by Max Brantley
The Blue Arkansas blog reports that Jake Burris, campaign manager for 3rd District Democratic ccongressional candidate Ken Aden, returned to his Russellville home to find the family cat killed and painted with the word "liberal."
UPDATE: The killing has been reported to authorities. The Aden campaign has issued a statement in which he takes pain to say he does not believe the campaign of his opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, had anything to do with it.
KEN ADEN NEWS RELEASE
RUSSELLVILLE—On the heels of a weekend of positive news coverage for the campaign of Democratic Congressional candidate Ken Aden, Aden's campaign manager returned home to find his family pet slaughtered, with the word "liberal" painted on the animal's corpse.
The Russellville Police Department is investigating, and a report will be made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday morning.
Jacob Burris, who has served as Aden's campaign manager since late October, arrived home with his family Sunday evening, and his four children discovered the gruesome scene as they exited the family vehicle to enter their home.
The family pet, an adult, mixed-breed Siamese cat, had one side of its head bashed in to the point the cat's eyeball was barely hanging from its socket. The perpetrators scrawled "liberal" across the cat's body and left it on the doorstep of Burris' house.
"To kill a child's pet is just unconscionable," Aden said Monday morning. "As a former combat soldier, I've seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. Whoever did this is definitely part of the worst of humanity," he said.
"It is one thing to engage in civil political discourse, and for Republicans and Democrats to disagree with each other, which is an expected part of the political process. Taking it to this level is beyond unacceptable," Aden said.
While the campaign between Aden and incumbent Congressman Steve Womack has heated up in recent months, Aden said they did not believe the Womack campaign to be responsible. "Although we have certainly disagreed and engaged in a great deal of civil discourse, I do not believe in any way that Congressman Womack or his campaign had anything to do with this incident," Aden said. He noted that, before Christmas, KRUM Radio, a station owned by Womack's father, actually promoted a toy drive held by Aden's campaign for children in the Third District. "We suspect this is the action of a rogue individual or group of individuals who are the type of folks that stoop to the lowest common denominator instead of engaging in civil political discourse," Aden said. "It is unfortunate this has occurred, and we will await the results of the police and federal investigations," Aden said.