**Update 4: Charge–Criminal Mischief; Update 3: Recreate 68′s Glenn Spagnuolo–”It was kind of a childish act”; Update 2: Waak Remains Defiant, Schwenkler aka Transgender Anarchist “Ariel Attack”; **Update 1: Smash-troturfing Vandal’s Connections, No Apology from Dems’ Waak; Colorado Democratic Party HQ Vandalized, Dems Blame “Hate” from “Other Side”
“Clearly there’s been an effort on the other side to stir up hate. I think this is the consequence of it.”–Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak, before details emerged about alleged bicycle-riding (eco-friendly!) vandal Maurice Schwenkler
**Update 15–Glenn Spagnuolo, Denver’s de facto moonbat spokesman and not one to miss a media storm, has finally surfaced to criticize!?!?!?!?! “Ariel Attack”:
Glenn Spagnuolo, a spokesman for the social justice [ha ha! ed.] group Recreate 68, said Denver has a vibrant anarchist community.
While Democrats and Republicans battle it out over who is to blame for the broken windows, Spagnuolo said the media is missing the message.
“We feel the Obama administration and Democrats in particular have sold out progressive ideas,” he said. “From the escalation of the war in Afghanistan to a health care system that no matter how many people want to call it socialist is not a socialist health care reform policy.”
He stopped short of condoning the attack at the Democratic party headquarters, though.
“The only time we would agree with property destruction is if it would stop the system from moving forward and harming someone,” he said. “We honestly don’t think breaking a couple of windows does that and don’t think it sends a clear message to the public, either. It was kind of a childish act.”
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.”
**Update 12–Maurice Schwenkler aka transgender anarchist “Ariel Attack” (h/t Complete Colorado, blogger Dinah Lord is also investigating the Maurice Schwenkler/”Ariel Attack” connection):
The suspect arrested Tuesday morning on charges of smashing 11 windows at the state Democratic Party headquarters is a transgendered “Denver-based anarchist” who goes by the name “Ariel Attack,” according to postings on numerous anarchist and radical gay-rights websites. A fundraising plea circulated by the self-described “radical queer group” Denver Bash Back! seeks donations to raise the $5,000 bail set for 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler, who is “listed in the jail records and media under her birth name.”
The postings asked “people to NOT call the jail and potentially out Ariel, which would create a very dangerous situation,” noting that “Jail is a dangerous place for everyone, but especially trans people.”
A hearing was set for Wednesday morning for Attack, who faces charges of felony criminal mischief, according to the Denver Anarchist Black Cross.
By early Wednesday afternoon, Attack’s backers had raised the money for her bail, according to a spokesman, for Denver Anarchist Black Cross, but the group will continue taking donations through a PayPal account “for what will probably be a protracted legal battle.”
. . .
Attack, listed as an “occasional contributor” to the Queers Against Obama blog, recently wrote a post blasting President Barack Obama, saying “the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has nothing to do with gay rights, but rather is a plan to fill the US military with more queer bodies.”
**Update 11–Schwenkler makes his/her first court appearance:
A small smile appeared on vandalism suspect Maurice Joseph Schwenkler’s face as he saw more than a dozen supporters gathered in the courtroom.
His bail was set at $5,000.
Police say Schwenkler and an at-large suspect took a hammer to 11 picture windows early Tuesday morning at Democratic headquarters in Denver’s art district. A Party official said the vandals appeared to attack posters promoting President Barack Obama and his health care reform plans.
Schwenkler’s supporters, a group of flannel-clad 20-somethings, declined to comment after today’s hearing.
“We haven’t been able to talk to her,” one woman said. “We don’t know why she broke the windows.”
The woman did not provide further information about the gender discrepancy. The Denver Police Department has identified Schwenkler as a man.
Early blog reports questioned Schwenkler’s gender, and this report appears to confirm the suspect’s ambiguous appearance.
Schwenkler received $500 in November 2008 to walk door-to-door in support of Democrat Mollie Cullom, who lost her race to Republican state Rep. David Balmer of Centennial.
Waak, who was not involved with the group that paid Schwenkler, said she’s never heard of the suspect and pointed out that just because he canvassed “doesn’t mean he’s a good Democrat.”
Even a bad Democrat is still a Democrat, Chairwoman Waak.
**Update 10–(via Gateway Pundit):
But from everything we can find about Schwenkler and this “bicycle collective” he’s affiliated with, these are no friends of Democrats and it’s pretty hard to believe there was any coordination between them. There were far fewer arrests at DNC in Denver last year than the Republican convention, but the “Reclaim the Streets” anarchist bike protesters were ubiquitous in Denver. These are the people we’re talking about–like we said yesterday, closer to “Recreate ’68,” who if you recall once vowed to “shut the DNC down,” than anybody else.
On the last day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, he was charged with misdemeanor unlawful assembly in St. Paul, Minn.
Court records provided through the St. Paul Pioneer Press show he was jailed about 2 a.m.
Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak did not offer an apology, but rather a “every side does it” lamentation:
Early Tuesday, Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said the damage to her building in Denver’s art district was a consequence of “an effort on the other side to stir up hate.” She tempered her statement after Schwenkler’s political history was revealed.
“What I’ve been saying is there is a lot of rhetoric out there from both sides of the spectrum,” Waak said. “That’s what’s been disturbing to me. People are saying a lot of things not appropriate for civil discourse.”
You’d think a state party chair could tell the difference between “saying a lot of things not appropriate for civil discourse” and crass, politically-motivated vandalism and destruction of private property.
From Instapundit–a “false flag” operation?
The inevitable question–what does State Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak know about this?
Everybody on our side should realize that the vast majority of people who oppose the President’s efforts to change our health care and health insurance system are hard-working Americans with genuine beliefs about where this country should go. And they express their views in a calm, reasoned manner. But we should also no longer ignore that there is a segment of the Republican hierarchy that is doing everything it can to stir up anger and emotions in a way that they cannot control.
**Update 7–much more on Maurice Schwenkler’s progressive/left affiliations (under FBI investigation for domestic terrorism!) at Denver Daily News (more also at Dinah Lord), including Dem Chairwoman Pat Waak’s non-apology:
She said it does not surprise her that the suspect may be involved with extremist liberal groups.
“I do hear from people from time to time on each end of the extreme,” said Waak.
“Whatever the issue is, it seems to be stimulated in some small part by this,” she continued. “I think we need to have a civil debate about health care and it needs to not be on one extreme over the other.”
Hard to have a “civil debate” when you are smeared by the opposition’s state party chair eh, Chairwoman Waak?
Crazy . . . developing . . . politically-motivated vandalism or a faked crime?
**Update 6–How liberal is Colorado Citizens Coalition?
Judging by the contributors, this 527 political organization falls on the liberal side of the spectrum. How liberal? Contributors include Tim Gill ($12,500), the AFL-CIO ($25,000), NARAL ($12,500) and Pat Stryker ($75,000).
**Update 5–Denver Post weighs in:
While Schwenkler does not appear in the state’s voter registration database, a person by that name in November 2008 received $500 from a political 527 committee called Colorado Citizens Coalition for “communications,” according to campaign finance disclosuares.
The accountant for the 527 appears to be the same woman who handles the books for many other Democratic-leaning political committees.
A Maurice Schwenkler also signed an online 2005 petition to free anti-war Christian protestors who were captured in Iraq.
**Update 4–Denver GOP issues a statement.
**Update 3–Derailer Bicycle Collective?
The address listed on Schwenker’s Secretary of State payee filing from this Democratic-aligned 527 (for which, to be fair, he likely only worked for a few days just before the election) can be Googled back to:
Derailer Bicycle Collective, 1065 Lipan St, Denver CO 80204. Tel: 303-573-3896. Email: derailerbicyclecollective @yahoo.com *. Community-run, completely free bike shop with an all-volunteer staff.
The Derailer Bicycle Collective, as profiled by Westword a couple of years ago, has an interesting political history, by all account peaceful but slightly to the left of Mikhail Bakunin. You’ve probably never heard of Bakunin because, well, that’s how left these kids are. And most people wouldn’t exactly consider them friends of “bourgeois” Democrats.
Anyway, that would certainly appear to change the complexion of this story. Do you suppose the Democrats got attacked for, um, caving in on ‘socialist’ health care?
**Update 2–based on the SOS report, Schwenkler’s address as of last year was 1065 Lipan Street, mere blocks (a few minutes on foot, less on bicycles) from 777 Santa Fe Drive–the location of the Colorado Democratic Party HQ, and a possible explanation for the attempted bicycle getaway.
**Update–One vandal is caught, 24-yr-old Maurice Schwenkler:
A 24-year-old arrested this morning on suspicion of smashing 11 windows at Colorado Democratic Party headquarters tried to conceal his identity while allegedly committing the crime, according to police descriptions.
Maurice Schwenkler wore a shirt over his face, a hooded sweatshirt and latex gloves before he and another man fled the scene on bicycles. Police arrested Schwenkler after a short chase. The other suspect remains at-large.
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak blamed the vandalism on animosity surrounding the health care debate, though Denver Police declined to comment on possible motives.
A quick Google-search of Maurice Schwenkler yields this return from the Secretary of State (pdf link):
20085621714 500 11/6/2008 MAURICE SCHWENKLER 1065 LIPAN DENVER CO 80204 COMMUNICATION 1166552 M COLORADO CITIZENS’ COALITION
A $500 payment by SEIU-related front-group Colorado Citizen Coalition?
Name: COLORADO CITIZENS’ COALITION
SOS ID: 20085621714
Type: 527 POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
Reporting Period: 10/23/2008 – 11/30/2008 Due: 12/04/2008
Payee: MAURICE SCHWENKLER
DENVER, CO 80204
Expenditure Type: Electioneering
Original Amount Reported: $0.00
Actual Amount: $500.00
Blogger Dinah Lord is also suspecting an “inside job.”
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of health care reform–whether for the “public option” or for more privatization and expansion of health care options–politically-based vandalism is anathema to a free society.
We may disagree on public policy, governing political philosophies, and especially political parties. What no side should overtly countenance or meet with even tacit approbation is the destruction of private property. The only message sent by this tactic is the shortcomings of one’s own political development and a very small mind.
That being said, we take umbrage at Democratic Party chair Pat Waak’s assertion that the “other side”–those opposed to President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposals–wants to “stir up hate,” leading to acts of vandalism such as this:
Eleven windows at the Colorado Democratic Party headquarters on Santa Fe Drive were shattered early this morning in a vandalism spree that party Chairwoman Pat Waak blamed on animosity surrounding the health care debate.
Sometime before 3 a.m. a vandal apparently used a hammer to smash the picture windows, which were emblazoned with posters touting President Barack Obama and the Democratic position on healthcare reform.
The other storefronts surrounding the building on 8th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive in downtown’s art district escaped unscathed. But the Democratic posters are scuffed from hammer blows, Waak said.
“We ought to be having a serious, conscientious debate about what’s best for the country,” Waak said. “Clearly there’s been an effort on the other side to stir up hate. I think this is the consequence of it.”
She estimates the damage at $11,000 and believes police have a suspect in custody. The Denver Police Department could not be reached immediately for comment.
The perpetrator(s) should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
However, Chairwoman Waak, we’d prefer if you didn’t smear those who disagree with the “public option” of government-run health care reform as instigating or condoning an environment where property is destroyed and political opponents’ offices are defaced.
Politically over-heated idiots come from all sides, and aren’t reflective of a political position, are they Chairwoman Waak?
The Colorado Democratic Party has posted photos of the vandalism on their front page.
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