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

Reports emerge of vandalism at Democratic offices

The Tucson office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was vandalized Monday.

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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    GOP thugs...are these the kind of lunatics you want back in power?

    March 22, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. FOX lost me at freedom fries

    Racial and homophobic slurs, spitting in the face of a congressman, vandalizing Democratic officials' offices. Please make the hateful, angry behavior stop before someone gets killed. The Republicans need to stand up for what is right and tell their radical goons to stand down.

    March 22, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Just follow the trail of Tea Bags and I'm sure it'll lead to some trailer or a Wal-Mart and when you get there, simply ask for Bubba or Lurlene.

    I'll give you a hint... the trail might lead South.

    March 22, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Rod from Indy

    Ahh...the inbred, ignorant redneck Republicans strike!!!

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Jacq

    Tea Party I mean the KKK well they're both the same are at it again

    March 22, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. WantsIntelligenceFromPeople

    This is the kind of stuff that hinders having an intelligent debate on core issues. People always have to resort to terror to try and gain traction, when in reality, it only hurts their ultimate cause and tears down their credibility.

    March 22, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Jim

    The flames of violence fueled by Palin, Bachman, Limpbrain and friends have begun to erupt. Al Queda and the Taliban have nothing on these selfish no-minds. Wake up America, this isn't patriatism, it's hate and greed, pure and simple! God Help America!

    March 22, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. ronalde

    You think that trowing bricks are going to stop this health care from passing or are you just jerks,what are you going to trow when Obama gets reelected ,a fit i guess.

    March 22, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Justin

    Nothing more than sore losers. How very un-American.

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Stacie

    All of this anger because someone wanted to closed the medicare donut hole, help families with children with preexisting conditions get and keep health insurance and allow college kids to stay on their parent's health insurance. Seriously people, get a grip!

    By the way, it seems that the health insurance companies actually LIKE health care reform. Health care company stocks jumped today. Not quite the march to socialism it was preached to be.

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Jake

    The Dems have screwed the people-what part of 70% did not want this bill do they not understand.What do they expect,people have been screwed.

    March 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  12. martin

    No surprise here. Of course the Republicans will act shocked, all the while benefiting from the coming violence.

    March 22, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. Grrr-Awful-O

    Hmmmm? Maybe people aren't happy with Democrats for some reason?

    March 22, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. please

    Who says Repubs aren't the party of fear? Sore losers

    March 22, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. get real

    Who's to blame for all the violence? Michelle Bachmann, Randy Neugebauer, and everyone's favorite, Joe Wilson. Their parents must be so proud.

    March 22, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Mickey

    Republicans are Domestic Terrorists, and these incidents should be treated as terrorism.

    March 22, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. JJ

    This "should" send a clear message to the Democratic party that Americans are pissed. Especially when "they" ignore the will of American people over their political affiliation. Americans knows what is BEST for them and should not be FORCED to accept what "politicians" THINK is best for us...

    March 22, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Oh those republicans are such manly vandals.

    March 22, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. Tochi

    The right wing thugs have moved from house chamber to street

    March 22, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. Dave

    The republicans sure are keeping it classy.

    March 22, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. ender

    Im sorry but ..... thats all you republicans have?

    After all your crying and screaming and running around in period costumes all you can do is smash a window or two?

    Where the "revolution" you promissed?

    You people are pathetic.

    March 22, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Paul H

    These very things happen to GOP offices as well, when they are on top. There are childish people on both sides of this debate, why don't we listen to those that are doing things the right way.
    Many of us want Health care reform, and many of us want some of the things in this bill, but it has to make sense to everyone, not just a few. And this bill is so agenda driven, it's easy to see who really makes the money out of all this.
    Do it right people, debate, change it, and change it again. But don't push a whole agenda down our throats.
    A whole party just voted against the will of the majority in this country! How do you think this is going to play out, how are we supposed to feel. They may as well just pass out dippers, and start spoon feeding the American people, because we are to stupid to know what we really want.

    March 22, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. guy from NM

    Any of those loonies responsible, I am sure, have dropped out of Medicare and now only buy insurance from the private sector to show that they are real patriots and do not go for government "socialized" health care.

    March 22, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" war can send 'em to the tomb

    More raging redneck racist tea baggers. At least no one was killed.

    And by the way morons, your tax dollars will pay to repair the damage.

    March 22, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. frank in Valparaiso

    Having lived in upstate NY, there are a lot of inbred Republicans. Best was Maggie Brooks who didn't care if Monroe County had junk bond status for their municipals. Real bright people up there.

    Tossing bricks, its a bit much but they're a bunch of jerks for the most part. They can starve in the dark.

    March 22, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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