NE GOP Office Vandalized With Smashed Windows, ‘ABOLISH ICE’ Spray Paint

Grant Schulte/AP

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Someone threw bricks through the Nebraska Republican Party’s office windows in Lincoln and spray-painted “ABOLISH ICE” on a sidewalk in front of the building, party officials said Tuesday.

Executive Director Kenny Zoeller said the vandalism happened between midnight and 3 a.m. at the party’s downtown office, three blocks from the state Capitol.

The vandals caused approximately $1,200 in damage, according to a Lincoln police report. One brick smashed all the way through a front window, and another shattered one pane of a second window’s double-paned glass. A newspaper carrier discovered the damage shortly after 3 a.m. and called authorities, police said.

Zoeller said someone also spray-painted the word “Resist” on the party’s front windows in December. He said his office frequently receives threats of violence, particularly in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election and the heated national rhetoric that followed.

“I really wish I could tell you I’m surprised by this, but I’m not,” Zoeller said.

The words “ABOLISH ICE” are a reference to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some have called for the government to replace the agency following intense criticism of its implementation of President Donald Trump’s suspended policy of separating families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Zoeller said nothing was stolen from inside the party office.

The vandalism is the latest in a string of incidents aimed at Republican officials in GOP-dominated Nebraska. Last year, police said vandals tossed reddish-brown “fake blood” on the Lincoln office doors of U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse. Someone also placed stickers on their doors and windows touting the protest group Betsy Riot, which describes itself as a “decentralized neo-suffragette, punk-patriot resistance movement.”

In a statement, the Nebraska Democratic Party condemned the vandalism.

“We understand how frightening it is right now to be working in politics where people are resorting to violence, racism and other divisive rhetoric,” said Jane Kleeb, the party’s chairwoman. “Our workplaces and homes are meant to be safe places where we pursue our goals and dreams.”

Zoeller said party activists have already started donating money to cover the cost of repairs and plan to use the incident in a fundraising pitch. The building is insured, but Zoeller said the damage doesn’t appear extensive enough to exceed the party’s $5,000 insurance deductible. He said the party hasn’t seen any vandalism at its field offices in Omaha and Kearney.

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