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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Allen West's controversial new chief of staff quits amid media 'lynching'



Kaufman_West.jpgJoyce Kaufman, the self-styled "most heavily armed" conservative radio host in South Florida, has quit as Congressman-elect Allen West's chief of staff, just days after taking the job.

"How can I be a racist if I campaigned for a black candidate?" she just said on her show, calling the controversy over her views on immigration and other issues, "electronic lynching by proxy." (Photo: Kaufman and West in 2009)

Kaufman, closely aligned with the tea party, lashed out at the "liberal media" for raising questions about her conservative views. A YouTube clip -- now removed -- shows her calling for the people to take back government even if it means using "bullets."

“I am convinced the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will," she said during a rally in July.

Audio: Joyce Kaufman discusses her decision to resign:

She mused sarcastically on 850 WFTL whether she could get her deposit back on a Washington apartment and added that she could get an Acura now and "maybe a boob job."

Kaufman insisted, "Nobody asked me to leave."

West just defeated two-term incumbent Democrat Ron Klein of Boca Raton. His choice of Kaufmam was instantly controversial and she stoked it by calling Nancy Pelosi "garbage" in a statement announcing her new role. Kaufman had hoped to continue her radio show from Washington.

Later, West called the show to offer his support and said he'd continue to rely on Kaufman for counsel. "They didn't get a win," he said, "and I'll see you on the high ground." He promised to bring the "left-wing vile, vicious, despicable machine" to its knees.

[Last modified: Friday, November 12, 2010 10:18am]


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