As the health care debate came to its conclusion this week, the high-running emotions of many finally crested, taking the form of threats and acts of vandalism at the offices of several lawmakers, most of them Democrats. Here, a roundup:
The FBI is investigating a severed gas line at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello’s (D-VA) brother. A local tea party group had posted the brother’s address online, thinking it was Perriello’s and calling for a protest there.Windows were broken across the country, at Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s Tucson office, Rep. Louise Slaughter’s district office, and Democratic Party offices in Ohio, western New York and Kansas. (Someone also spray-painted the word “dorks” on one party office in Ohio.) House Minority Whip Eric Cantor also claimed someone shot a bullet into his campaign office, but local police say it was a random bullet that struck the office window.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said his office in Kew Gardens, New York, received an envelope containing white powder and a threatening letter.
Protestors showed up to Rep. Russ Carnahan’s (D-MO) home with a coffin over the weekend after he voted in support of the health care reform bill.
Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) said she received two threatening phone calls after announcing that she would switch her vote on health care from no to yes. One caller said to a staffer, “Better hope I don’t run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.” Another said, “Better tell your boss that she better be careful when she comes back here to Colorado.”
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) said in a statement that she has received several “emails, letters, faxes and phone calls that are threatening or menacing in nature as a result of my vote in favor of health care reform.”
A Nashville man was allegedly the victim of road rage because of an Obama-Biden sticker on his car, a local TV station reported.
Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR) said he received a letter that read, “Militia central has selected you for assassination. If we cannot stalk and find you in Washington, D.C., we will get you in Little Rock.”
Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ) said he got death threats before and after the vote, and a note about health care was sent to his office along with coal and dog poop.
Updated March 29:
Wisconsin Democratic Reps. Steve Kagen and David Obey received phone threats after voting for health care. A spokeswoman for Kagen told a local paper that one staffer took a leave of absence due to stress after answering many of the calls.
Iowa Democratic Reps. Bruce Braley and Rep. Dave Loebsack both told the Des Moines Register last week that they had received threats. Braley reported threats of physical violence, while Loebsack aides told the Register that the congressman has been sent “disturbing messages.”