Posted by | March 26, 2010 09:48 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Thomas Wellborn

Yesterday, Congressman Anthony Weiner’s Kew Gardens office received a package containing white powder and a note saying Weiner should “drop dead,” along with rants about the new health care legislation passed this week by Congress.  Initial tests of the powder have shown it to be harmless, but further testing is being done as a precaution.

WEINER: “Earlier today an envelope containing white powder and a threatening letter was delivered to my community office in Kew Gardens. The NYPD was immediately alerted and have responded appropriately by sending a Haz-Mat team,” the statement read. “My first priority is the safety of my staff and neighbors, and the authorities are currently taking steps to investigate and resolve the situation.”

At least four Democratic offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas have been targeted in a series of threats directed at Congress members, and as many as 10 have reported some sort of threat. No arrests have been reported to date.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has condemned the vandalism and threats:

“I don’t want this to be a distraction” to the work of Congress, Pelosi said. But she also asserted that such violence and threats of reprisal have “no place in a civil debate in our country” and must be rejected.

A researcher at a think tank that monitors extremist groups is shocked at this violent backlash.

“I think it is astounding that we are seeing this wave of vigilantism,” said Mark Potok of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

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