Obama allies worry over violent payback for health vote

2010-03-25 08:38

Top Democratic US lawmakers yesterday called in police and the FBI

after House members who voted for historic health care reform received violent

threats and obscene, abusive messages.


Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said more than 10

Democratic lawmakers had reported incidents since Sunday’s vote, some of which

he described as “very serious” without giving details.


Lawmakers stepped up their security, as one senior Democrat

reported bricks had been thrown through the windows of her home district

office.


Democratic Representative Bart Stupak, who brokered a deal clearing

the way for some fellow anti-abortion lawmakers to vote for the legislation,

received a fax with a noose and the caption “all Baby Killers come to unseemly

ends Either by the hand of man or by the Hand of God.”


Stupak’s office also received a voicemail in which an irate man

declares: “You baby-killing motherfucker. You turncoat son of a bitch piece of

shit. I hope you bleed out your ass, get cancer and die.”


The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating a

reported incident of a gas line being cut at the home of one lawmaker’s brother,

and the US Capitol Police was briefing worried representatives on how to keep

themselves and their families safe.


“We received information that the Congressman may have been

threatened and that was the reason for us going to his brother’s house, because

it was related to us that he may have been targeted,” the FBI said.


“Any member who feels themself at risk is getting attention from

the proper authorities,” said Hoyer. “That activity ought to be unacceptable in

our democracy.”


House Rules Committee Louise Slaughter said in a statement that

someone threw a brick through the window of her district office and “a voice

mail referencing snipers” was left on her campaign office voicemail.


“The US Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and

local police departments are all aware of these incidents and are still

investigating,” she said in a statement.


The incidents occurred after demonstrators demanding lawmakers

“kill the bill” reportedly spat on one black representatives and called others

racial slurs just outside the Capitol over the weekend.


Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner said many Americans

were “angry” about the health law, but underlined that “violence and threats are

unacceptable. That’s not the American way.”


“We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change.

Call your Congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a

political campaign, make your voice heard – but let’s do it the right way,” he

said.

 

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