Allen West, former Army officer and U.S. representative, doesn’t mince words as he reshapes the NCPA and works to brings back donors.
WRITTEN BY CHERYL HALL FOR DALLAS NEWS:
Allen West, the new CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, has a simple idea for reshaping the conservative Dallas-based think tank: “We need to make our research and opinions understandable to the Waffle House crowd.”
West knows these people because he dines with them. He runs four miles a day so he can chow down on breakfast at places like Waffle House, Cracker Barrel and Denny’s.
“We could sit here and have great conversations about quantitative easing that would make everybody else’s eyes roll back in their heads,” West says in his corner office along the Dallas North Tollway. “But regular folks have to get it. They have to sift through all the political-speak to know why food commodity prices are rising and their wages are being depressed.”
West, who took over the libertarian-oriented nonprofit in January, wants to brand the NCPA as America’s think tank.
He’s trying to rebuild the NCPA after a sexual harassment scandal involving its well-known founder, John Goodman, nearly scuttled it. The donors who abandoned ship gave about $2 million per year, or 40 percent of its operating budget.
Dennis McCuistion, who had stepped in as interim CEO, and the NCPA board believe that West’s experience, particularly in national security, will broaden the center’s reputation beyond health care, which Goodman made its primary focus.
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