Rep. Mary Franson's yard signs vandalized with "Don't feed the animals" message [PHOTO]

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A Franson supporter said the vandals were responsible for "several hundred" dollars of damage.
-- Mary Franson, MNGOP Rep., compares food stamp recipients to wild animals [VIDEO]
-- Mary Franson, in speech, stands behind food stamp recipient-wild animal comparison [VIDEO]

Last winter, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, created quite a stir when she compared Minnesota's food stamp recipients to wild animals.

She quickly apologized for the remark, but it turned out her contriteness was less than sincere -- during a speech last month, she defended the comparison, telling a Tea Party rally, "We have to get backbones, you guys." Now, after a number of her yard signs were defaced with a spray paint "Don't feed the animals" message in Alexandria on Friday night, she's trying to use the controversial remark to fill her campaign coffers.

Franson broke the news of the sign defacing Saturday on her Facebook page:

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Franson doesn't seem to have any proof that the vandals were indeed lefties -- after all, she has significant beef with her own party's leadership, so the notion a conservative or (gasp!) even someone associated with her campaign might've been the "Don't feed the animals" mastermind shouldn't be summarily dismissed -- but the embattled first-term legislator won't let lack of evidence get in the way of painting her political opponents with broad brushstrokes:

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The Alexandria district Franson represents is reliably Republican, yet she faces a stiff challenge this November from DFL-endorsed public school teacher Bob Cunniff. According to Minnesota politics blog Bluestem Prairie, as of early this month, Cunniff had outraised Franson, and the cash-strapped MNGOP recently took the unusual step of spending $3,000 to conduct polling in Franson's district.

So who do Alexandria voters sympathize with, the food stamp recipients Franson believes are comparable to wild animals, or Franson herself? Since Franson's district is one of the poorest in the state, you'd think they'd side with the former, but one doesn't need to be a political scientist to understand that voters often cast ballots in contradiction with their self-interest.

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