Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the head of the Rules Committee and a high-profile player during the debate over health care reform, has been threatened in the past few days with at least two acts of violence. From her just-released statement:
There was a brick thrown through my Niagara Falls district office and a voice mail referencing snipers that was left on the answering machine of my campaign office. The U.S. Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police departments are all aware of these incidents and are still investigating.
Even more disturbing, Slaughter claimed, has been the failure of Republican leaders to condemn the behavior of certain opponents of the Democrats’ health reforms. Instead, she said, GOP leaders have egged on the protestors, “fanning the flames with coded rhetoric.”
Michael Steele, the head of the national Republican party, said that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be put on “the firing line.” Sarah Palin said “don’t retreat – reload.” And House Minority Leader John Boehner said that a Democratic member of Congress who supported health care reform would be a “dead man.”
To his great credit, Boehner toned down his rhetoric noticeably today, telling Fox News that “violence and threats are unacceptable.”
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