Michigan Congressman receives death threats following infrastructure bill vote

‘A lot of folks seem to have civility behind’
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:23 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A Michigan congressman is getting death threats after voting to send billions of dollars from the federal budget to fix Michigan roads.

It’s something elected leaders at all levels of public service are dealing with.

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, (R), received a profanity-filled voice mail after Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, (R) Georgia, called Upton and 12 other Republicans “traitors” and tweeted their names and office telephone numbers.

“We’ve seen civility really downslide here,” Upton said. “I’m concerned about my staff. They’re taking these calls. There are threats to them.”

“A lot of folks seem to have civility behind,” said State Rep. Julie Brixie, (D) Meridian Township.

Related: Will infrastructure vote cost 13 Republicans traction on Capitol Hill?

Brixie said she’s gotten similar threats working in the Legislature.

She told News 10 it’s gotten worse in the 20 years she’s held public office.

“Social media has really cracked open a whole additional source of folks that share some philosophies and kind of take extreme actions,” said Rep. Brixie.

And those actions have taken center stage at all levels of government across the country, even school board meetings.

There’s a proposal in the Michigan Legislature that would better protect board members.

Brixie said it’s up to those in office to help calm the rhetoric.

“It’s incumbent upon elected officials themselves to set the tone for everyone. For our constituents and our residents,” said Rep. Brixie.

Rep. Upton stepped up security at his two offices in southwest Michigan. He said he’s hopeful the situation will not escalate into physical violence.

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