Rep. Steve Cohen Receives Threatening E-Mails

Posted April 6, 2010 at 4:10pm

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) is the latest Member to report receiving threatening correspondence surrounding the debate on health care, according to his chief of staff.

Hostile e-mails were sent to the Cohen for Congress campaign Web site, Marilyn Dellihay said.

“It has been reported to the Capitol Police and also to the FBI office in Memphis,” she said.

Dellihay confirmed that the e-mail was sent from a address that said, “If our tea parties had hoods, we would burn your ass on a cross on the White House front lawn.”

The comments came after Cohen insinuated in a radio interview that the tea party movement is like the Ku Klux Klan, but “without robes and hoods.”

“They have really shown a very hardcore, angry side of America that is against any type of diversity,” Cohen said on the “Young Turks” Internet radio program. “And we saw opposition to African-Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just, you know, a clone of [ex-Alabama Gov.] George Wallace’s fan club. And I’m afraid they’ve taken over the Republican Party.”

Dellihay said: “I think the Congressman, because he was on that show last weekend and spoke frankly, he has gotten to be a lighting rod on this.”

She said the campaign has received several other threatening e-mails that have been reported to police.

She said security has been ramped up for the Congressman as he travels Tennessee this week during Congressional recess.

“We’re making sure that the local law enforcement is aware of where he is,” she said. “The FBI and the locals are very aware of his travel schedule.”

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation.