Keicher rips graffiti attack on Winnebago GOP building
State Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) has issued a statement condemning vandalism of the Winnebago County GOP headquarters. Keicher joins a long list of local and state officials to speak out about the recent incident.
“The vandalism (has) no place in our democracy and I’m deeply disappointed that it occurred,” Keicher said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We should be able to have civil discourse on important issues without the threat of violence or other acts that have no place in our society.”
The comment came on the same day a suspect was arrested in the case. According to a report from TV station WREX-13, Timothy Damm of Rockford was charged with criminal defacement of property.
Photos of the damage were posted on Twitter by radio station WRFH general manager Scot Bertram. Painted on the brick building were the words “rape” and “shame."
Prosecutors said the vandalism allegedly occurred as a reaction to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings, according to the WREX story.
Party officials from both sides of the aisle reacted to the vandalism. “Clearly, this person needs help,” said Frank Haney, chairman of the Winnebago County Board, speaking on CapitolFax.com. “This is not who we are. Attacks of this nature aim to silence and destroy, neither of which will occur.”
Democratic leaders rushed to distance themselves from the attack, which one official said “lacks logic or sanity.”
“Whoever is responsible for this callous, cowardly criminal act should know that they will find no welcome mat in our county Democratic parties,” said Doug House, president of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association, also quoted on CapitolFax.com.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara ordered cleanup crews to remove the graffiti as soon as possible.
“This type of behavior is unacceptable and certainly does not live up to our community’s values,” McNamara, a Democrat, wrote in a Sept. 30 Facebook post. “We all have differences but we must learn to disagree on policy without attacking people.”