The Colorado Democratic Party headquarters in Denver was vandalized last night, the long bank of windows that fronts the building smashed. Authorities reportedly apprehended the vandal but no details on his identity or motives so far have been released.
Some Twitter feeds, Facebook accounts and local blogs are beginning to link the attack to the health reform debate, but those reports remain unconfirmed, the evidence still mostly rumor and unsourced digital photos.
7News Denver Channel quotes Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak, who said she received a call from police at 2:54 a.m. notifying her of the attack.
“There is a poster up on the wall that is kind of anti-health care reform and I didn’t see it yesterday, so it begs the question whether that was part of it,” Waak said. “I know that tempers are really hot right now and they are being fueled. I would hope that people would take this at least as a sign that we need to have a little calmer debate about health care reform, which everyone needs right now.”
Estimates of the damage run to more than $10,000. An image of the “anti-health care reform” poster allegedly pasted up on the wall of the headquarters by the vandal was posted online at a blog diary hosted at Colorado pols.
This isn’t the first time that windows of the Democratic Party headquarters festooned with posters of Pres. Obama have been attacked. Vandals threw bricks through the glass door and a window last October, roughly a month before Election Day.
Nor is this the first anti-health reform vandalism reported and disseminated by bloggers in Colorado this month.
At a U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, health care town hall at a King Soopers grocery store in Brighton on August 8, ProgressNow staffer Mike Ditto’s car was reportedly vandalized. Ditto took video of the damage. Store officials said there was no security footage of the vandalism because the store’s surveillance cameras were pointed away from the parking lot and toward the gathering spot during the meeting on the day of the event.
More to come as details of the Democratic headquarters vandalism emerge.
**UPDATE: The Denver Police Department Twittered the name of the man they took into custody last night fleeing the scene. He is 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler.
Reporting and street photos by Ernest Luning.