AZ Congressman says daughter threatened; threats against lawmakers on rise

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(Source: Facebook) (Source: Facebook)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The day before a lone gunman targeted Republican members of Congress on a baseball field, Rep. David Schweikert says he filed four threat assessments with Capitol Police.

Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona, said Wednesday that one of those threats was made against his infant daughter.

"Look, when you hold public office you get used to being beaten up; it comes with the job.  But... going after my 20-month-old little girl, something is really wrong with these people," Schweikert said Wednesday during a telephone interview.

For Schweikert, the recent threats to his office and today's shooting underscore the toxic political environment that can quickly turn violent.

"Oh, I've never seen anything like this, this is halfway through my seventh year so I've been here when things have been very cantankerous and nothing ever like this," Schweikert said.

Schweikert is not the only member of Congress who is reporting a spike in number threats made against their offices.

According to BuzzFeed News, numerous members of Congress said they've seen an increase before and after today's shooting in Virginia, near the nation's Capitol.

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, a Democrat from California, told BuzzFeed that her office received a call shortly after the shooting saying, "You guys are next."

The political atmosphere has some lawmakers questioning whether they should beef up security when they return to the home districts.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona, said there's a conversation about using campaign contributions to secure their private homes.

The money, he said, would be used for adding better security devices like locks and doors.

However, Gallego said he doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about security.

"Look it's just been a very hard harsh rhetoric and a lot of times I just make sure to look at stuff I think is very serious, but other than that, I can't, you know, we can't  really really focus too much on that because it will just slow down your whole day and your job."

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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