Washington -- The FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police are investigating threats to at least 10 Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Bart Stupak, believed to be linked to the passage of the controversial health care legislation.
In the run-up to Sunday's historic vote in the House on the health care bill, bricks have been hurled through Democrats' windows, a propane line was cut at the home of a congressman's brother, and threatening voice mails and faxes have been sent to some Democratic lawmakers.
Stupak, D-Menominee, has received threatening phone calls and faxes, including one drawing of a noose on a platform with the wording "Bart (SS) Stupak." A man left a voice mail calling him "baby killer" and saying he hoped Stupak dies of cancer. On another voice mail, a woman says, "There are millions of people across the country who wish you ill."
Stupak became a familiar face and name to those following the health care debate through his frequent appearances on TV in his battle to get more restrictive language added to the final health care bill. He originally opposed the bill, but announced he would vote for it after President Barack Obama agreed to sign an executive order that Stupak felt would ensure no federal money would be used to pay for elective abortions.
The fax of the noose drawing includes this: "All Baby Killers come to unseemly ends Either by the hand of man or by the Hand of God."
Stupak has turned the information over to the Capitol Police.
At least 10 reported incidents
Stupak hasn't been the only member of the Michigan delegation who has been harassed. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, received "ominous calls," said spokesman Cullen Schwarz, who added his boss had received a great deal of positive calls, too.
One caller said Peters "should've been an abortion," while several said they wished he would die, Schwarz said. Peters was one of the final members of the delegation to say he'd vote for the bill. Peters' spokesman said they likely will turn the threat information over to police.
Authorities are investigating incidents in Kansas, Virginia and other places, including Rochester, N.Y., where a brick tossed through the window of a county Democratic Party office had a note attached that said: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice," roughly quoting the late Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee.
The FBI and Capitol Police briefed Democratic lawmakers on how to handle perceived security threats after at least 10 reported incidents, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Those who feel they are at risk will be "getting attention from the proper authorities," Hoyer said, declining to say whether any are receiving added security. Normally only those in leadership positions have personal security guards.
Stupak spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche said her boss has not asked for police protection "at this time." Nor has Peters.
In Virginia, authorities were investigating after someone cut a propane line leading to a grill at the Charlottesville home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello's brother.
The home's address was posted online by tea party activists angry about the Virginia Democrat's vote in favor of the health care overhaul. They had mistaken the brother's address for that of the lawmaker.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100325/POLITICS03/3250425/1022/FBI-probes-threats-leveled-at-lawmakers#ixzz0jBCAoDW2