10/18/2011 03:12 pm ET | Updated Dec 18, 2011

Donald Rumsfeld Raising Money For Rep. Allen West

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be a "special guest" at a fundraiser for Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) next week in Washington, D.C.

A flyer distributed by West's reelection campaign prominently displays Rumsfeld's name -- in font larger than even West's name -- as the feature guest at a $500-per-plate breakfast on Oct. 27 at Capitol Decisions Inc, on Capitol Hill.

In addition to forking over $500 to attend, Rumsfeld is also offering West supporters an incentive to pay the host-level price of $2,500: Anyone who does so will get a free, signed copy of Rumsfeld's latest book, "Known and Unknown."

The event is being hosted by Buzz Hefti, vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates.

Carolyn Machado, a fundraiser for West whose name appears on the flyer as a contact person, said Hefti told her Rumsfeld and West know each other from their days in the military. West's 20-plus years of active duty service in the Army overlapped with Rumsfeld's time in the Pentagon during his years under former President George W. Bush.

"I heard from our campaign people that he wanted to help," Machado said.

The freshman lawmaker has landed in hot water several times in recent months for his harsh rhetoric against Democrats, most notably Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In July, he called her "vile" and "not a lady" in a vitriolic email sent to her and party leaders. He unloaded on her again in September during a radio interview in which he was asked to say the first thing that came to mind at the mention of her name. "I need a bucket," he said.

West has also referred to himself as "the modern day Harriet Tubman" and compared being gay to liking chocolate chip ice cream.