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Vandals deface Minn. congressional members' homes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Vandals scrawled graffiti on the homes and garages of several members of Minnesota's congressional delegation during the night, targeting both Republicans and Democrats with words including "scum" and "resign."

Representatives of Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Jim Ramstad, John Kline, Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann confirmed the vandalism Wednesday.

The similar attacks stretched across the Twin Cities and surrounding communities, taking place late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The vandals hit Coleman's house in St. Paul, Bachmann's in Stillwater, Klobuchar's and Ellison's in Minneapolis, Ramstad's in Minnetonka, and Kline's in Lakeville.

Ramstad and Klobuchar were both home during the night, their spokesmen said. Ramstad discovered the vandalism at his home Wednesday morning and the wives of Coleman's and Ellison found the graffiti at their homes.

At the Coleman residence, spray-painted graffiti on the outside of the garage read: "U R A criminal resign or else" along with the words "Scum," which was written three times; and "Psalm 2."

The Bible's Psalm 2 warns "kings of the earth" against incurring God's wrath.

At Ellison's home, campaign manager Larry Weiss said, vandals wrote "scum" on the garage and scrawled "traitor," 'resign now," and "Psalm 2." on the house itself.

St. Paul police spokesman Peter Panos said that police were canvassing Coleman's neighborhood for clues and that he expected increased patrols around the Coleman home.

The U.S. Capitol police are working with local law enforcement agencies to investigate, said spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. A spokesman for the Minnesota office of the FBI didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Laurie Coleman, the senator's wife, told the Pioneer Press of St. Paul that the family's garage had been marked at least once before, but said this incident was worse.

"This is just threatening," she said.

Coleman, Ramstad, Kline and Bachmann are Republicans. Klobuchar and Ellison are Democrats.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.