Oct. 31—ROCHESTER — A Democratic candidate for state representative said she has received death threats since Libs of Tik Tok posted a video last weekend in which she advocated leaving the country.
Kathleen Cavalaro of Rochester said threatening emails, texts and phone messages were left after she had become a target on the conservative social media platform, which uses videos to lampoon liberal candidates, activists and elected officials.
During a telephone interview, Cavalaro said she made the video, which got more than a million views a year ago, out of frustration with the health care system.
At the time, Cavalaro said she had no health insurance and had been told her husband was "dying" unless he got a liver transplant.
Her spouse risked falling off a waiting list for a transplant without proof that they could afford the procedure, she said.
"I'm 46 and when I turn 50 and my husband is all better we plan on moving out of the country and somewhere else in the world," Cavalaro said in the 27-second video.
Part of the motivation for making the video was to attract donations to their cause and it succeeded, she said.
"My question is there a place that we can move where people would be happy to have us, that we are not gentrifying and colonizing? Is there a way to do this?" Cavalaro asked rhetorically in the video.
"I don't want to be a problem but I need to get the (expletive) out of this country."
In response, someone who identifies on Twitter as "Memewarrior 1448 posted at Cavalaro Sunday, "We're getting the gallows ready. they got your name on em. we know who you are. we know where you are. when the time comes, you will pay."
Cavalaro did little to discourage the outrage on her own Twitter feed.
"Come and get me," she declared.
On Sunday, the Twitter accounts of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and Committee to Elect N.H. House Republicans also drew attention to her video.
"NH Democrat Kathleen Cavalaro HATES: America, New Hampshire, and YOU. Next Tuesday, go to the polls and support Republican candidates down the ballot so that we NEVER send Kathleen to DESTROY the Granite State," the N.H. GOP said.
Cavalaro said her husband had become seriously ill from a tick bite. Doctors have since told him he is no longer in urgent need of a liver transplant but may need one in the future.
"I realized through this whole experience that if you want change, you have to stay in the fight and that's why I'm running for the House this year," Cavalaro said.
A N.H. GOP spokesperson defended drawing attention to the video.
"The NHGOP doesn't condone any threat of violence against any candidate or elected official ever," the N.H. GOP State Committee said in a statement. "Kathleen Cavalaro should not run for office because it's clear that she will not uphold nor protect the Constitution of our country which she claims to hate and wants to escape from."
Last July, Attorney General John Formella's office urged Cavalaro to take down a video or explain on her social media account after she joked about promoting voter fraud.
"You can actually vote for me. Just get on one of those buses that comes in from Massachusetts and go to Ward 2 in Rochester and vote for me," Cavalaro had said.
Formella said the video amounted to protected free speech but raised a concern some could view it as encouraging out-of-state residents to vote illegally here.