Menu

Politics

POLITICS

Colorado GOP Calls for Apology After Democratic Office Vandalism

The chairman of the Colorado Republican Party is calling on his Democratic counterpart to apologize for suggesting that an act of vandalism at Democratic Party headquarters was linked to opposition to President Obama's push for health care reform.

State GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams told FOXNews.com he was "stunned" by comments made by Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak following the smashing of 11 windows at the Democratic headquarters early Tuesday morning.

Waak told the Denver Post that the vandalism, allegedly carried out by a former Democratic canvasser who left behind an anti-health care reformer poster, was "an effort on the other side to stir up hate." After learning about alleged vandal's political past, Waak told the newspaper that "there is a lot of rhetoric out there from both sides of the spectrum."

"I was stunned by [Waak] actually suggesting the act of vandalism had something to do with opposition to Obama's health care reform," Wadhams told FOXNews.com Wednesday. "That is unfair and inappropriate to say that anybody who opposes Obama's health care plan is somehow responsible for this despicable act of vandalism."

Wadhams called on Waak to apologize to "everyone, who in good faith, opposes the president's health care proposal," saying her assertion was "terribly" irresponsible.

Waak, meanwhile, told FOXNews.com that the shattered windows were directly in front of posters depicting President Obama and health care reform.

"If you look at the windows, that's where the major smashes were done," Waak said Wednesday. "To us, that indicates this is about health care reform."

Maurice Schwenkler, 24, was arrested in Denver on Tuesday in connection to the vandalism on charges of criminal mischief. The shattered windows will cost roughly $10,000 or more to replace.

The Post reported that Schwenkler was paid $500 in November 2008 to walk door-to-door in support of Democrat Mollie Cullom, a candidate for the state House. Campaign records also show Schwenkler was among dozens of canvassers paid by a political committee called the Colorado Citizens' Coalition.

Schwenkler was also reportedly arrested in St. Paul, Minn., on the last day of the 2008 Republican convention on charges of unlawful assembly.

Denver Police say they have not identified a motive in the incident. A second suspect is still at large. No injuries were reported.

Republican David Balmer, who defeated Cullom, said he thought the vandals might have trying to make Republicans look bad.

"This sounds like the type of Democratic tactic from the left fringe trying to make Republicans look mean-spirited," Balmer told the Denver Post. "In this case, it blew up in their face. He was caught red-handed."

Waak told FOXNews.com that Balmer's assertion was the "most ridiculous comment" she's ever heard.

"This wasn't just any random kind of thing," she said. "I have a lot of other things to do rather than replace my windows. Quite frankly, I feel violated."

FOX NEWS FIRST NEWSLETTER

Daily must-read stories from the biggest name in politics

Subscribe Get the full text emailed to you daily