TPM News

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.

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In a statement released today, Virginia 5th congressional district candidate Laurence Verga condemned reported acts of violence targeting incumbent Tom Perriello (D). Here's the full statement:

I condemn any acts or promotion of violence against Congressman Tom Perriello's family or any American for that matter. Disagreements over policy should never be resolved by violence but through civil discussion and elections.

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At a fundraiser yesterday, Vice President Biden joked about his hot-mic moment Tuesday when he said health care is a "big f---ing deal."

Biden said President Obama, at yesterday's morning briefing, said, "You know what the best thing about yesterday was? Joe's comment."

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Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) again declined to say whether he's been subpoenaed by the grand jury that's probing his sex-and-lobbying scandal -- and instead took a shot at "gotcha" journalism.

Asked by Politico whether he had been subpoenaed, Ensign instead went on a tirade against the media. "Seeking of the truth should be not only part of the Justice Department and part of our judicial system, but also should be ... a goal of reporters today," said the embattled lawmaker. "Unfortunately, too much of our press is ... (1) biased or (2) just about 'gotcha.'"

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Missouri press are reporting that Rep. Russ Carnahan's (D-MO) home was targeted by protesters with a coffin over the weekend after he voted in support of the health care reform bill.

Local television stations reported the coffin was brought to Carnahan's St. Louis home. KMOV posted an item suggesting that a Tea Party protest held at Carnahan's district office on Wednesday included a coffin.

A Carnahan spokesman this morning confirmed the account written by the Associated Press:

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Hoyer: House Will Re-Approve Reconciliation Bill House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) predicted that the House will re-pass the health care reconciliation bill, in the wake of minor modifications made to it by the Senate parliamentarian. "I expect to get this bill back from the Senate sometime this afternoon, and I would expect several hours after we will have the bill on the floor, and we will pass the bill and send it to the president," said Hoyer.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and meet at 10 a.m. ET with senior advisers. He will depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 10:55 a.m. ET, arriving at 1:05 p.m. ET in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He will deliver remarks on health care reform at 2 p.m. ET. He will depart from Cedar Rapids at 3:35 p.m. ET, arriving back at Andrews Air Force Base at 5:25 p.m. ET, and at the White House at 5:40 p.m. ET.

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DNC Chairman Tim Kaine released a statement last night urging Republicans to tone down their rhetoric in response to threats of violence towards Democratic leaders. Here's his full statement:

I am very concerned that it has become necessary for federal law enforcement officials to look into actions directed possibly at Members of Congress and their families following the historic vote on health insurance reform. I understand that law enforcement officials are taking these actions seriously. In all, at least ten Members have related concerns about threats made since last weekend.

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In the wee hours of Thursday morning, Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled that two minor provisions of the health care reconciliation bill violated the so-called Byrd rule, and must be stricken. That has altered the language of the legislation and will the House to vote on the package one more time.

One of the provisions is meant to prevent Pell grant reductions (the reconciliation bill also deals with student loan reform). The other strike came against obsolete language. Both changes are incidental to the overall package, though, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to have no problem passing the bill again with the same coalition of 220 members who passed it for the first time on Sunday.

House members have been told to stay in town for a reconciliation revote,in the event that the Senate adopts the bill with a few changes. The Senate adjourned after 2 this morning, without having taken a final vote. They'll reconvene this morning at 9:45 to resume consideration.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) received a fax today with a drawing of a noose and gallows, labeled "Bart (SS) Stupak."

[RELATED STORY: Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who is African-American, received a fax depicting a noose. Click for here full story.]

The fax also a included a printout of a post from a blog called the Collins Report, a screed against Stupak for voting for Health Care Reform. (There is no reason to believe that anyone connected to the Collins Report added the noose and gallows or sent the fax to Stupak's office. The person who runs The Collins Report did not immediately return a request for comment.)

You can see the fax here.

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