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Arizona shooting: Seven times politics turned to threats or violence last year

Saturday's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona wasn't the first time in recent memory that a member of Congress has been targeted for his or her views.

- Andrew HeiningStaff writer

Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California addresses the House after passing the gavel to incoming Speaker John Boehner of Ohio during the first session of the 112th Congress on Jan 5. (Charles Dharpak/AP)

3. Rep. Nancy Pelosi

In April, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the target of threatening, harassing, and obscene phone calls amid Congress's health-care reform debate.

Gregory Lee Giusti, a San Francisco man accused of making 48 calls to Representative Pelosi, pleaded guilty in September to making the harassing calls – including one in which he reached Pelosi and threatened to burn down her northern California home for her support of health-care reform. He was sentenced in December to 21 months in prison.

"I was upset with her passing the health-care law," Mr. Giusti told the US district judge at his sentencing. He was ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from Pelosi, her family, and her staff upon his release.

At an event on Saturday, Pelosi called Giffords a "brilliant and patriotic American" before leading the crowd in a moment of silence.


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