The Mackinac Center for Public Policy received numerous death threats and bomb threats in the aftermath of national publicity about a Freedom of Information Act request it sent to three public universities.
The messages were left on the Center's voice mail Thursday night and early Friday morning, but it is unclear at this point if one or two women were responsible for the threats.
Mackinac Center President Joseph Lehman said the Mackinac Center has contacted law enforcement about the threats.
“We, along with the authorities, are doing everything necessary to protect ourselves,” Lehman said. “No threats will prevent us from showing the public how universities spend tax dollars.”
There were five messages left containing death or bomb threats. Four of them appear to be from the same caller. A fifth message was from a woman who left a death threat and, unlike the previous caller, left her name and indicated she lived in a neighboring state. It was unclear if the second caller was the same as the first caller.
In one message, a female voice said: “Scotty Walker is dead. So are you. We know where you live.” The woman then recited the Mackinac Center’s address and said, “We are coming up to destroy you.”
In another message, a female who left her name said: “You are on Main Street. You are the first place to be bombed.”
In another message, a female voice said: “We are going to destroy everybody. We are going to destroy all of you. All of you die. Midland, Michigan. Get ready. We are going to destroy all of you.”
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has been in the spotlight after some national news organizations reported that the Midland-based think tank submitted a FOIA request to Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. The FOIA asked for specific emails from professors in the labor studies departments that referenced Wisconsin collective bargaining, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or MSNBC talk show personality Rachel Maddow. Maddow had made comments on her show critical of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s emergency financial manager act.