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Joyce Kaufman Steps Down as Allen West's Chief of Staff After School Lockdown

Joyce Kaufman

Conservative talk radio host Joyce Kaufman is stepping down from her new position as chief of staff for incoming Republican Rep. Allen West after her comments may have incited a threat of violence that led to three-hour lock-down at 300 Florida schools yesterday.

Kaufman has come under scrutiny for some incendiary comments. On her Florida radio show Tuesday, Kaufman characterized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as "garbage," and the Associated Press reports she said at a recent Tea Party rally that if "ballots don't work, bullets will." MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" this week spotlighted the controversy over Kaufman.

Police said the school lock-down came after a woman from outside South Florida said her husband was planning to carry out a mass shooting in Broward County, the Miami Herald reports. Police reportedly would not say whether the threat was directed at Kaufman or in defense of her, but the Herald reports that there's some suggestion the woman was upset Kaufman has come under media scrutiny.

Kaufman said on her radio show today that she did not want to tarnish West, whom she called a "distinguished, monumental man." She added, "I will not be used in an electronic lynching by proxy," referring to the media attacks against her.

"You guys can do all the things you want to me, but I will not participate in you trying to destroy him," she reportedly said, in reference to the press.

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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