Nation in brief: Man arrested over threats to Pelosi
San Francisco – A California man angry about health care reform allegedly made threatening and harassing phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, including at least one call in which he got through and spoke to her directly, law enforcement officials said.
Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, was arrested Wednesday at his San Francisco home, said Joseph Schadler, spokesman for the FBI’s San Francisco office. Schadler would not disclose the charges against Giusti, saying they were under seal until his first appearance before a federal magistrate, scheduled for today.
The threats involving Pelosi drew increased attention on the vicious verbal attacks that other Democratic legislators have faced over their support of the health care overhaul. The arrest came a day after a Washington state man was arrested for allegedly leaving threatening voice mails for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.
Several federal officials said Giusti made dozens of calls to Pelosi’s homes in California and Washington, as well as to her husband’s business office. They said he recited her home address and said if she wanted to see it again, she would not support the health care overhaul bill that since has been enacted.
One official said the man is believed to have spoken directly with Pelosi at least once.
Governor revises history decree
Richmond, Va. – Under pressure from critics, Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday called it a “major omission” not noting slavery in declaring April Confederate History Month in Virginia.
As part of his mea culpa, McDonnell inserted into the proclamation a paragraph condemning slavery and blaming it as the cause of the Civil War.
The Republican governor’s revisions came after a day of scalding denunciations as the story became grist for cable news shows and caught fire on political blogs and in social media.
On Tuesday, McDonnell said in a telephone news conference that he wasn’t focused on slavery in drafting the decree but on Civil War history.
“The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed,” McDonnell’s statement said.
The lack of any mention of human bondage originally and his fumbling reply in the news conference when a reporter asked him why left critics and even former supporters outraged.