Kevin “Coach” Collins, a right-wing blogger and former NYPD cop, told TPMDC that he didn’t send Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) a threatening fax depicting a noose. A post from his blog, and his name, appears on the document, which arrived in Stupak’s office yesterday.
Collins, who runs a blog on which he posted an entry that was reprinted on the Stupak fax (with the addition of the gallows imagery), says he sent Stupak something to protest his vote for health care reform, but the fax was not it.
“Here’s what I sent: A hand written note saying I thought he would be in a tough reelection so I was sending him a donation of thirty dimes,” he told me last night. “I included my name address my occupation and the fact that it was not corporate funds that I sent but my own money.”
“If anyone wants to make an issue of this he or she will be barking up a tree with a nasty dog sitting in it’s branches,” Collins added.Stupak’s office told TPM’s Rachel Slajda last night that the fax came in yesterday, as pro-life groups stepped up their criticism of Stupak over his vote for the health care reform bill in the house. The document consists of some apparently Nazi imagery, the drawing of a gallows with Stupak’s name on it, and a lengthy excerpt of Collins’ Â blog post (see the fax here). Collins’ name appears at the top of the document.
In an email conversation, Collins first denied that the fax could exist (“you are a liar,” he wrote in our first email exchange). Later, after I showed him the text, he opened up a bit, seemingly worried that Stupak might accuse him of being the author of the fax.
“Can you tell if the fax is a zerox [sic] that has been stepped on a few times? Is it clear? What makes these people think I didn’t make a copy of what I sent?” he wrote me. “I can tell you this I will not roll over.”
Collins’ web site features a number of virulent anti-Obama and anti-Democrats postings. In this post about President Obama, Collins names what he calls “the three groups who inflicted Obama’s Marxism on us.”
Those groups, in Collins’ mind? “Black Churches,” the “Jewish vote,” and “phony conservatives.”
In our emails last night, Collins said that he’ll stand his ground against anyone who accuses him of sending the noose fax to Stupak.. (Another fax depicting a noose was reportedly sent to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s office, but his staff declined to share it with me, saying they didn’t want it published.)
“I’m sure you went to my web site…and read my bio, but If you didn’t I’ll tell [you] about myself,” Collins wrote me last night when I asked him how a fax with his writing and name on it could have arrived in Stupak’s office. “I’m a retired NYPD street cop. I hold a doctoral degree and I’m a Marine.”
“But aside from all of this anyone looking at the note will see either right away it has been doctored or they will soon find out,” he added.
Collins then thanked me “for the heads up” on the fax.
“If you get more on this I’d appreciate hearing about it,” he wrote. “If anyone presses this they will find out in short order that I have a personal friendship with right wing attorney whose name you would immediately know.”
Additional reporting by Rachel Slajda