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Rep. Bachmann's home vandalized

Vandals wrote "scum" on U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's garage Tuesday night or early Wednesday. The Stillwater home's driveway also was vandalized. She was one of at least six Minnesota federal politicians to become vandalism victims. staff photo by Andy Blenkush

Graffiti such as "resign or else" threatened Minnesota's two U.S. senators and at least four U.S. House members.

"U R A criminal resign or else" was written on the outside of the Coleman garage. "Scum" and "Psalm 2" also were painted on the building.

Similar graffiti was painted on homes or nearby structures in six Twin Cities communities late Tuesday or early Wednesday, police said.

Police said property of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann of Stillwater, Keith Ellison of Minneapolis, John Kline of Lakeville and Jim Ramstad of Minnetonka also was vandalized. All the vandalism was similar.

Vandals did not discriminate. The victims are Muslim, Christian and Jewish; conservative and liberal; white and black; seeking re-election and retiring; Democrat and Republican.

Coleman called it "vile graffiti" while campaigning at Wadena's Cozy Theatre.

"What happened at my home today is a reflection of the anger out there," Coleman said. He often uses the term "anger" when talking about Democratic opponent Al Franken.

"I thought, 'how sad.' The tone is so negative and so divisive," added Coleman, who has removed his negative commercials from television. "We don't need so much anger. You don't need to hate the person across the aisle from you."

A Klobuchar spokesman said vandals painted her Minneapolis house with slogans similar to those elsewhere.

"I'm confident the police will fully investigate these incidents," the first-term senator said. "When so many homes are vandalized on the same night, I'm hopeful there will be some good leads. Vandalism to any home is unacceptable."

Coleman's wife, Laurie, discovered the vandalism when she took out the garbage Wednesday morning. Coleman and his family live in St. Paul, where he is a former mayor.

The senator was in northern Minnesota when the incident occurred. His wife and daughter were home alone.

St. Paul police investigated. A Capitol police spokeswoman confirmed that her agency is working with local officials on the vandalism reports, but would not comment further. State law enforcement officials are not involved.

Coleman's campaign opponents decried the act.

"Political candidates subject themselves to a lot, but attacks against homes and family members are absolutely inappropriate," said Dean Barkley of the Independence Party. "I wish Sen. Coleman well and hope this kind of trash isn't repeated against him or any other candidate for office."

Franken's communications director that campaign condemns the action.

"There's no place for this unacceptable behavior in our political process, or in our communities" Andy Barr said.

Steve Schultz of the Wadena Pioneer Journal contributed to this story.