Threats Against Lawmakers Hit New High in 2010

Emotions ran high during health reform debate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2011 1:05 PM CDT
US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – As the health reform debate reached a fever pitch last year, so too did the threats against lawmakers. The FBI investigated at least 26 threats last year, according to documents obtained by the Hill, a significant upswing from the previous year, and more than any other year on record. Nearly half of those cases came in the weeks surrounding the health care vote in March, with many threats seemingly intent on influencing lawmakers' votes on the bill.

Democrat Walt Minnick, for example, got a letter that read in part, “Vote in favor of progressive liberal programs and DIE in the near future.” In many cases, the FBI traced the threats to people with histories of mental illness; one man who threatened John McCain for example, claimed to have been married to Brooke Shields, dated Pat Benatar, and spent time on a Russian space station. Click through the quote gallery for specific threats, but note that there's profanity.

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