West to critics: Beware whom you target

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) used an email to constituents to respond to a threat against his Florida office last week and to warn critics to "be careful of whom you are choosing to employ these tactics against."  

Last week, West's Florida office received an envelope containing white powder and a letter with derogatory remarks directed at the congressman. A hazmat team later determined the powder wasn't harmful.

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"This incident, is just another in several incidents that have occurred over the last couple of years and, have put me in quite a bad mood," West wrote in an email sent to constituents Tuesday.

He offered the example of a "liberal blogger publicly stating that he wanted to 'skin me alive,' " and a protest outside his office led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "castigating me as a 'misogynist.' "

"I find it interesting that in all of these instances, the media simply dismissed the incidents," West said. "One might wonder — is it open season on a principled black conservative?"

West, a retired Army colonel, has become a national figure among Tea Party activists since defeating Democrat Ron Klein last November. The Florida Republican will be a top target of national Democrats seeking to regain the majority in the House in 2012.

"Let me be very clear to all reading this missive, but mostly to liberals who subscribe to this behavior, be careful of whom you are choosing to employ these tactics against," wrote West. "I consider myself an easy-going fella who will always engage in intense intellectual exchange. However, if you choose this path of personal attacks, intimidation, and threats you will encounter a very different Congressman (LTC. Ret) Allen B. West."