Saturday, February 05, 2011

Delph Not The Only State Lawmaker Sent Threatening E-Mail Citing Arizona Shootings

This past week, Sen. Mike Delph received a less than thinly-veiled threatening e-mail from a person upset with his sponsorship of legislation fashioned after a similar Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration that is currently under review on appeal after being struck down by a federal court. The e-mail addressed Delph as "Senator Racist Delph" and suggested the shooter charged with shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford and killing a federal judge and five other innocent bystanders in Tucson last month should have instead targeted Delph. The e-mail reportedly mentions Delph's wife and five daughters by name. It turns out Delph is not the only state lawmaker who has received an e-mail threat for sponsoring legislation to crack down in illegal immigration. A political activist from Massachusetts has been arrested for sending a strikingly similar e-mail to a Florida state legislator. The Palm Beach Post reports on the arrest of the activist:

A self-described Massachusetts "political activist" was arrested Monday night and charged with sending a threatening e-mail to Florida Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, an hour after the Arizona shooting that killed six and critically injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The unsigned e-mail, sent to Snyder's state House of Representatives address on Jan. 8, told the legislator to "stop that ridiculous law if you value your and your familie's lives."

Snyder has proposed a bill cracking down on illegal immigration for Florida in a manner similar to what Arizona has done.

Snyder said Tuesday he reported the e-mail to the Martin County Sheriff's Office and state Capitol security officials in Tallahassee.

According to and other published reports, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Manuel E. Pintado, 47, of Northampton, Mass., used a public access wireless connection at a Starbucks a few blocks from his home to send the e-mail.

TCPalm reported that Pintado was being held in a Massachusetts jail pending his transfer to face charges in Martin County. He is under a $450,000 bail on charges of corruption by threat and sending a written threat to kill or do bodily harm. The charges are second- and third-degree felonies.

The Martin County sheriff's report said Pintado called himself a "political activist" and admitted sending the threatening e-mail. According to the report, Pintado said that he meant no physical harm to Snyder, "but added he was glad the e-mail made him nervous."

"In today's environment, I just treated it on its face value. It was what it was - it was a threat," said Snyder, a career law enforcement officer before winning the state House seat in 2006. "I figured it would be foolhardy to not be responsible and report it."

Snyder, who is running for Martin County sheriff in 2012, added, "If he thought that I was supposed to back off from the bill, he's sadly mistaken."

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