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Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) speaks with an aide during a House Rules Committee meeting on Capitol Hill November 6, 2009 in Washington, DC.
Saturday’s shooting of an Arizona Congresswoman has prompted a California congressman to improve security back in the district.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Cardoza was already planning to move his Stockton field office into a city or county government building. The attack on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others at a constituent event prompted him to speed up the move. "You know, I was an intern 35 years ago," he says. "I knew the kind of level of kinds of harassing calls and things that we got at that time, and I will tell you that it’s much greater now."
Cardoza says staffers feel more secure surrounded by other offices. He says sometimes when constituents come in, "the young ladies that work for me are often times intimidated" by those who create a “stir.”
Cardoza says he’s going to speak to House leaders about using the just-voted-for 5 percent reduction in House budgets to provide extra security if necessary. "I was going to suggest to them that they give grants to local officials that would provide additional services possibly out of that money that was being cut."
Cardoza says the number of threats has gone up over the past two years – and hit a peak during debate over the health care bill.