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Tea Party Getting Violent? 10 House Dems Report Threats, Vandalism


WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) Political pundits knew health care reform was going to upset critics and the "tea party" contingent, but they probably didn't expect things to get violent.

The Democratic leadership in Congress is decrying recent "acts of violence" against 10 House Democrats and one Republican, including one report of a cut gas line at the house of the brother of one member of Congress.

The most recent report came from US Rep. Harry Mitchell, AZ, whose spokesman, Adam Bozzi, said in a statement that the congressman received physical threats, including threats on his life, both before and after a vote on health care reform.

A brick was thrown through the window of the district office of Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in Niagara Falls, in upstate New York, while Bart Stupak, the conservative Democrat whose deal with the White House on abortion funding curbs provided the crucial last few votes for passage of the bill, reported getting calls from people wishing that he "bleed, get cancer and die."

Representative James Clyburn, the highest ranking black lawmaker, said he received a fax with an image of a noose.

Even the families of representatives aren't immune to the backlash, apparently. The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office and the FBI have concluded, in a joint statement, that a severed gas line outside of the house of Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-Va.) brother was "an act of vandalism." Perriello supported the overhaul measure and an activist involved in the "tea party" movement reportedly posted the brother's address on an internet forum - apparently thinking it was the congressman's - and urged angry opponents to pay him a visit.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he knows that people are angry but denounced the disturbing trend, saying, "Threats and violence should not be part of a political debate."

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