NEW YORK (AP) — Vandals damaged a Republican office in Manhattan ahead of a planned appearance Friday night by the founder of a far-right men's organization.
Damage to the Metropolitan Republican Club included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue, according to state party officials. The damage was discovered Friday. A note left at the scene claimed that the damage was "just the beginning."
The club, a longtime gathering place for Republicans, is scheduled to host an appearance Friday night by Gavin McInnes, a co-founder of Vice Media and founder of the Proud Boys, a male-only organization that describes its members as "western chauvinists."
The note left at the club did not mention McInnes specifically, but accused Republicans of inviting "a hipster-fascist clown to dance for them, content to revel in their treachery against humanity."
Though the note also took aim at Democrats, calling them the Republicans' "spineless partners-in-crime."
Republican leaders called on Democrats to denounce the vandalism, saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others have a responsibility to urge calm.
"This type of political violence and rank vandalism is unacceptable," said Cuomo's GOP challenger, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. "We are one nation and one state. We must not revert to violence under any circumstances."
State Party Chairman Ed Cox accused Democrats including Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder of "inciteful rhetoric" that he said "must be stopped before someone gets hurt."
In response, Geoff Berman, the executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee, said his party has "zero tolerance for violence."
"This type of divisiveness is repugnant to everything we believe as New Yorkers," he said, before turning his criticism on Republicans. "That being said, Ed Cox and Marc Molinaro's rhetoric on this is wildly inappropriate. We need less hate and division - not more."