For the second time in a month an Arizona state legislator has received a threatening letter after opposing anti-immigration advocates.
"I never thought that I would fear for my safety or the safety of my family when I took a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives," said Rep. Bill Konopnicki, "None of us should fear for our safety or of those we love."
The Safford Republican recently urged his colleagues to show some restraint when imposing business regulations intended to curb illegal immigration, and believes the letter was sent in connection with the issue.
Pausing several times to maintain his composure during a floor speech to fellow representatives, Konopnicki said that there was a "poisonous atmosphere" surrounding immigration and implored House Speaker Jim Weiers "to make this stop." Despite the threats, he said he would not be intimidated, adding, "We need to vote our conscience."
But this was not the first time an Arizona state Representative was threatened over pending legislation involving immigration.
In January, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema faced threats of everything from death to rape when she sponsored House Bill 2286 that would have outlawed border vigilante groups like the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
The bill, defeated earlier this month, would have made it a felony punishable by 18 months in prison for citizens to patrol for "illegal activity" when armed with a firearm or other weapon.
The bill had little chance of passing in the Republican controlled legislature, but Sinema, a longtime immigrants rights advocate, proposed it anyway.
What followed the introduction of the bill only proved Sinema's assertions that such groups attract the fringe elements of society. After the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps issued a press release criticizing her bill, hate e-mails started pouring in. "This is the really frightening extreme part of our community," Sinema said.
This particular proposal caught the attention of Minuteman members and their supporters, however. Word immediately went out over Internet message boards and blogs.
The e-mails piled up quickly, many of them not only expressing disagreement but threatening Sinema with everything from death to rape.
"The nature of what they were saying was scary," she said, "One wanted to kick me in the uterus until I couldn't have children. Others have all kinds of really lewd and awful threats. There's not even this shared respect for another human being that you may disagree with."
The state Department of Public Safety has worked with her over the threats, and when an unidentified package turned up at her office Jan. 22, the building was evacuated. (It turned out to be nothing.)
This wasn't driven by the media," Sinema said. "This came from the Internet. And I've got to tell you, it happens very, very quickly. And it goes in all kinds of crazy directions. There is an article out there saying that I'm in cahoots with a Mexican drug cartel. Stuff like that. It's insane. And, yes, if the goal of these people was to scare me, it worked."
No one should really be surprised when deviants like this resort to threats and intimidation. It's the bread and butter of their "movement", whether it's running around the desert trying to catch "border-crossers," standing at the local home improvement center shouting at passing cars, or threatening legislators who oppose them… It's all about intimidation and threats of violence.
They honestly believe they can bully their way into power.
If only they can shout loud enough, tell enough lies, spread enough hate, and scare enough people into submission, they believe they can force the American people into eventually accepting their warped, racist worldview. Like the brownshirts before them, these modern thugs with all their media contacts and favorable right-wing press, are nothing more than street bullies with delusions of grandeur.
Ironically the bill sponsored by Rep Sinema was reference titled "Domestic Terrorism "… a title that apply describes anyone who would try to subvert the democratic process with threats of death and rape.
tags: immigration, minutemen , Kyrsten Sinema, Bill Konopnicki