The windows of the Colorado Democratic Party headquarters at 777 North Santa Fe Drive were smashed around 2:20 am this morning. As we reported earlier, 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler was arrested for the crime. Apparently, an officer just happened to be driving by when he spotted two males whacking away at the windows with hammers. The suspects tried to flee on their bikes, but the cop nabbed Schwenkler, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt over his head and a shirt covering his face while making smashy-smashy with his buddy.
Apparently the eleven broken windows had posters promoting Obama's heathcare reform. Democratic State Party Chair Pat Waak also noted that an anti-Obamacare poster was glued to an outside wall, presumably at the time the window vandalism took place. The obvious diagnosis is that this is a clear case of conservative town-hall fury run amok. Only, in his mug shot, Schewenkler looks more Sonic Youth than Reagan-youth. Plus, it turns out that someone bearing his exact name -- a fairly rare one, to say the least -- was once an employee of a progressive political action committee based in Colorado.
According to campaign finance records, someone named "Maurice Schewenkler" was paid $500 on November 6, 2008, by a group called the 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). The documents list Schewenkler's duty as "electioneering" and his purpose as "communication."
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In addition, his address is listed as a house at 10th and Lipan streets, which is just blocks away from the state Democratic headquarters. The house at 1065 Lipan is the former location of the Derailer Bicycle Collective, a radical, free bike fix-it shop profiled by Westword back in 2006. In December of that year, Derailer moved to its current location at 411 Lipan. City tax records report that the owner of the house is a woman who also happens to be a well-known progressive activist/artist in Denver. How progressive? She's been an organizer for anti-nuclear weapons groups and was once the U.S coordinator for the group Potters for Peace; one of her most attention-getting art works was 34,000 miniature clay bombs and submarines fashioned to represent the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
The artist in question hasn't returned Westword's call as of yet, so we'll just leave her name out of it at the present time. (Also, her answering machine listed four womens' names, but no Maurice.)
But it seems pretty clear that, for this story, we all ought to hold off on the right-wing-anger-to-heath-reform vandalism narrative for now.