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It's getting real ugly in Florida (non-Presidential news)

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Filed: Timeline

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) today released a blistering contrast ad against his Democratic opponent, businessman Patrick Murphy. The 30-second spot compares what West and Murphy were both doing on Feb. 16, 2003.

The ad zooms across a satellite map of the United States to southern Florida. “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand,” the narrator says. “Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Murphy’s mugshot, in which he appears quite discombobulated, appears on screen.

“Patrick Murphy was arrested and taken to jail,” the narrator says. “Two men, a country in crisis, you decide,” he adds, as an image of West in a suit appears next to the mugshot of Murphy.

The ad uses a military-operations motif, with action-movie-like graphics and sound effects over zoomed-in satellite photos. A male narrator sets the scene over pictures of West in his Army uniform: “Fort Hood, Texas: Lt. Col. Allen West had just received deployment orders and prepares his men to go to war.”

The Murphy campaign hit back hard.

“Allen West is now opening up what his military record was in 2003,” said Eric Johnson, a senior adviser to Murphy’s campaign. “In 2003, he was criminally charged by the military with assault and for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was subsequently kicked out of the military. I find it odd that he’s trying to brag about that particular year of service. And he’s attacking Patrick Murphy for drinking as a teenager, which I think is a silly attack.”


Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican.


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Filed: Timeline
West actually resigned from the military with full benefits after an Article 15 proceeding in which he was fined for his conduct with an Iraqi prisoner, which included firing a gun near the prisoner’s head.

That might actually gain him some votes in a hokey state like Florida.

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