Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

FBI Investigating Toxin-Laced Letter Sent To Conservation Voters Group In New Mexico

The FBI is investigating a letter laced with a toxic chemical and filled with threats and anti-Semitic symbols that was sent anonymously to an environmental voters group in New Mexico.

It was directed at Conservation Voters New Mexico, the state Democratic Party and state Rep. Nathan Small. The lawmaker, a Las Cruces Democrat, co-sponsored a statute that commits New Mexico utilities to a carbon-free energy system by 2045, the Albuquerque Journal noted.

A tested sample of the material discovered in the letter sent Wednesday contained “ingredients of a potent toxin used in terrorist attacks,” according to a statement by the voters group, an affiliate of the national League of Conservation Voters. The substance, though, was in an inert form that was not harmful, according to the statement from the environmental group.

But “whoever carried out this vicious act was clearly intending harm,” Demis Foster, the group’s executive director, said in the statement.

The group’s office in downtown Santa Fe was evacuated and quarantined after the letter arrived, Foster said. The office remains closed.

“There is no place in a functioning democracy for anyone to resort to the use of terror because they disapprove of a candidate for public office,” Foster added. “It’s shocking and terrifying that we have to experience such a malice-filled attack on our democracy.”

The disturbing letter comes amid an increase in political violence and intimidation as the midterm elections near.

Armed right-wing poll watchers — many in military-style tactical gear — have been “guarding” ballot drop boxes in neighboring Arizona.

And in San Francisco, Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was beaten with a hammer by a man who invaded the couple’s home early Friday as he tried to find the Democratic leader, who wasn’t there. The suspect has been linked to extreme right-wing views and conspiracy theories.

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