,” said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC, which released the poll on Monday.
Monday’s poll is the latest in a series of polls that show the preferences of the district’s voters to be all over the map. Republican pollster Kimball Political Consulting showed Murphy ahead of West by 49 to 45 percent in a Sunday poll, while West’s campaign released a poll last week that showed West ahead by nine points. Another poll released in August showed the candidates to be statistically tied.
The West campaign releasedan ad last week targeting Murphy’s 2003 arrest for disorderly intoxication and featured his mug shot from nine years ago next to a picture of West in a suit.
Murphy’s campaign hit back by highlighting that West was “kicked out of the military” that same year for assault.
West spent 22 years in the Army before retiring as a Lt. Colonel. He took office in January 2011 as party of the Tea Party wave, becoming Florida’s first African-American Republican Congressman since 1876.
The 51-year-old Bronze Star recipient is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991.