Vandals smashed a front window of the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters in Lincoln and scrawled “Abolish ICE” with spray paint on the outside sidewalk overnight.
State Republican Party Executive Director Kenny Zoeller sees the act as a natural outgrowth of increasingly harsh political rhetoric.
“I just want to first start off this press conference by saying we unequivocally condemn any act of violence in our political rhetoric today,” Zoeller tells reporters during a news conference held outside the headquarters. “In 2018, we need to dial it down, whether it’s Republicans, Democrats, independents, we cannot accept this.”
Zoeller says it appears only an act of violence. A search of the headquarters has discovered nothing missing.
Zoeller says the incident is an example of an increasingly hostile political atmosphere in the country.
“When political parties cannot function and cannot have a window on the outskirts in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska without worrying about it being broken into, without worrying about it be vandalized, then something is not right,” Zoeller says.
Nebraska Republican National Committeeman J-L Spray says the act as a result of continued charged political rhetoric.
“Our clubhouse has been vandalized. It’s almost like Westside Story,” Spray says. “But, we’re bigger than this. We’re better than this. We can take care of this. We can clean it up and we can move forward, but political dialogue and I mean real dialogue, not violence, is an important part of what our country is and we’re going to continue to deliver our message, we’re going to continue to support our elected officials.”
Spray says this wasn’t just a brick through the window, it was a brick through the window with a message.