UPDATED: Joyce Kaufman Heads to Washington With Allen West; Conspiracy Theorists Rejoice

UPDATE: That was fast. Kaufman announced today she has declined the chief of staff post, after a threat emailed to her radio station led to a lockdown of Broward County schools. New Times columnist Bob Norman has the scoop.

Joyce Kaufman, the controversial WFTL-AM (850) radio host who has spent the past several months giving copious free airtime to Allen West, will soon be following her favorite pol to Washington as his chief of staff.


Before the forehead smacking begins, remember: This is the same Allen West who accused the Juice of being a mouthpiece for his opponent, Ron Klein. Now, West has hired his local talk radio mouthpiece to be his, um, official, taxpayer-funded mouthpiece. Welcome to Washington, Mr. West. You'll fit right in.

And if you thought West might select a moderate, media-savvy chief of staff to tone down his more extreme views for national consumption, you'll be sorely disappointed.
As West made headlines for his eyebrow-raising views about Islam and illegal immigration, Kaufman was right there with him, making some of Rush Limbaugh's most virulent opinions sound quaint.

-- "If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it," she said on air in August 2007, speaking about illegal immigrants.

-- This year, she raised a ruckus over a free calendar Publix was distributing because it marked the Islamic New Year on December 7 and neglected to mention Pearl Harbor Day.

-- In April, she cited an "exhaustive study" claiming "a vast number of Florida's elementary and high-school history and geography textbooks are Islam-slanted." 

Whew, it's gonna be a fun couple of years in Washington, isn't it?

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