Alaska Democratic Party officials think hot rhetoric over health care led to someone trying to break the windows at the entrance to their headquarters in Anchorage. After logging some threatening phone calls last week, staffers on Sunday found that someone attempted to shatter one of the floor-to-ceiling windows at their prominently labeled office.
"We are on heightened alert and will be taking extra precaution," Patti Higgins, chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party, told me in an interview today. "I'm not going to say I think it was tea partiers or Republicans, but I think the heightened rhetoric out there will encourage people will go out and think it's okay to 'send a message' and be angry."
Higgins said it seemed "coincidental" the incident happened over the weekend, as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was declaring that Republicans should be the party of "Hell no" at a political rally in Nevada. "These are violent words: 'Fire 'em all, take 'em out,' and put together they fit into a pretty cohesive running theme that is fairly violent," Higgins said.
Lt. Dave Parker, a spokesman for the Anchorage police, confirmed that on Sunday police documented details of the nearly-broken window, but said that there is no evidence of politics in play.
"It had been struck by a hard object but there was no rock or brick with a tea bag on it. It could have been politically motivated or it could have been someone being destructive," Parker told me in an interview.
The double-paned windows did not completely break but the metal edging around the window was bent, Parker said. Police will be "vigilant" to keep an eye on the headquarters, he said.