March 22nd, 2010
07:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Reports emerge of vandalism at Democratic offices

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Tucson office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was vandalized Monday."]
(CNN) - Democratic offices in at least three states have reported instances of vandalism that party members say possibly were tied to Sunday's historic vote on health care reform.

Early Monday morning, a glass panel at the Tucson office of U.S. Rep. Gabrille Giffords, D-Arizona, was shattered, spokesman C.J. Karamargin told CNN. It wasn't clear how the window was shattered, but visitors have to go through the a gated courtyard to enter the office, and staffers suspect someone may have shot a pellet gun at the glass, he said.

Nothing was taken from the congresswoman's office, Karamargin said.

Staffers had stayed late at the office the night before because of the health care vote, but had left before the incident, he added. The office has never experience anything like it since Giffords' staff occupied the office in January 2007, Karamargin said, adding that staffers do believe the incident was linked to the health care vote in Washington.

In upstate New York, two similar incidents were also reported before Sunday night's vote, according to CNN affiliate WHEC. A brick was thrown through the window of the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in Rochester, and another was tossed through a window of Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter's office in Niagara Falls early Friday.

WHEC reported that a note attached to the brick in the Monroe County office read "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" - a quote delivered in an acceptance speech by Republican president candidate Barry
Goldwater at the 1964 GOP convention.

Nobody was injured in either incident in New York.

Slaughter told WHEC that her offices have received threatening phone calls recently.

Speaking on the House floor Sunday, Slaughter referred to damage at her office, saying, "The anger isn't just contained outside the Capitol. Last week someone hurled a brick through the window of my district office in the dark of night. We must step back to remind ourselves of why we are here."

The House of Representatives on Sunday passed the sweeping $875 billion health care reform bill in a 219-212 vote. All 178 Republicans opposed it, along with 34 Democrats. Both Giffords and Slaughter supported the measure, though authorities investigating the incidents have not officially confirmed the link to the health care vote.

Another incident was reported earlier in the weekend by the Sedgwick County Democratic Party in Kansas. Party Executive Director Lyndsey Stauble told CNN that a brick with anti-Obama and anti-health care messages was thrown at the headquarters sometime late Friday or early Saturday. Nothing was taken, and nobody was injured, she said, adding that a bakery next door called police.

Stauble mentioned that a recent post on a blog encouraged people to throw bricks at local Democratic offices nationwide.

The Alabama-based blog, called "Sipsey Street Irregulars," says it has launched a so-called "window war" against Democrats and has kept a tally of the recent incidents of damage, including the ones in New York and Kansas.

Blogger Michael B. Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama, told CNN Monday that in a Friday blog - which he says was posted after the incident at Slaughter's office - he called for people to break windows at Democratic headquarters at the city and county level. He said he didn't call for the damages to congressional offices because, "I didn't want to be responsible for anybody breaking a federal law."

However, "I can understand how someone can be frustrated enough to throw a brick through a congresswoman's window," Vanderboegh said.

He said he feels the health care bill is "unconstitutional and tyrannical."

"My answer is violence, by getting their attention," he said, adding, "If we can get across to the other side, that they are within inches of provoking a civil war in this country, then that's a good thing."

Updated 9:11 p.m.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Sadly, not surprising to see this, or the shouting of epithets at legislators with one being spit on. It makes me fear what may come next.

    When Michael Steele likens the bill passing to "armageddon," a legislator calls another legislator a "baby-killer" on the House floor, and the GOP site shows Nancy Pelosi against a backdrop of flames, it fans the flames. Heck, GOP Rep Steve King used the fatal airplane attack on an IRS building a month ago as an opportunity to bash the IRS instead of condemning violence against government workers. These politicians are egging on very dangerous forces.

    March 22, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |

    Someone should take-out Ms. Bachmann like they do the moose in Alaska!

    There will be MORE VANDALISM at Democratic Offices and AGAINST Democrats as long as the Tea-Bagger Rascists are allowed to spew their bile at the rest of the world.

    Republicans egg on these tea-baggers and incite violence against others, and then act like they don't know what's going on.

    The GOP are a disgusting group of NON-HUMANS

    March 22, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. Scott, Tucson

    What needs to come next is some good ol' Tar and Feathering of politicians who represent their own self interest and not of their constituents.

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. Kyle Muncie, Indiana

    Keepin' it classy, tea baggers.

    March 22, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. marie

    Civil War? U have got to be kidding me!! Sounds like a personal issue within yourself. You cannot help but release the hate you have for yourself onto others thru violance...

    March 22, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. raingirl2

    how sad this country is filled with so much hate and discontent this criminal behavior is unacceptable and reprehensible and must be stopped with urgent criminal prosecution of those who commit such crimes. to live in this country and know that adults holding official offices are so immature is frightening and those cuckoo birds that are carrying out their misguided pseudo frustrations coming from hearsay because most of them have no inside facts is even more scary we don't need to worry about bin laden or the Taliban we have our own internal terrorist home grown right here in the north south east and west. PATHETIC

    March 22, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    I guess "Rethuglicans" is now the appropriate term for these hooligans!

    March 22, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    I don't condone these actions at all. Someone could get hurt. Remebewr progressives hiding as democrats you started this.

    March 22, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Is this guy in jail yet? He is probably hiding under the white sheet and hood. He is just as bad as the representatives, the witch from MN comes to mind, to start a revolution. Then again . . . . . Alabama!!!
    The good ole south. Listen up you idiots. You lost the freaking civil war and this country is so much better for it.
    These people need to be stopped by law enforcement now. Let's start with limberger and beck and go from there into the halls of Congress.

    March 22, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Frank

    Good old Christian values being presented here. Read the Bible, hate is equivalent to murder in God's eyes.

    March 22, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. George

    Looks like the Klan is rising again.......

    March 22, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Michael

    The thug Tea partiers, their KKK, John Birch Society and Skinhead recruits are doing what comes natural! These repuglican agitators, successionist, racist and anti-government crowds flames are fanned by CNN, Fox, Beck and Limbaugh! Repuglicans Tea partiers got a pass from CNN, Fox, during the presidential campaign, for their disgusting labels, accusations calling Barack Obama a terrorist, communist, socialist, racist, other incendiary name calling, and threats! If black people were out in groups of thousands calling white repuglicans racist deragatory names CNN and repupuglicans would have replayed it more than they did Rev Wright footage! These same repuglicans hypocrites families and constituients are enjoying Social Security, Disability, Tricare and Medicare which are government run healthcare!

    March 22, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  13. Shelly

    The crazies are desperate....this is extremely sad. People acting like thugs because they lost. What are we teaching our children? Anger and hatred is the way when you don't get what you want!

    March 22, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. Keepin It Real

    The rethugs nation is acting like a pack of wild dogs. Get over it – Get a Life. Good job democrats.

    March 22, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. diridi

    it is an artistic work of GOP thugs, they do any thing....ok, America, wake up and condemn this reprehensible action by these Republican thugs...ok...they are acting like third world nations. Even, currently third world is not doing this...shame on GOP thugs...

    March 22, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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