At least 18 Republican lawmakers have received death threats since voting for Gov. Scott Walker's modified budget repair bill -- and the number is climbing.
Several suspects have been identified, while obscene phone calls, threatening e-mails and other "thug-like" intimidation tactics continue to be used by union supporters to incite violence and anger toward Republican senators.
One particularly threatening e-mail warned Republican lawmakers to "put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks."
The heated battle started when Walker introduced his budget repair bill, which originally contained fiscal language designed to cover a $137 million budget deficit. Most importantly, the bill also placed limits on collective bargaining rights for state union workers, excluding police and firefighters.
Protests and death threats against Republican legislators intensified after a modified version of the bill passed the Senate and ultimately the Assembly. To make the vote possible in the absence of 14 Democratic colleagues, all fiscal language was stripped from the legislation leaving only collective bargaining restrictions.
Wisconsin protests turn ugly
Since Walker signed the anti-union bill into law, protests in Madison, Wis. have been anything but peaceful.