Freshman congressman Lt. Col. Allen West isn’t known for backing away from challenges, but this time he may have bitten off more than even he can chew. He says he’s going to join the Congressional Black Caucus and plans on challenging their worldview.
West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress in Tuesday’s election, said he plans to join the Democratic-dominated bloc, to challenge, in West word’s, the CBC’s “monolithic voice.”
“I plan on joining, I’m not gonna ask for permission or whatever, I’m gonna find out when they meet and I will be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and I think I meet all of the criteria and it’s so important that we break down this ‘monolithic voice’ that continues to talk about victimization and dependency in the black community,” West said on WOR radio.
“We’ve got to turn this thing around, and I think it’s time for some different voices to be in that body politic,” he added.
Here’s the WOR interview:
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He made a comment above that is really the biggest challenge in a black Republican being a part of the Congressional Black Caucus. He said, “I’m gonna find out when they meet…”
Gary Franks joined the Congressional Black Caucus as a Republican and found that sometimes meetings were held and he was not told of the time or the place.
Even if he did attend, he was asked to leave after the meal and before the politics were discussed:
According to the caucus rules, membership is granted to any black federal legislator. Some supportive non-black legislators are granted honorary memberships that entitle them to participate in some black caucus functions, but deny them a vote or a voice in the group’s decisions.
Franks argued that he was entitled to full participation because he met the membership rules and had paid his membership dues. He also reasoned that since the caucus used money from the official budgets from its members’ offices for their functions, it might be illegal for them to deny his participation for partisan reasons.
Last week, the war escalated when Rep. William L. Clay (D-Mo.), gave reporters an 11-page open letter to Franks that suggested Franks was not representing black Americans and encouraged him to resign from the caucus. Franks, however, used to back away and hinted to reporters that the caucus was using public money to behave in an illegal and partisan manner.
Jeffry E. Muthersbaugh, a spokesman for Franks, said Franks questioned whether it was legal for the caucus to kick him out since its activities were typically paid for with money from members’ offices.
Franks’ reaction to Clay’s letter led to a vote at last week’s caucus meeting that compelled Franks to exit future meetings at 12:30 p.m., after the lunch dishes were pushed aside and before the serious political business began.
I think they’ll let him in, but I don’t think they have any intention of making him a member, if you know what I mean.
But man, I would love to watch that first meeting.