Report: Threat Linked to Joyce Kaufman's Call for "Bullets"
Channel 7 is reporting that the man who allegedly threatened to shoot up a Pembroke Pines school was prompted somehow by Joyce Kaufman, the acidic right-wing radio-show host who was named yesterday as newly elected Congressman Allen West's chief of staff.
This whole thing is still murky, but WSVN reported that the threat was linked to Kaufman's "call to action" during a Tea Party rally in Fort Lauderdale on July 4 during which she said, "If ballots don't work, bullets will."
Kaufman and West
emailed to Kaufman's radio station, WFTL-850. A woman identifying herself as the emailer's wife called the station to confirm it was real. And that led to the massive lockdown in public schools throughout Broward County. Broward Superintendent Jim Notter wrote in an email to selected school officials that the threat contained ethnic and religious slurs, though it's not clear which religion was at issue.
The television report says the issuer of the threat had seen Kaufman's incendiary statement on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC the night before. That somehow sparked that person, according to Channel 7.
Again it's still a sketchy case. And it's important to note that there's really only one person to blame for today's lockdown: the person, still at large, who sent the email.
But the decision to hire Kaufman sure is one very dubious way for West to start his career as a congressman. I knew this guy was going to provide all kinds of good material for the Pulp, but nobody could have predicted his first major decision -- executed in totally amateur and idiotic fashion -- would indirectly lead to something like this.
Kaufman's rhetoric has been draped in hate for many years. But since Obama was elected, she's cranked it up and aimed it at the American government (rather than her usual targets, Muslims). She's intimated on numerous occasions that the Tea Party crowd needs to start some kind of revolution. She's compared the Teabaggers to the founding fathers prior to the Revolutionary War. "They decided that they were going to declare independence from a ruthless king who taxed them without representation," she said at a rally last year to wild cheers. "Does that story sound familiar?"
Of course that's not as direct as her bullets over ballots call. Kaufman's boss, West, is often portrayed as dangerous, and he might be just that. But more than anything else at this point, he just seems ridiculous. He's marginalizing himself by the minute, and it seems the margin is just where he belongs.
After the jump, see a key part of the Channel 7 report, which includes Kaufman's call to arms should the vote not go the Tea Party's way.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.