BUT THEY SEEMED LIKE SUCH A GOOD PAIR…. Deranged Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) made an odd announcement this week, when he said a right-wing hate-radio host, Joyce Kaufman, would serve as his chief of staff in Washington.
Part of the problem with this is that Kaufman would remain employed by her South Florida radio station, raising ethical concerns about her simultaneously serving as a top congressional aide. The other part of the problem is that Kaufman appears to be a lunatic — spewing vile nonsense about immigrants and Muslims, and even raising the prospect of an armed insurrection against the United States government.
Today, the most outrageous staffing decision in recent memory came to an abrupt end.
Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) announced Thursday that a controversial radio host would not serve as his chief of staff after all.
West said in a statement that Joyce Kaufman, the conservative radio talk show host who he’d previously named to the top staff position in his office, would not be his chief of staff.
“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,” West said in a statement. “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.”
It’s not clear if West fired her or if Kaufman quit, but the announcement comes the day after Kaufman referred to outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “garbage.”
Looking back, West first ran for Congress in 2008, and was widely seen as a nutjob en route to losing by about 10 points. But 2010 is the Year of the Nutjobs — West was endorsed by extremists, raised money from extremists, palled around with extremists on the campaign trail, and won his South Florida congressional district with relative ease.
I suspect, from his perspective, hiring Kaufman wasn’t an especially big deal. If he’s a radical who won on a radical platform, why shouldn’t he hire a chief of staff who makes a living talking up hate and violence?
If I had to guess, I’d say the House GOP leadership took West aside yesterday and explained this wouldn’t do. Of course, I can’t wait to see whom he hires next.