Campaigns react to Carnahan fire

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by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 18 at 11:34 AM

I went to talk to people from both Congressional campaigns about Tuesday morning's fire in Russ Carnahan's office.  Someone broke a window and tossed a burning object inside catching some of the office on fire but doing minimal damage to the building.

Hours later a company installed security cameras in the front and back of that building.

When I went by the building this morning I got a weird vibe.  I saw a campaign worker coming out of the back of the office with big Bread Company to-go bags.  I jokingly said, "Are you with Bread Company or the Carnahan campaign?"  He said, "Bread Company," then tossed the bags in the dumpster and went to the front of the building, presumably back in the office.  Weird.

(I talked to a reporter at another station who worked on this story who told me when she was there, she met a campaign worker outside the building who also denied being associated with the campaign.  When she went inside to talk to a spokesperson, she saw that person who denied being with the campaign IN Carnahan's office.)

Then when I talked to a campaign spokesperson she refused to comment on anything beyond what police already told us.  I tried to ask "What do you make of this?"... "How are workers and volunteers inside dealing with the fact their office was attacked?"... but Angela Guyadeen would have none of it.  She wouldn't even tell me why she wouldn't answer these simple questions.

Meantime, opponent Ed Martin wasted no time condemning the action on his campaign website.  He agreed to an interview outside his headquarters, too.  He told me his campaign workers are careful.  They're off busy Hampton Avenue where he says people drive by yelling nice things and not so nice things sometimes.  He's had his big sign  hit by a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but other than that nothing headline-grabbing like a burning object being tossed inside.

He says there are lots of things to disagree on as far as the campaigns are concerned, but he says there's no place for violence.

Weird how the Carnahan campaign couldn't or wouldn't put similar words together. 

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at mschnyder@kmov.com.

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