SANTA CLARITA While U.S. Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon and his wife, Patricia, were in Washington last month, their Santa Clarita home was burglarized a crime Patricia McKeon implied could have been politically motivated.


A thief, who has since been arrested, broke into the McKeons' home on the morning of March 4 and stole jewelry from the master bedroom, said Bob Haueter, McKeon's 2010 campaign manager. The rest of the home was not disturbed, he said.


"It was just a typical home burglary," said Haueter, who went to the house that morning after the burglary was reported. "It wasn't until I was upstairs in the master bedroom that I saw jewelry boxes scattered over the floor. They did not disturb anything else."


Haueter said a suspect was arrested in Chicago about a week ago. Sgt. Jim Anderson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's station in Santa Clarita confirmed that the Congressman's home was burglarized but could not confirm that a suspect has been arrested.


The burglary was mentioned in a McKeon fundraising letter, dated March 25, that discussed McKeon's opposition to the Employee Free-Choice Act a bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The legislation is backed by President Barack Obama, whose political roots are in Chicago.


The letter says the labor legislation is "right out of Stalin's playbook" and part of the president's "socialist agenda." A note at the bottom of the letter, written by Patricia McKeon, read:


"As if things couldn't get any worse, our home was just broken into while we were in D.C. Some observant neighbors were able to identify the thieves and get the license plate number of the car they used.


"You won't believe this; the car is registered to a person in Chicago! Just know this, no matter what happens to us, Buck and I won't back down."


Haueter said the letter did not mean to imply that the president or his administration had anything to do with the break-in.


Haueter said the promise that "no matter what happens to us, Buck and I won't back down" was simply a promise to continue representing Santa Clarita and the rest of the 25th District.


Darren Parker, a vice chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, said drawing any connection between the burglary and the Obama administration is ridiculous.


"I have met both Buck (McKeon) and his wife and they are both very nice people," Parker said. "We're all trying to come together. And things like this, although appearing to be just emotionally driven, have not benefitted us."


As for the Employee Free-Choice Act, Parker said it is not part of a Stalinist or socialist agenda, but rather a bill aimed at protecting working, middle-class families.


"It's to make sure there's parity within wages, hours and working conditions," Parker said. "Even though it's being labeled as a union bill, it's a bill for protection of union families and nonunion families alike."