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What Really Motivated the Vandalism at Dem HQ?


mauricesInitially, it seemed that state Democrats had been targeted by two vandals angry about President Barack Obama’s health care reform yesterday, smashing windows at the Dems’ Santa Fe Drive headquarters. Police nabbed one of the apparent thugs, Maurice Schwenkler, on suspicion of criminal mischief as he attempted to flee on a bicycle, according to The Associated Press. Pat Waak, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, was quick to note that the broken glass fell directly in front of posters supporting health care reform. Those dirty conservatives! Or were they? John Andrews, a former Colorado Senate president and head of conservative think tank the Centennial Institute, told 7News, “This kind of hooliganism has no place in American politics. I condemn it.” But like police, who say they cannot discern a motive for the crime, Andrews was wise not to speculate further. Indeed, Schwenkler is an enigma, as I discovered yesterday for dscriber. Although Schwenkler’s party affiliation is unclear, he received $500 in 2008 from the Colorado Citizens’ Coalition, a group associated with labor and Democratic interests. As The Denver Post elaborates, Schwenkler went door-to-door to support Democrat Mollie Cullom, who lost to Republican state Representative David Balmer of Centennial. And Westword points out that Schwenkler’s address is listed as the former site of the “radical” Derailer Bicycle Collective and is currently owned by a progressive Denver activist. Schwenkler, accused of an estimated $11,000 in damages, will appear in court today. Perhaps he’ll say what motivated the crime.

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