June 7th, 2010
06:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Men charged with threatening Stupak

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/07/art.stupakenvelope.usao.jpg caption ="The envelope that contained a threatening letter addressed to Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak."]Washington (CNN) - Angry over Rep. Bart Stupak's decisive vote for health care reform, a man threatened to "... paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members ...," in an anonymous letter to the congressman last month, according to the U.S. Attorney in Michigan.

Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Michigan, and his son, David Hesch, 50, of Loveland, Colorado, were charged with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder Stupak, a United States Official, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney.

Both men have been arrested and will appear in federal court in Bay City, Michigan and Denver, Colorado.

The complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan states that Russell Hesch, after initially denying involvement, confessed to writing the letter and then sending it to his son to forward to the congressman to avoid being identified. However, Russell Hesch had previously sent at least 55 emails and letters to the congressman between February 25, 2003 and May 4, 2010. And he was known by Stupak as one of his most vocal and critical constituents, according to the complaint.

The FBI determined the communications held similarities. A search warrant was executed on June 2, 2010, a week after the threatening letter was received by the Michigan Democrat's office.

The letter was signed "Sincerely, The Devil Within Us." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hesch stated in the letter that "[a]ctions and decisions carry consequences. Are you and your family prepared for consequences? Is your wife, Laurie Ann, prepared for those consequences? Is your son Ken and his family prepared for those consequences?"

Read the threatening letter and criminal complaint, after the jump:

The letter continued: "You wanted to get some paint for the bridge? Not to worry, I will paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members. I will not say when and with who but I will save your blood for the high towers toward the end of this project. You will live long enough to truly experience the unfortunate but definite consequences of your decision. You will watch your world slowly crumble and erode around you. Things that used to be important won't seem so important anymore."

Read the threatening letter criminal complaint here [pdf]

Stupak was then given two options in the letter, resigning and explaining that, regarding the health care vote, "you have reconsidered your actions and know it was wrong and under handed and did not represent the best interests of the American people" or consider taking his own life.

Stupak's vote was crucial in helping President Obama get the controversial legislation passed in the House. Stupak came under sharp criticism by opponents for supporting the bill. In the two-page letter, Hesch called the vote a "horrible and unconscionable mistake."

"Did you ever read the legislation? Do you have any clue to what the heck you are doing? Did you follow the math, when the projections were based on 10 years collecting taxes and only 6 years paying for the programs? You sir, have sold you sole to the devil. You have sold out the future of this country."

Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. RN

    this is truly sad that people threaten the life of a man who is working hard to help improve the lives of all people in this country by extending health care to more people.
    If the janitor who cleans my office could get health care for his kids then he wouldn't be so sick and he wouldn't spread whatever his kids have to everyone in our office. I wouldn't be home sick and he wouldn't miss more work because he was so sick (with pneumonia) that he ended up in the ER. This guy works harder than a lot of the republicans who spend their time complaining about the lazy, drunken slobs who just need to get a better job.

    June 7, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Matthew

    This kind of thing is simply disgusting!

    I understand people were upset about health care! But remember we elected these people by a majority! So you may not like it, but there are who support them and their vote on health care.

    The other side needs to do more to calm down their crazy supporters. Either you are working for a better America and progress forward or you are working against it!

    June 7, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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