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Andrew Yang, campaign staff receive death threats in New Hampshire

There is a new twist in the 2020 Democrat primary race. Candidate Andrew Yang and his campaign staff received death threats this week. The threats were specifically over his time spent in New Hampshire on the campaign trail.

The Yang campaign staff wisely responded as you would expect them to do – they notified law enforcement authorities, including the FBI.

“Recently, the campaign received threats via email regarding the candidate and specific public events. Due to certain specific information contained in the emails, and out of an abundance of caution, we immediately contacted the FBI and local enforcement and have been working with them,” a Yang campaign official told The Hill.

“The candidate’s safety and the safety of the public at-large is our utmost priority and we’ll continue to stay alert while following the guidance of law enforcement to take any necessary security measures. We’ve referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” they said.

Emails were sent to Yang’s campaign staff from someone going by the name of “Hitman Yang”, which is odd enough to capture some attention. The Hitman threatened to shoot members of Yang’s staff while they were in New Hampshire. To add to the oddness factor, the threatening emails centered around tweets.The Yang Gang, as his supporters call themselves, does have a big footprint on social media. Hitman threatened to start shooting the staffers if a certain number of tweets were posted. The emails indicated that more than one person was involved and that they were betting on how many tweets the campaign would send out in a week.

Due to the sensitive nature of the specific threats, the Yang campaign’s national press secretary S.Y. Lee said the details are being kept under wraps. When Yang held a campaign event in Hanover, New Hampshire on Monday, extra security was provided by the Hanover Police Department. Police Chief Charlie Dennis sent three officers to provide security for that evening’s Hanover Town Hall. The population of Hanover is just over 11,000 people.

Yang has also campaigned in several New Hampshire towns, holding talks with local voters in Keene, New London, and Manchester, besides Hanover. He held another event in Hanover on Tuesday at a retirement community where he focused on economics and the role technology plays.

“The northern part of (New Hampshire) that used to house mills never recovered,” Yang told a group of about 100 residents and visitors at the Kendal at Hanover retirement community as he discussed the changes to the state’s small towns over the past two decades. “You go up there now and they’re depleted, they’ve lost population, the Main Street stores are closed.”

NBC News reported that there was a police officer present at Yang’s campaign office opening in Manchester.

The threats to Yang by way of threatening his staff just seem unusual, given he isn’t a top tier candidate and that he is known for his economic messaging, not a far-left ideology. He’s definitely a Democrat but he’s not a crazy-sounding Socialist. Who would be so bothered by Andrew Yang that it would warrant death threats?

The most radical idea he has presented is his signature campaign promise of redistributing wealth by way of a new government entitlement – $1,000 per month for every American over the age of 18. He doesn’t consider himself as an ideologue. Yang’s message centers around how the country moves forward with the increase of technological advancement in the workplace.

“I’m not ideological, I’m just trying to improve our way of life,” said Yang, a 40-year-old entrepreneur who grew up in upstate New York.

Part of that improvement starts with learning how to adapt as a country to artificial intelligence and technological advancements, according to Yang. He referenced call centers across the country, which he predicted will soon replace an estimated 2.5 million employees with “fast, seamless” automated machines. In the fast-food industry, workers have already seen some of their work get taken over by electronic kiosks, while brick-and-mortar retail stores are facing big competition with online companies like Amazon, Yang said.

One example that he identified as a primary concern is the advent of self-driving trucks, which could replace the jobs of 3.5 million truck drivers over the next few years, he said. It’s a change that could save companies an estimated $168 billion, but which comes at a cost for workers, Yang said.

“What does this mean for the 3.5 million truckers… or the 7 million-plus people who work in truck stops, motels, diners?” he asked.

Yang’s idea of the government (taxpayer money) doling out $1,000 to each American age 18 and up is to counter job loss due to technology. Younger voters are more enthusiastic than others for that idea. Some voters expressed a desire for Yang to provide more specifics for his ideas and less concentration in motivating audience enthusiasm.

The latest numbers at Real Clear Politics show Yang at 3.7% in New Hampshire, which puts him in the middle of the pack. Buttigieg leads the top tier at 20%, followed by Sanders at 17%, Warren at 14.3%, and Biden at 13.7%. The next tier is led by Tulsi Gabbard at 5%, followed by Yang at 3.7%. So, he has a difficult path ahead of him in New Hampshire, and all the other early states, to be honest. He hovers between 2% and 3% in all the polls so far.

The FBI isn’t commenting on the threats to Yang and his staff. Yang, though, is reassuring his supporters that everything is ok. He’s even making plans for a New Year’s celebration in New Hampshire.