“Betty McCollum you’ve been dry f***** by the liberal party.” So read a letter, which also contained a condom removed from its packaging, received by Rep. Betty McCollum’s office on March 22. Another letter contained a shredded American flag drenched in gasoline along with a note that reads, “It represents Obama and your liberal filth. Open the bag, it’s covered in the stench you’ve brought to our government … Because of you, we are now a country of dirt, shame, corruption and slime.”
McCollum’s is one of many congressional offices that are reporting threatening tactics by anti-health care reform activists, particularly members of the Tea Party movement. McCollum released a statement on Thursday saying she will not be intimidated: “I will not back down in the face of attacks, threats, and violence. I do not regret my vote, and I will proudly stand in the face of opposition and defend my support of health care reform.”
Her office relayed another letter that said:
Here’s how I will do my part. I will fight you with all my might. I will hound you. I will intimidate you and your family. I will scream at you. I will rewrite your history. I will physically out strong-arm you. I will shame you, your family and your friends. I will send you signs exclaiming what I think of you…. I will call you what you are; [expletives]. Whatever it takes and as long as it takes. It will never stop until you are gone!
In the statement, McCollum said the rhetoric occurring nationally against health care reform has gone too far.
“This has gone beyond freedom of speech. This has gone to direct intimidation with intent to harm, and that is criminal action,” she said. “The Republican and Democratic leadership need to stand together with one bipartisan voice and condemn these acts of vigilantism. The perpetrators of these acts are trying to intimidate Members of Congress, their families, and Congressional staff.”