Allen West Won’t Tap Right-Wing Radio Host

allenwestforcongress.com


On Monday, demagogic, Islam-hating Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) caused his first congressional controversy. Today, he announced his first flip-flop.

The firebrand tea partying West, who as an Army officer confessed to abusing detainees and won a conservative South Florida district last week, today reneged on a Monday promise to appoint right-wing radio host Joyce Kaufman as his congressional chief of staff. Kaufman is a fellow demagogue who spends her air time railing against Muslims, touting an “infidel” ballcap she wears, advocating the hanging of illegal immigrants, and saying Jews who vote for Barack Obama “don’t embrace being Jews anymore.” West’s office made the announcement this morning in a statement:

It is with deep regret that this Congressional office and the people of CD 22 will not have Joyce Kaufman as my Chief of Staff.  Joyce is a good friend, and will remain loyal to South Floridians and to me. I will always seek Joyce’s counsel for being a good Representative of this Congressional District.

West’s rhetoric tracks Kaufman’s pretty closely, and they were thick as thieves on the campaign trail. But a counsel for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct said yesterday that Kaufman’s appointment could be “problematic.” It appears Republican House leaders may have stepped in, prevailing on West to turn down the crazy and pick a chief of staff who (unlike Kaufman) might actually have a modicum of experience with legislative affairs, media messaging, and constitutent services.

West’s already-troubled tenure poses a direct challenge to Republican leadership that’s not going away anytime soon: While it’s in their political interest to keep loose-talking neophytes like him away from the limelight, where they might turn off mainstream voters, they can’t deny that his brand of anger brings in the campaign cash. He was tops among all congressional challengers in donations this year, in no small part because of endorsements from the likes of Sarah Palin and small contributions from angry tea partiers and right-wing vets across the country. He has a chance to become the Michele Bachmann of the South, but only if he manages to avoid alienating his constituents with bad governance and worse sound bites.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.