Earlier this week, a death threat against Governor Scott Walker posted on Facebook was removed, and Capitol Police investigated, and now the conservative-leaning public policy group the MacIver Institute has uncovered a second, more generic threat against Wisconsin GOP politicians. One government expert says politicans are using more and more divisive language of late, emotions are running high, and people on Facebook are responding by ramping up the rhetoric in a place they feel is more anonymous.
The new threat reads in part: "It should be open season on politicians. I mean with guns, not words."
UW-Milwaukee Professor of Government Affairs Mordecai Lee used to be a state senator, and says the FBI once warned him of a specific threat made against his life, back when it was harder to find people, with a great deal less technology.
"That was 20 years ago, and imagine what it'd be like now, and I'm really sad about these developments. They're not doing this to become celebrities, they're doing it because they don't like somebody. It's sort of like all of the old boundaries have broken down," Lee said.
Capitol Police won't discuss either threat, but earlier this week, Walker responded to the specific threat against his life, saying "we take them all seriously. We've had others in the past, and we rely on the professionals to gauge how real they are. It doesn't stop our schedule," Walker said.
Democratic State Senator Chris Larson said this seems to be a bi-partisan issue, saying "it's happening on both sides, and we hope people take a deep breath, use the recourse we have available through the democratic process, and not take it to another level."