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Suspected vandal once campaigned for Dem candidate

Suspected vandal once campaigned for Dem candidate

An act of vandalism at Colorado Democratic headquarters that shattered windows next to signs about health care reform took a strange turn Wednesday when it was revealed that one of the suspects was a Democratic activist.
Democratic leaders initially said that the window shattering was an act of political vandalism, possibly by opponents of health care reform. But the political leanings of suspect Maurice Schwenkler raised the prospect that one of the party's own might have vandalized its building to make a statement.
Schwenkler refused to discuss possible motive with police Wednesday, and it was unclear whether Schwenkler had an attorney.
"He's not giving us any indication why he did what he did," Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said Wednesday of Schwenkler. He was released Wednesday afternoon on $5,000 bail, according to jail officials.
Most of the 11 broken windows displayed posters supporting health care reform and Obama. The headquarters was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries reported. Party officials estimate damages at more than $10,000.
A second suspect remained at large.
No paperwork has been filed in court because the case remains under investigation. Police were deciding whether to recommend felony charges, Jackson said.
State Democratic Chairwoman Pat Waak continued to say that it was an act of vandalism prompted by the heated debate over President Barack Obama's health care reform, but did not get into specifics about Schwenkler.
"I stand by my statement that I think there are people opposed to health care reform and there has been a lot of rhetoric that has prompted an atmosphere that I don't think is constructive," Waak said Wednesday. "It's such a polarizing issue. It shouldn't be."
President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has vowed to reform the U.S. health care system, which relies on private insurance usually issued through employers and government coverage for the indigent, disabled and elderly. Nearly 50 million of America's 300 million people have no health insurance.
Across the country, members of Congress conducting town hall meetings on health care reform have been met by protesters, some who have disrupted meetings with angry outbursts. Critics have expressed concerns about the plan's cost and even fears that the capitalist country is moving toward socialism. In Arizona and New Hampshire, protesters have shown up outside Obama appearances carrying guns.


Updated : 2021-06-13 17:09 GMT+08:00