Vandalism linked to healthcare politics

March 23, 2010 at 9:23 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 23 (UPI) -- At least one healthcare-reform opponent has claimed responsibility for vandalism at Democratic Party and congressional district offices in several U.S. cities.

Incidents have been reported in Kansas, Arizona and New York state, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Tuesday. In one instance, someone threw a brick through the window of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, Kan., during the weekend.

Vandals destroyed a door and a window Monday at the Tucson office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who had voted Sunday night in favor of the landmark legislation. Someone threw a brick through a window Friday at the Niagara Falls, N.Y., office of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., a leading proponent of healthcare reform.

And in Rochester, N.Y., someone threw a brick through the glass doors of the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters -- with a note attached that read: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." The line is a quote from the 1964 speech in which Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., accepted the Republican presidential nomination.

A former leader of the Alabama Constitutional Militia Monday claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Star said. Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Ala., said he issued a call Friday for modern "Sons of Liberty" to break the windows of Democratic Party offices nationwide in opposition to healthcare reform.

"And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democrat Party headquarters across this country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary," he said in an online posting.

Now that the bill has been signed into law, Leonard Zeskind, author of "Blood and Politics," told the newspaper opponents might "become even more far-fetched and violent."

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