Rand Paul Headstomper Just the Latest Violent Right-Winger: 17 More Instances of Recent Violence by Conservatives
As media outlets have reported, a MoveOn.org worker who attempted to approach Paul at an October 26 rally in Lexington, Kentucky was attacked, apparently by Paul supporters. The woman was thrown to the ground and then stepped on, causing her head to be smashed into the pavement. According to MoveOn.org, the victim was diagnosed with a concussion at a local hospital.
The attack on the MoveOn worker was the latest in a string of violence and threats against progressives.
1. White powder and swastikas were mailed to Rep. Grijalva. On October 21, an envelope containing "a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them" was reportedly mailed to Rep. Raul Grijalva's (D-AZ) campaign office. The powder was determined to be non-toxic.
2. Byron Williams set out to kill people at Tides Foundation and ACLU. On July 18, Byron Williams was stopped by California Highway Patrol and engaged in a shootout with law enforcement. He later said he planned to murder individuals at the Tides Foundation and ACLU. His mother said he was angry about "Congress railroading through all these left-wing agenda items." As reporter John Hamilton documented, Williams said he saw Fox News' Glenn Beck as "a schoolteacher" and that "it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind." Indeed, the gunman, Byron Williams, was driven by belief in conspiracy theories that have been pushed by Beck and other members of the right-wing media.
3. AZ federal judge threatened, Grijalva office fired on after ruling on AZ immigration law. Politico reported in July:
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in a statement he shut down his Yuma district office after staff members discovered a bullet had shattered a window there Thursday. And authorities said U.S. Judge Susan Bolton received hundreds of threats at her downtown Phoenix court offices after issuing the injunction, according to news reports.
4. Phoenix man indicted for alleged murder threats against Grijalva and his aides. The Yuma Sun reported on June 14 that a Phoenix man was indicted on federal charges for "allegedly threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva in late April, over Grijalva's opposition to the state's new immigration law." The article added: "Prosecutors say Haynes is accused of calling Grijalva's office in Tucson twice on April 23 and threatening to 'come down there and blow the brains out' of Grijalva and his employees."
5. Man arrested for allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Patty Murray. Politico reported on April 6:
Charles Alan Wilson, 64, was arrested at his home in central Washington after he allegedly called Murray's office on numerous occasions over the last few weeks saying that she "had a target on her back, " and "I want to [expletive] kill you," according to court documents. The alleged phone calls stretched over almost two weeks and were said to be in relation to Murray's vote to pass health care overhaul legislation.
Wilson, who was arrested in Selah, Wash., also allegedly told undercover FBI agents that he carries a concealed firearm with a permit, and said he was "extremely angry" with the passage of health care legislation, according to the news release. If convicted, Wilson could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
6. Members of right-wing militia group arrested for allegedly plotting overthrow of the U.S. government. Nine members of the "Hutaree militia" were arrested in March and charged with plotting a violent uprising against the U.S. government, a plot that was to begin with an attack on law enforcement personnel. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the Hutaree militia as a member of the radical right-wing patriot movement.
7. AP: Man arrested for allegedly making threatening phone calls to Pelosi. The AP reported that in the days after the vote on the health care reform bill, "The FBI arrested a California man Wednesday for allegedly making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
8. Threats made against Rep. Betsy Markey. A Denver television station reported that Rep. Betsy Markey's (D-CO) chief of staff "said the calls came on Saturday before the House cast its final vote on health care reform. She said in the first, the caller said to one of Markey's staff members, 'better hope I don't run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.' In another instance, a caller said something like 'better tell your boss that she better be careful when she comes back here to Colorado.'"
9. Gas line outside the house of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello was cut. Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother's address was erroneously posted online by a Tea Party blogger who invited activists to descend on the house. In March, a gas line outside the brother's house was cut.
10. Threats made against Rep. Stupak after he voted for final version of health care bill. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was the target of threatening faxes and phone calls, includingdeath threats. Some of the faxes included "racial epithets used in reference to President Obama," according to CBS News.
11. Picture of a noose faxed to Rep. Clyburn. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the Majority Whip, said in a March interview on CNN that his office had received a fax of a noose after he voted in favor of the health care reform bill.
12. Brick thrown at Democratic county headquarters in Rochester, NY. New York Daily News reported on March 22 that, after the House health care vote, a "brick, to which a piece of paper bearing the message "Extremism is defense of liberty is no vice" was attached with a rubber band" was thrown through the headquarters of the Democratic county headquarters in Rochester, New York.
13. Rep. Slaughter threatened with brick and "snipers." CNN reported on March 24: "Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York, said her Niagara Falls district office had a brick thrown through one of its windows and a message that referred to 'snipers' was left on one of her campaign offices."
14. Rep. Giffords' office window shattered. CNN reported that in March, "a glass panel at the Tucson office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was shattered, spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. It wasn't clear how the window was shattered, but visitors have to go through a gated courtyard to enter the office, and staffers suspect someone may have shot a pellet gun at the glass, he said."
15. White powder mailed to Rep. Weiner with "drop dead" message. NBC News reported on March 26:
Authorities are investigating a package with white powder and an angry letter that referenced the health care legislation that was sent to Congressman Weiner's Kew Gardens office today.
The letter said the Congressman should "drop dead" and complained about the historic health care legislation passed by Congress this week.
Preliminary field tests showed the white powder was harmless.
16. Rep. Driehaus threatened and right-wing blogger publishes his home address. Politico reported on March 24 that a right-wing blogger had published the home address of Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) and asked protestors to show up at his house. In addition, Driehaus reportedly received death threats.
17. Brick thrown through window of Witchita County Democrats' offices. The Kansas City Star reported in March:
Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Ala., former leader of the Alabama Constitutional Militia, put out a call on Friday for modern "Sons of Liberty" to break the windows of Democratic Party offices nationwide in opposition to health care reform. Since then, vandals have struck several offices, including the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita.
"There's glass everywhere," said Lyndsay Stauble, executive director of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party. "A brick took out the whole floor-to-ceiling window and put a gouge in my desk."
Stauble said the brick, hurled through the window between Friday night and Saturday morning, had "some anti-Obama rhetoric" written on it.