Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Capitol Graffitti Downplayed by Dems

The response to the anarchist spray painting of the Capitol Steps over the weekend is getting some decidedly mixed reviews. The Hill is reporting that the Democratic leadership seems to think the incident is no big deal:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee’s legislative branch subcommittee, was less critical of the USCP, and plans to discuss the event at a prearranged meeting tomorrow, said spokesman Jonathan Beeton yesterday.

"I’m not sure that anybody’s too pleased about the way this turned out," Beeton said. However, Wasserman Schultz does not want to question Morse’s "judgment when he was on the ground and she wasn’t. There’s a balance that they have to strike. It’s a very difficult job."

The USCP Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) rejected attempts to downplay the situation.

"The officers of the U.S. Capitol Police are upset that some of this weekend’s demonstrators were able to deface part of the Capitol Complex," Andy Maybo, chairman of the Capitol Police FOP, said in a statement yesterday. "The officers, who did their job both professionally and courageously, were ordered to withdraw by their officials and let the demonstrators have the area where the graffiti was later discovered."
Preventing people from vandalizing the Capitol Building is part of the Capitol Police's job and whether it is difficult or not should not be the question. Someone dropped the ball and needs to be held accountable.

Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch has sent a letter to Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse seeking an explanation. From the Hill:
"I would like to know if it is in fact true that Capitol Police were given specific guidance regarding the protests, and if so, why were they instructed to allow these acts of vandalism?" wrote Allard. "As ranking member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, I am requesting an immediate meeting with you to discuss the facts surrounding the defacing of our Nation’s Capitol."

Under U.S. law, it is unlawful to deface the U.S. Capitol, Allard wrote.

"Law enforcement is expected to enforce these statutes," Allard continued. "And I am appalled that the deliberate violation of this law was tolerated."

Allard spokesman Steve Wymer said that Allard wrote the letter because several police officers called his office to voice their concerns about the incident.
So far Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid nor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have issued any kind of statement.

The silence is deafening.

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