“Recreate ’68” Finally Screws Democrats

The story of the anarchist(s) who smashed up the headquarters of the Colorado Democratic Party is spreading rapidly–at least as fast as the original news of the crime spread around the country yesterday. And as one could have reasonably expected, every bit as much as Democrats would be in full war paint if the circumstances had been different, the story is being creatively retold to service partisan attacks: in this case, the building charges from the right that this crime was staged to discredit Republican opponents of health care reform.

Unfortunately from Democrats, there’s just enough “there” there to make the whole thing really interesting to Republicans.

The Denver Post has more today, following up on details you, for good or ill, read here first:

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…

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.

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.”

Schwenkler was one of dozens of paid canvassers bankrolled by the Colorado Citizens’ Coalition, a political 527 committee funded by labor groups and well-known, wealthy liberal donors.

In those disclosures, Schwenkler’s address is listed as Derailer Bicycle Cooperative, a free community bicycle collective that operates just around the corner from the Democratic headquarters. Multiple volunteers at the collective declined to discuss Schwenkler, though they said he was affiliated with the group.

It’s true that in the last days before the election there were many, many temporary hires, most of whom were not exactly well-screened. $500 to walk precincts for a few days does not by any stretch a “Democrat operative” make, but that detail is not likely to matter much to lay news consumers. As we’ve said repeatedly about all kinds of scandals, when the accusation is sexier than the defense you’re starting out at a major disadvantage.

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.

But these are details, folks–details get lost. They get lost for all kinds of reasons. And for groups like the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation, the details appear to simply be an inconvenience. Here’s the amazingly fact-challenged talking point on Schwenkler they emailed out today:

The woman [Pols emphasis] arrested by Denver police on suspicion of smashing 11 windows at Colorado Democratic Party headquarters appears to be the same woman who handles the books for many other Democratic-leaning political committees [Pols emphasis] and was paid $500 by the leftist Colorado Citizens Coalition for “communications” in November 2008.

Now of course if you read the article they cite, it’s clear that it wasn’t a woman, and the woman who “handles the books” for “Democratic-leaning organizations” is not accused of having any involvement in this crime whatsoever. The Heritage Foundation took the facts of the matter, which you would think were bad enough, and re-arranged them into a completely fictional story.

But which version do you think Rush Limbaugh is going to tell his audience of millions today?

Bottom line: we don’t know what was going through this punk’s head when he hatched this incredibly bad idea. But whatever his intentions were before he got caught in the act are irrelevant–he’s done more to screw over the Democrats now than “Recreate ’68” could ever have dreamed of.

62 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ThillyWabbit says:

    But then again, “blowback” is a phenomenon the existence of which the mainstream Republican party to this day denies.

    • Libertad says:

      What’s amazing is the depths to which certain leadership elements will go to script a shocking story.

      In the Gleiwitz incident in August 1939, Reinhard Heydrich made use of fabricated evidence of a Polish attack against Germany to mobilize German public opinion and to fabricate a false justification for a war with Poland. This, along with other false flag operations in Operation Himmler, would be used to mobilize support from the German population for the start of World War II in Europe.

      On November 26, 1939 the Soviet Union shelled the Russian village of Mainila near the Finnish border. The Soviet Union attacked Finland four days after the Shelling of Mainila. Russia has agreed that the attack was initiated by the Soviets. Also, the nearest Finnish artillery pieces were well out of range of Mainila.

      • Libertad says:

        It would appear that Schewenkler was ‘on duty’ in the field under SEIU with Administration partnership.

        Field Organizer: Colorado for Health Care

        Field Director:  Colorado Citizens’ Coalition

        Canvass Director: Progressive Future

        Presidential Field Campaign, Field Organizer: SEIU

        Presidential Field Campaign, Political Data Lead: SEIU

        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.”

        • twas brillig says:

          to provide links for your copy&paste propaganda. I know technology is REEEEL HERD ‘N DIFFKLT for you, but give it a shot.  

          • Libertad says:

            lift your fingers off your crotch and onto the key board you lazy oaf.

            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.” — Westwood

            Last I recall Ms Gibson was running things 3C … (303)815-5490 maybe they’ll have some info on S’wenkler, the buddy, the gloves, the hammers

            • twas brillig says:

              Copying and pasting job notices that having nothing to do with this person in order to inject unrelated groups and people into it. Suddenly your unwillingness to provide links and/or sources makes much more sense.  

    • Another skeptic says:

      Did he ply his thuggish talents here?

    • Another skeptic says:

      This guy will get such an easy plea deal that it will make Eric Holder’s investigation of the Panther’s election day intimidators look like McCarthyism.

      A trial would expose so much. A plea deal protects the liberal contributors.

    • Another skeptic says:

      Denver Post quotes a friend as wondering why “she” did it.

      Cops call her a guy?

      Has anyone checked.

      The beard really impresses.

      What’s your bet?

      I’d guess a “she.”

  2. sufimarie says:

    I think it’s far more interesting that everyone, including Republicans, winced and thought they knew that this was more crazy behavior from some Schultheis/birther/eggmendment/Limbaugh/Teabagger-nut.

    In other words, none of us would put it past the Republican culture to finally RISE UP and FIGHT BACK against the ATTACK of getting everyone health care. I mean, if ever there is a reason to smash windows, it’s because we’re trying to get everyone health care.

    It wasn’t Cletis who did this, but we all thought it was.  

  3. Born with red blood says:

    It’s usually the Democrats using violence…I love it how this blew up in their faces.  Very funny.

    • sxp151 says:

      And asshole anarchists like attacking Democrats as much as Republicans.

      We should have known it wasn’t a Republican since the campaign staff were left alive. Unlike the last time a political party’s headquarters was attacked.


      Police were called to a Target store in Conway, about 25 miles north of Little Rock, early Wednesday after coworkers complained about an agitated employee who had been fired for writing graffiti on a wall, the Arkansas News said.

      The employee, Johnson, was “very agitated and shaking, and they feared for their safety,” said Conway police spokeswoman Sharen Carter, who added that Johnson had departed by the time police arrived.

      Several hours later, just before noon, Johnson walked in the state Democratic Party headquarters and asked for Gwatney.

      A volunteer who was in the office at the time said Johnson had indicated he was “interested in volunteering, but that was obviously a lie.”

      Once Gwatney came out to meet him, “they introduced themselves, and at that time he (Johnson) pulled out a handgun and shot Chairman Gwatney several times. He then turned and left the business,” said police lieutenant Terry Hastings.

      Glad you think political violence against Democrats is funny though.  

    • J-Rock says:

      What makes you say that?  You can’t just throw that out without citing instances of dem violence.  sxp above cites three egregious examples of violence from the right.  The health care townhalls and gun-toting attendees of Obama events are more violent (emotionally and physically) than any liberal.  Furthermore, were liberals shouting down Bush with death threats as the ‘Pubs are doing to Obama and Dem Congressmen?  No, didn’t think so.

      Lastly, when liberals do perpetrate violence (like the two elks lodge arson in vail), democratic leaders denounce that swiftly and forcefully.  This has not been true of Republican leaders of late.

  4. HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

    It’s hard to deny that the dude does look like a lady.

  5. Born with red blood says:

    When Republicans protest….wrong….when Democrats protest….justice for the world…

    Let’s see…how many Democrats have been arrested for violence during protests since the 60s?  How about comparing the arrest rates at the Repub/Dem national conventions just recently?  How about the Weather Underground that blew up innocent people?  How about PETA?  How about the extremist environment terrorists?  Just a few….your party is full of violence for political purposes.

    • Aristotle says:

      Who just assassinated an abortion provider? Who just staged an attack on the Holocaust Museum?

      That’s right – right wingers, which you’re one.

      Poor, poor, stupid right winger… All the asshole leftwing extremists who are CURRENT (the weathermen are historical so they don’t count) renounce violence against people. So you undermined your whole argument.

      Asshole rightwing extremists, though, believe in killing people. That’s worse. Tell me it isn’t…

      Hey LB, do you like it that this guy is on your side?

      • Born with red blood says:

        The Weathermen don’t count….I’m sure they would disagree.

        There are definitely right wing extremists.  I never said their aren’t.

        • Born with red blood says:

          I dislike errors.

          • sxp151 says:

            Nobody said the Weathermen didn’t count. Just that left-wingers no longer espouse terrorism and incite murders, and right-wingers do.

            • Aristotle says:

              … is that they don’t count as a current leftwing organization since they’re inactive.

              ELF and some do espouse a form of terrorism, but not a violent kind. (Destruction of property with no harm to people isn’t violence. It isn’t good in any imaginable way, but it isn’t violence.)

              “Born with red blood” is an ideological dope for even trying to argue this.

              • Born with red blood says:

                leftist groups blowing up people doesn’t count.  Those deaths are valid for just political purposes.

                • Born with red blood says:

                  destroying personal property is violence.

                  Who is a dope?  Here is a definition of violence.  It is a tough word.


                  1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.

                  2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.

                  3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.

                  4. a violent act or proceeding.

                  5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.

                  6. damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration: to do editorial violence to a text.

                • sxp151 says:

                  The Weathermen who turned violent were awful, stupid, evil people.

                  Your turn. What do you have to say about the current wave of Republican terrorist murder?

                  Oh, it’s no big deal? Just a few bad apples? That’s what I thought.

                  • Born with red blood says:

                    Not a few bad apples.  Using any form of violence, whether it be hurting people at abortion clinics or pouring paint on someone’s private property is a despicable practice.  The right wing nutters are horrible and are hurting our party horribly.  I still stand by my statement though that the left accepts violence more in their party.  

                • Aristotle says:

                  Twist my words, if that makes you more comfortable. It doesn’t alter the truth one bit.

  6. Ralphie says:

    An important question is getting lost in the shuffle.

    What if this kid was just a dickhead?

  7. redstateblues says:

    Crazy right wingers have been doing crazy stuff ever since Obama won, and the Republicans say “These people aren’t the mainstream”, but the same standard doesn’t apply to the Democratic party apparently.

    And even though Pat Waak and others (including myself) shouldn’t have been so quick to accuse a righty of pulling this crap, how is this an effective argument from the right against fixing health care? No need to put forth ideas and alternatives when you can double standard your way through the body politic.

    I have always hated the lunatic far-left because of crap like this. PETA, EFA, and all of the other left wing terrorists who do crap like this (whether it’s property destruction, or just plain old violence) always turned me off to the left-wing side of the political spectrum. But, now that I’ve been a Dem for a while now, I know that these people carry absolutely no weight within the party or its membership. For the right wing trolls who I’m sure will be lingering on this until the next set of talking points come out, I say bring it. For every guy like this piece of crap on the far-left, I can find someone equally as crazy on the far-right.

    Neither major party has a monopoly on crazy, idiot, asshole criminals, so let’s not pretend that one side is just so much worse than the other.

  8. jmatt12 says:

    Having a 527 pay for somebody to walk doors in support of a candidate makes the organization a political committee, for which they never registered.  

  9. ohwilleke says:

    The whole point of institutions like Heritage is to have someone in the conservative machine, who isn’t quite as partisan as a party operative, looking at the longer term big picture generating policy ideas, not to have someone ready to spout press releases about yesterday’s police blotter.

    The fact that any comment at all was made by Heritage shows that it has lost its way as an institution.  Why spend credibility on that kind of inaccurate press release when you don’t have to be making a comment at all?

    On the other hand, Colorado Pols is off base in comparing “Recreate 68” with a bike collective.  

    Recreate 68 was an effort to bitch and whine about a Presidential primary that they had already lost months earlier, by the time the candidates were narrowed to Clinton v. Obama, in a futile effort to try to gain political influence and keep DNC security on its toes by pissing off law enforcement officers.

    The Bicycle Cooperative in contrast, is trying to actually do something that directly helps real people without political assistance on an issue with only the most mild partisan tint.  Who’s against fixing bicycles at a discount in poor neighborhoods without government funding?  Even Republicans who hate Social Security and think Medicare is a private insurance company don’t have a problem with that.

    “‘Reclaim the Streets’ anarchist bike protesters” mostly made up of urban professionals who work downtown for big corporations, law firms, governments and national retail chains, and bike to work for health and environmental responsibility reasons that their employers approve of and the city spends money to endorse (albeit not to the extent of sanctioning non-criminal, driver’s license point free traffic law violations turned into non-violations in the 2009 legislative session with supermajorities in the state legislature because the current law was widely acknowledged to be stupid) are also not exactly scary mobs of violent protesters.

    Last, I don’t really think this kid did much harm to any cause.  He was outed before Pat Waak had a full news cycle to turn this incident into a cause celebre.


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