It was the great cookie clash of 2017.
A group of constituents showed up for a meeting with Arizona congressman Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) bearing cookies — in an act of friendliness, they say. The constituents dubbing themselves “Indivisible” showed up outside his office in Scottsdale hoping for some of his time to listen to their concerns. Schweikert responded by calling the police on them.
The lawmaker is taking it even further in a fundraising campaign letter he sent out to his supporters. He wrote: “The left is determined to disrupt and disorganize. They are organizing new groups every single day and investing big resources neighborhood-to-neighborhood across Maricopa County.”
In the letter, he cited the name of the group that brought him the cookies as one of the “far left groups determined to inflict the kind of violence that we have seen before.”
He described the cookie-carrying protesters as people who will “stop at no turn,” claiming that they “clash with police,” “incite violence” and “light cars on fire.” Schweikert’s description of the groups as violent sparked a quick response from some of the groups, who described his letter as slanderous and libelous. Stronger Together AZ said the letter could put their members in danger.
A constituent told The Arizona Republic that the most that the groups have done was to actively encourage other people to vote, and noted how the groups he referenced were made up mostly of women.
“The people belonging to the groups referenced are mostly women, mostly have more than a few years on them … The most dangerous physical weapons we have are knitting needles. But make no mistake … We vote … We are actively encouraging others to vote, and lots of us are educating ourselves on how politics works and running for office. Does this sound like people plotting violence? We are working within the system.”
The Scottsdale police disputed Schweikert’s claims that the constituents had incited violence or lit cars on fire.