The Republican Party of Wisconsin appears to be dealing with vandals, as someone reportedly splashed paint on the windows of the 2200 block of North King Drive field office. The word “scum” was also allegedly painted onto the back door.
The Milwaukee police were contacted and responded to the vandalism call on Wednesday morning, and are still looking for the suspect. They have not yet established an official motive for the crime, but it’s safe to say it was probably politically motivated.
Video of the marred facade was posted on Twitter, showing the extent of the damage.
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) February 19, 2020
The party issued a tweet saying that Republicans are undeterred by this cowardly act of disagreement and wondered what will happen at the Democratic party convention in the future.
Our new field office in Milwaukee was vandalized last night. This won’t change our commitment to reaching voters in the community. What kind of intolerance can we expect to see when Democrats bring their convention to Milwaukee this summer? #LeadRight pic.twitter.com/sUXQKGAlLI
— Wisconsin GOP (@wisgop) February 19, 2020
Andrew Hitt is the Republican Party of Wisconsin chairman. In an interview, he condemned the act and likened it to similar acts of intolerance seen across the country.
“I think we’ve seen all over this country the intolerance that the left has for conservative thought, conservative ideas,” he explained. “I think this is just another example of it. We’re not going anywhere. We want to be part of this community. We came here to talk about the president’s accomplishments, the accomplishments of Republican legislators in Wisconsin. We’re going to continue to do that.”
To their credit, local Democrat leaders have rushed to denounce the vandalism. State Sen. Chris Larson said that “we can peaceably disagree but vandalism is unacceptable. At a time where our country is most divided, we need to focus our efforts on bipartisan support for issues within our community. Party politics plays no role in ending family homelessness, providing property tax relief and ensuring optimal funding for our parks, transit and emergency medical services.”
State Rep. David Crowley agreed, saying: “There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with people politically but if you use vandalism or violence you’re doing a disservice to your cause. It’s unfortunate this incident happened. We have to do better as a community to agree to disagree.”
African-American outreach director for the Wisconsin GOP Khenzer Senat was displeased with the perpetrator’s apparent unwillingness to have a civil discussion.
“I want this office to be a place that individuals can come in and we can have civil dialogue,” he said in an interview with local media regarding the incident.
Democratic State Sen. Lena Taylor agreed that the vandalism was wrong, but said she’s “frustrated” that the GOP is putting field offices in minority areas.
“Obviously, destroying property is wrong. On a night when people were exercising the loudest megaphone they have to register their opinions about a candidate or a party, these individuals chose to use a spray can instead of their vote,” Taylor’s statement read. “But I want to be clear, although they have the right, it is frustrating to see a GOP office spring up in a predominantly black neighborhood given the abysmal record the Trump administration and the Wisconsin GOP have in our community. Simply, look at their record.”
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism should contact police at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS.
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