State police are also investigating a voicemail left for Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, a Phoenix Republican who supports the Medicaid expansion. She appeared visibly shaken Thursday as she described the message on the House floor and asked lawmakers to tell their constituents to be civil.
"The voice was a male who left a long rambling message with derogatory remarks aimed at Governor Brewer for Representative McGee," Bart Graves, a spokesman with the Department of Public Safety, said in an email Friday. "She felt there was a threatening undertone."
Lawmakers said they have received dozens of messages from supporters and opponents of the proposed expansion containing varying layers of vitriol.
"Sadly, the tone has been quite intense. People are emotional," said Republican Rep. Ethan Orr, of Tucson, who supports the Medicaid plan and received the email but said it did not make him feel threatened. "I wish people would have a more civil and respectful tone, but I understand why this is so important to them
…because when you’re a right-wing extremist, with more pride than sense, dignity or compassion, you threaten the gubmint wit guns when the dang gubmint doesn’t do what you want it to
Facebook and the pharmaceutical industry have had an uneasy partnership in recent years. Many drug companies didn’t even join the site until Facebook gave them a privilege that others do not have — blocking the public’s ability to openly comment on a page Wall.
But that’s about to change.
In a reversal by Facebook, most drug company pages will have to have open Walls starting Monday.
Companies are worried that open Walls mean open risks, and many are reconsidering their engagement on Facebook. AstraZeneca told viewers in several postings this week that on Friday it will shut down a page devoted to depression — the company sells the antidepressant Seroquel. Johnson & Johnson said it will close four of its pages on Monday. Other companies said they will monitor their pages more closely once the changes take effect.
The industry is concerned that users might write about bad side effects, promote off-label use or make inappropriate statements about a product. Aside from poor word of mouth, the comments could raise concerns from government regulators.
That’s completely understandable. I’d have half a mind to ask Big Pharma how they think that they are helping people by gouging them if I knew about the pages being open to comments.