James T. Hodgkinson, identified by police as the suspect in Wednesday morning’s shooting, wrote frequent letters to the editor of his local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat. The paper has now published a collection of those letters from 2012, in which Hodgkinson repeatedly raised concerns about the nation’s income inequality and was deeply critical of Republican policies and tax breaks for the wealthy.
“Let’s vote all Republicans out of Congress, and get this country back on track,” Hodgkinson wrote in July 2012. “If we don’t want another Great Depression, we should reelect the man who is working for the working man. President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” policy did not work, and never will. A strong middle class is what a country needs to prosper.”
The next month, he wrote: “I have never said ‘life sucks,’ only the policies of the Republicans.”
Hodgkinson also called for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana to “stimulate the economy.”
Read the letters here.