He has not received the threats that some of his colleagues have, but Congressman John Tierney has been subjected to hostility generated by the debate over health care reform.
"Our experience has been general rudeness from a lot of people," he said yesterday.
In the days leading up to Sunday's historic vote, there appeared to be a faction of the legislation's opposition that became "totally unglued," according to Tierney.
The calls the Salem Democrat's office, whose district includes North Andover, received were "rude" and "uncivil" but lacking any specific criticisms of the bill, he said. The same people would call day after day.
None of the calls, however, articulated a threat against the congressman.
Since the bill passed, other supporters have had bricks thrown through their district office windows or received a fax bearing the image of a noose.
Rep. Anthony Weiner's office in New York City received a letter Thursday with white powder in it. The letter was handwritten in block letters and directly threatened Weiner for his vote in favor of the health care bill.
Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota received a letter that included a shredded American flag. The letter contained expletives and said, "I will hound you. I will intimidate you and your family."
In Virginia, meanwhile, law enforcement authorities determined that a propane gas line at the home of Democratic Rep. Thomas Perriello's brother was intentionally cut.
At least 10 Democrats had reported harassment as of late this week, and an undisclosed number of lawmakers had been given increased police protection.
"I don't remember it getting this out of control," Tierney said. The heated debate surrounding the Iraq war didn't stir up such extreme animosity, he said.
Republicans, despite their unified opposition, have not been spared. Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio released a recording of a voice mail she said she received in which a man repeatedly accuses Republicans of being racists.
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia said he has received e-mail threats and that a bullet struck the window of his campaign office building in Richmond. But Richmond police said the bullet apparently had been randomly fired skyward.
Critics of reform consider it a "government takeover" of the nation's health care system that will increase costs and diminish the quality of care.
The feedback collected at Tierney's office since the House voted 219-212 to pass the bill has been all positive, he said. People have been calling to praise the changes.
"It was like someone flipped a switch," Tierney said.
The legislation, the initial bill approved Sunday coupled with modifications lawmakers endorsed Thursday, will extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans and aim to crack down on unpopular insurance industry practices, such as denying coverage for people with medical conditions.
Tierney said he will be traveling throughout the North Shore to educate people about what the bill offers.
"This is for the middle class," Tierney said. "Hospitals, small businesses and families in the district will do very well with this bill."
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.