By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Charity Barry said filthy vandals aren’t going to dissuade her in her run for congress.
But Barry — one of two Republicans running for the Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District seat held by far left, entrenched incumbent Rep. Mark Pocan — did have to change locations after the restaurant where she planned a Wednesday evening fundraiser was spray-painted with obscene messages.
The good folks at Vince’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Monroe found the building vandalized with nastygrams such as, “F – – – Charity Barry” and other foul insults directed at the candidate. The damage also included a homophobic slur. Dollar General, located next-door, was vandalized too with what appeared to be the anti-police slogan ACAB (an acronym for All Cops Are Bastards).
Police are investigating.
Barry said she feels bad for the restaurant owners who were kind enough to host her. In an overheated political environment, she also understands the increased risks of running as an conservative in a predominantly liberal district.
She believes the attack on the restaurant was politically motivated and it was meant to send a chilling message to conservative women running for office.
“I think it shows that the Democrats like to say they stand for minorities and women until those minorities and women stand up for ideas they don’t agree with,” Barry said. “They talk about being tolerant and inclusive, but not unless you stand with them.”
State Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), one of the featured guests at Barry’s fundraiser, agreed that the vandals were trying to intimidate conservative women seeking office. She also knows Barry isn’t the kind of person who will be cowed by cowards.
“That’s why I love her,” Brandtjen said.
Barry posted photos of the vandalism on Twitter.
“This isn’t political discourse,” she wrote beneath the pictures. “This is a disgusting display of cowardice intended to intimidate a political candidate into retreat. The problem with their plan is, I will not back down. I will not retreat, and I WILL NOT BE BULLIED INTO SUBMISSION.”