After sternly warning college students to stop harassing his wife or they would face consequences, former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., now finds himself the target of a complaint.
West, a retired Army colonel who narrowly lost his congressional seat after serving a notable freshman term, had responded on Twitter and Facebook to students at Florida Atlantic University, where his wife, Angela, serves on the Board of Trustees.
He explained in a Facebook post Wednesday that students had gone to his wife’s office, “stalked her at the FAU Board of Trustee meetings, and sent letters to her company headquarters.”
“How dare you animals attack my wife and her professional reputation. This is your one and only advisory notice,” West said.
He clarified: “This is not a threat, it is a promise that if Angela calls and tells me of one more incident, you will face me, the side of me that you do not want to see.”
He sent a similar message on Twitter: “To FAU students stalking my wife at Bd of Trustee mtgs, end it now. If u believe you can intimidate her, u are mistaken. Nxt time u face me.”
The board has been confronted by student-led protests over a $6 million stadium-naming deal with private prison operator GEO Group, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. GEO Group backed out of the deal April 2 after it was accused of mistreating and neglecting inmates.
Angela West told New Times Broward-Palm Beach she felt harassed because students came to her office uninvited and also called for her to be fired.
In response to West’s messages, Stephanie Rosendorf of the Florida College Democrats filed a complaint with the Florida Atlantic University police against West, claiming his statements were threatening, the Raw Story reported.
“As students, we deserve to feel safe exercising our First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble and express our grievances with the University,” Rosendorf said in her complaint. “These days you never know if a threat on social media is to be taken lightly, and in this case it certainly should not be. Allen West is making me feel in danger at school.”
Rosendorf told Raw Story that she feared some of West’s followers might react violently.
“As a student at FAU and a member of the community, I felt shocked and threatened to see Allen West’s comments,” she told Raw Story in an email. “We as students should be able to exercise our First Amendment right to peacefully assemble without fear of violent retaliation from Allen West or any of his like-minded followers. I urge the University to take extra steps to ensure that Allen West is not allowed on or near our campus.”
Rules for Radicals
Angela West was appointed to the unpaid board position in May 2011 by Gov. Rick Scott and conformed by the Florida Senate.
In his Facebook message, Allen West referred to 1960s leftist guru Saul Alinksy’s “Rules for Radicals,” a handbook for left-wing activists that emphasizes ridiculing opponents to demobilize them.
“I completely understand the Alinsky tactics and have no issue with the insidious and incessant personal attacks by the left against me,” West wrote. “However, I am warning you, end your harassment of my wife Angela.”
West noted his wife is an American citizen “and if you believe that you can intimidate her to surrender her freedoms you are mistaken.”
“Those left wing groups and lawyers associated with these individuals supporting their antics, I recommend you disassociate yourself,” he said.
A favorite of the tea party, West was targeted for defeat by Democrats in one of the most-watched congressional races last November, losing to political newcomer Patrick Murphy.
As WND reported, West charged the Democratic Party supervisor of elections in St. Lucie County, Fla., with “unconscionable” shenanigans that led to the election of Murphy.
He now hosts an online news show for PJ Media called “Next Generation.”
West became known to WND readers in 2003 when the Army prosecuted him for bold interrogation tactics he used to protect his soldiers in Iraq. Amid his controversial ordeal, he drew support from congressmen and many Americans who considered him a hero.