Did Joyce Kaufman, the South Florida right-wing radio talk show host who was named (and then unnamed) as Republican Rep.-elect Allen West’s chief of staff, inspire the deranged person whose threats led to yesterday’s lock down of Broward County public schools, libraries and post offices? It looks that way.
As you might recall, someone emailed Kaufman’s radio station, WFTL, declaring that he or she was planning a violent act against some kind of government building, possibly a school. A phone call to the station yesterday, from a woman identifying herself as the e-mailer’s wife, later warned that this man could potentially commit a terrorist act against a public school. That prompted a countywide lock down of all public schools.
The local Fox affiliate since reported that the threat-maker had said he was inspired by none other than Joyce Kaufman, who had received publicity in the last few days for her previous calls for violent action against the government in order to protect citizens from the tyranny of the Obama administration.
Reports in the South Florida press contain slightly differing accounts of the precise connection between Kaufman’s earlier calls for violence against the United States government and the threatening statements that led to the school lockdown.
The Miami Herald reported:
According to Capt. Dan Rakofsky with the Pembroke Pines Police, WFTL received an e-mail addressed to Kaufman late Tuesday, expressing the threat.
The call came into the radio station the next morning.
While police will not say whether the call and e-mail were threatening toward Kaufman or in defense of her, there is some suggestion the e-mailer may have been upset that Kaufman has come under media scrutiny lately for alleged inflammatory comments she has made on her radio show.
The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported:
Investigators traced both the electronic message placed on radio station WFTL’s website and the call from the phone, work that was “very, very complicated and complex,” Rakofsky said. “There were many phone numbers associated with the phone. There are switching stations and servers and it’s a complicated thing to investigate.”
As far as a connection to WFTL radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman, who was offered the chief of staff job for U.S. Rep.-elect Allen West but has announced she cannot accept it, the police captain said, “Yes, the email, it was actually a contact page on a website, and it was directed to Miss Kaufman. The threat was made, we can’t speculate as to why the threat was made or what the person was thinking or why they thought it would be a good idea to make the threat.”
TPMDC made a request for comment to the radio station. “We have no comment, except anything regarding what we already said,” a representative for the station said briefly.
Kaufman announced today that she would no longer serve as West’s chief of staff, as had been announced Tuesday. “I will not be used in an electronic lynching by proxy,” she said, referring to the bad publicity that her hiring had brought upon West.
The negative publicity had centered around video of comments that Kaufman had made at a Tea Party rally this past Independence Day, on how to change a government that has become destructive of the people’s rights: “And then the Founding Fathers were ever so brilliant — and I don’t care how this gets painted by the mainstream media, I don’t care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”
She had also said that if the Republicans didn’t win the midterm elections: “When I say I’ll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven’t achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because if at that point, I”m gonna go up into the hills of Kentucky, I’m gonna go out into the Midwest, I’m gonna go up in the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches, and I’m gonna gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for — and some things are worth dying for.”