Reports of violent threats against Jordan opponents raise concerns in DC

Published October 19, 2023

By Rob Schofield

In case you missed it, reports continue to roll in that Republican U.S. House members who opposed hard right Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in the race for Speaker this week have been the target of violent threats in multiple states, including Iowa, Georgia and Nebraska.

This is from the Iowa Capital Dispatch:

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks says she received death threats after speaker vote against Jordan

By Robin Opsahl

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks received death threats and a “barrage of threatening calls” after not supporting Rep. Jim Jordan for House speaker, the Iowa Republican said Wednesday.

Miller-Meeks, representing Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, was one of three Republicans to support Jordan during Tuesday’s vote, but who opposed him Wednesday. Jordan failed to earn the necessary support from centrist members of his own party in the two votes, continuing the House’s time without a speaker since ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier in October.

On Wednesday, Miller-Meeks voted to support the U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. In a news release, the Iowa Republican said she chose to support a different Republican for the role when it became “abundantly clear” that Jordan still did not have the 217 votes needed to become speaker.

Since that vote, Miller-Meeks said in a news release she has received “credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls.” Her office is cooperating with authorities who have been notified about the threats, she said….

From the Georgia Recorder:

Georgia Congressman Ferguson flipped support for House speaker, citing threats from Jordan allies

By Jill Nolin

A Georgia GOP congressman who backed Ohio U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan for speaker in the first round of voting but not Wednesday has cited the pro-Jordan crowd’s bullying tactics and pressure campaign as the reason for flipping his vote – a vote he says was followed by death threats.

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, a Republican from The Rock in Upson County, issued the statement Thursday as news spread that Jordan would not seek a third vote for speaker at this time after losing support on the second ballot Wednesday.

Ferguson said that he had “genuine concerns about the threatening tactics and pressure campaigns Jordan and his allies were using to leverage members for their votes.” His comments mirror concerns expressed by others about the pressure campaign deployed to put the gavel in Jordan’s hand.

Ferguson, who represents a district southwest of Atlanta, said he spoke to Jordan directly about his concerns and had planned to back the far-right Freedom Caucus co-founder again. But that changed….

From NBC News:

Congressman’s wife received anonymous texts pressuring him to vote for Jordan

By Garrett Haake and Summer Concepcion

Before Jordan suffered defeat yesterday, the wife of Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., received multiple anonymous messages warning him to back Jordan’s speakership bid or risk being ousted. Bacon voted for ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., yesterday, joining 19 other Republicans in voting against Jordan.

“Your husband will not hold any political office ever again. What a disappoint [sic] and failure he is,” an anonymous sender said in a text that Bacon shared with NBC News. Bacon’s wife pushed back, writing: “He has more courage than you. You won’t put your name to your statements.”

Another text by an anonymous sender said, “Why is your husband causing chaos by not supporting Jim Jordan? I thought he was a team player.” Bacon’s wife replied: “Who is this???”

In a separate text message, another anonymous sender wrote: “Talk to your husband tell him to step up and be a leader and help the Republican Party get a speaker there’s too much going on in the world for all this going on in the Republican Party you guys take five steps forward and then turn around take 20 steps backwards no wonder our party always ends up getting screwed over….”

This morning The Hill reported that Jordan condemned the threats saying they were “just wrong” and “should never happen.”

At last report, Republicans were meeting behind closed doors in an effort to find a way out of the gridlock that has gripped their caucus. While both Jordan and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana have failed to secure enough GOP votes to become speaker, efforts to install Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry of North Carolina in some sort of caretaker role so that the House can at least conduct business have attracted intense right-wing opposition.

Thus far, none of the seven North Carolina GOP House members have opposed Jordan.

NC Newsline will publish additional updates on the situation in the House from the States Newsroom Washington bureau as they become available.