Nearly 100 Threats Against Gov. Walker, Wis. Legislators

Friday, 13 May 2011 09:46 AM

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Wisconsin authorities have investigated nearly 100 threats against Gov. Scott Walker and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the fallout from the imbroglio that erupted after Walker introduced his controversial measures in February to curtail collective bargaining for public employees, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The threats, which came from as far away as Florida and Maine, included a tweet expressing the hope that an anvil would fall on the Republican governor’s head.

Scott Walker, Wisconsin, threats
Gov. Scott Walker was the target of 15 of the 89 threats, including one that hoped an anvil would fall on his head, a state report says. (Getty Images Photo)
The brouhaha, which prompted Democratic senators to flee the state to avoid voting on Walker’s budget-cutting bill and huge protests at the state Capitol, led to 89 threat cases, according to state Department of Justice records released Thursday, the State Journal reported today.

The records include 78 closed cases that the agency’s Division of Criminal Investigation probed between Feb. 19 and March 25. One involved a Department of Corrections employee who was arrested for disorderly conduct for allegedly verbally threatening to shoot Walker, the State Journal reported.

The 128 pages of documents reported that 78 cases were closed because the threats were unlikely to be carried out or the people making the threats could not be identified. Another 11 investigations continue.

Email was the primary vehicle for the threats, which also came via Twitter, Facebook, and Craigslist from people living in Wisconsin and as far away as Maine, Florida, Nebraska, and California, the newspaper reported.

Suspects ran the gamut, from a man described as “dangerous” whom federal agents arrested in March for threatening several public officials in Maine to people who had had too much to drink and said they were angry but didn’t plan to hurt anybody.

The State Journal reported that the 78 closed cases involved:
  • 15 threats against Walker
  • 30 threats targeting Democratic senators
  • 12 threats against Republican senators and state representatives, including a one-line email sent to all 56 GOP Assembly members
  • 21 threats naming Capitol protesters, police, the tea party, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell and others.

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