One hallmark of the protests in Wisconsin has been how, well, benign they’ve been. Other than a semi-serious discussion about tape residue left by the pro-union activists who filled the state capitol, there have been few arrests and even fewer reports of violence. Following the state Senate GOP’s unilateral passage of the bill taking away collective bargaining rights from thousands of state workers, however, things may have taken a turn for the darker.
The AP reports the Wisconsin Dept. Of Justice “is investigating an e-mail threatening the lives” of several Republican lawmakers, including Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald. From the text of the emails first published by WTMJ-AM:
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes [sic] will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.
The AP reports that Fitzgerald’s office handed over the “address of the person who sent one of the threatening e-mails” to police.
The Justice Dept. confirmed to TPM it’s investigating “this and several other threats from a variety of sources.”
Fitzgerald said today is not the first time he’s felt nervous about the protests going on around him. “A protester was arrested this week for trespassing at his Dodge County home,” the AP reports, “after she walked onto his porch and banged on the window.”
The full text of the threatening emails, published by WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes:
From: XXXX Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
This post has been updated.