- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 24, 2013

Allen West, the outspoken former Republican lawmaker, was always a prodigious fundraiser, drawing money from far outside his Florida district. He had $1.5 million in the bank even after mounting an unsuccessful recount challenge to his November 2102 loss at the polls.

Now, he’s transferred a half-million dollars in donated campaign funds to two charity groups: the Allen West Foundation and another entity sharing the new foundation’s post office box address.

Arizona Sen. John McCain transferred $10 million in excess funds to a library named in his honor after losing in 2008. But  establishing a foundation for a one-term, backbench lawmaker is far more unusual.

The Allen West Foundation received $250,000, and another group, the American Legacy Guardians, received another $250,000, with both transfers described as “charitable donation,” according to disclosures filed Thursday.

There are rules against using campaign funds to personally enrich candidates, but the same restrictions do not apply to nonprofit groups.

Neither of the two West-linked entities appears to have any established footprint, such as a website, and it was unclear why there were two separate groups. Mr. West could not be reached for comment.

• Luke Rosiak can be reached at lrosiak@washingtontimes.com.

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