Ellison fires back after West makes Communist allegation

WASHINGTON – Allen West has a reputation for picking fights with other members of Congress. The first-term Florida Republican called U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz “vile” and said DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, represented “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.” Now, West has gone after the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which co-chaired by Ellison.

At an event in Florida, West told an audience, “I believe there are about 78 or 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party,” West said, “It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

While the CPC includes the most liberal members of Congress, none belong to the Communist Party although Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has described himself as a socialist before.

“Calling fellow Members of Congress ‘communists’ is reminiscent of the days when Joe McCarthy divided Americans with name-calling and modern-day witch hunts that don’t advance policies to benefit people’s lives,” said Ellison and fellow CPC co-chair U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva in a statement.

After West’s spat with Wasserman-Schultz, both sides used the incident to raise money for their campaigns. Don’t be surprised if the same thing happens this time.