Democratic lawmaker Stephanie Kifowit, who serves in the Illinois House of Representatives, is being pressured to resign… after making death threats against a Republican colleague, Peter Breen, and his family.
Kifowit and Breen were debating a bill on the statehouse floor raising the cap on damages the state could pay in civil cases, from $100,000 to $2 million, which was spurred on by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease that struck a state-run veterans home.
Breen had argued that the text of the bill made it too easy for personally injury lawyers to wage meritless lawsuits against Illinois.
That position didn’t sit well with Kifowit, who responded: “To the representative from Lombard, I would like to make him a broth of Legionella and pump it into the water system of his loved ones so that they can be infected, they can be mistreated, they can sit and suffer by getting aspirin instead of being properly treated and ultimately die.”
Republicans in the statehouse immediately exploded with shock and anger at Kifowit’s threats, with Breen shouting, off-microphone, at Kifowit.
Another Republican colleague, Jeanne Ives, who took the microphone next, went after Kifowit as well.
“How dare you. How dare you concoct up some sort of story about brewing up some batch of Legionella and having him feed it to his family,” Ives said. “How dare you take the discussion and the debate about a very serious bill that has a huge cost consequence on both sides, both for the victim and the state taxpayers. How dare you take an honest debate about an issue and then wish death on my colleague Peter Breen, his wife and his two adopted kids.”
Kifowit later said she was speaking “hypothetically” and wasn’t making an actual threat. But that didn’t stop the Illinois Republican Party from demanding Kifowit’s resignation.
“Contrary to @RepKifowit’s ‘clarification,’ she literally wished death upon Rep. Peter Breen and his family,” the party wrote, on Twitter. “That is reprehensible. Kifowit must resign.”