"I voted for you,” the caller said in a voice mail to Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler’s district office. “If you vote for that stimulus package, I’m gonna kill you. Simple as that.”
The FBI says the caller was a 70-year-old resident of Shuler’s North Carolina district with a history of mental illness and a cache of guns. In the weeks before calling Shuler’s office, the FBI says, the caller beat and choked his wife. She told the FBI that she’d tried to clear her home of guns — and that she went to bed at night with a can of mace tucked under her pillow.
When agents showed up at the man’s door, they asked him why he’d threatened to kill Shuler. “I was trying to work the political scene,” he said.
The threat against Shuler is one of several detailed in 2009 FBI documents provided to POLITICO pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were threatened with assassination. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) were threatened with bodily harm. Someone told Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that her throat would be cut. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) was told someone would physically “f—- her up” if she held a town hall meeting in her district, according to the FBI files.