View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Canton Break-In 

Powerline, in their roundup of anti-Republican campaign violence, mentioned that they weren't able to find any report on the Canton break-in mentioned in Marc Racicot's letter to John Sweeney. Here's the report from the Canton Repository (registration required).

Campaign office burgled Sunday

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 By EDD PRITCHARD Repository staff writer

CANTON - Someone smashed a window Sunday night at the Victory Center for Bush-Cheney offices, then ran after grabbing a purse, a laptop computer carrying case and a portable radio.

Bush-Cheney campaign officials have added the local break-in to a laundry list of criminal activities outside Republican Party offices around the country.

Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign chairman, mentions the Sunday night break-in at 115 Dewalt Ave. NW in a letter to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Racicot complains about a series of incidents in recent weeks and asks Sweeney to "put an end to protest activities that have led to injuries, property damage, vandalism and voter intimidation."

Police were called just after 11 p.m. to the offices, which are part of the Stark County Republican Party headquarters.

Christina Wagner, Northeast Ohio field director for the Bush-Cheney campaign, told police that someone smashed a window. A purse, portable radio and compact disc player, and a bag for a laptop computer were taken. The purse contained credit cards and some personal items, and there was a CD in the boombox. The laptop bag was empty.

Wagner was working when the break-in took place. Office lights were on, and she figured that would discourage any possible crime.

"I heard the glass break," Wagner said. "I shut the door to the office I was in, and I called 911." Police arrived quickly, she said, but didn’t find the culprit.

The culprit was in the building for a few minutes, Wagner said. Her purse actually was taken from inside a different bag in the office.

No other break-ins were reported in the downtown area Sunday.

Wagner said that after police gave an all-clear, she reported the break-in to Bush-Cheney national headquarters.

The national campaign is upset by a rash of incidents outside Bush-Cheney offices and local Republican Party headquarters around the country. The local incident actually was mentioned in a story on the Web site for The Seattle Times. It published a story about a break-in at Bush-Cheney offices in Spokane, Wash., discovered Monday morning. Last week, computers were taken from Bush-Cheney offices in Bellevue, Wash.

In his letter to Sweeney, Racicot complained of those incidents, as well as shots fired at Bush-Cheney offices in West Virginia, Florida and Tennessee, windows broken in West Virginia and vandalism at a residence in Wisconsin.

Racicot also complained about union protesters storming offices in Florida and Minnesota during organized protests last Tuesday. Locally, union members protested outside the offices on Dewalt Avenue, but no problems were reported.

Wagner said she doesn’t know if the break-in was politically motivated, or an act committed by a criminal who just happened to select the office. She noted that the window glass is pretty thick. "It’s not like there was an open door."

You can reach Repository writer Edd Pritchard at (330) 580-8484 or e-mail:

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