Roseburg vandal targets Obama cutout

ROSEBURG — Someone splattered feces on a window in front of a life-size cutout of President Barack Obama.

The excrement coated the glass and covered the eaves at the Democratic party office in downtown Roseburg, the News-Review newspaper reported Wednesday.

“I was shocked to see it,” said Jean Patricia, a party volunteer. “You’d think people would have something better to do.”

A Roseburg police officer snapped photographs and took a report before window cleaners arrived to remove the mess. No arrests have been made. Sgt. Aaron Dunbar said someone smeared feces on the window of a clothing store last week. In another recent incident, someone defecated in the doorway of the store.

Tim Beaty, the owner of an insurance agency two doors down from the Democratic headquarters, said the excrement wasn’t on the window when he arrived for work Tuesday at 3:30 a.m. He later left for breakfast and noticed the feces when he returned at about 7.

“Whatever your political views are, this isn’t something you should be doing,” he said.

The targeted window contained only the cutout of Obama, who got 38 percent of the vote in Douglas County last fall. The main display window has photographs of prominent Oregon Democrats, such as Gov. Ted Kulongoski. It was not touched.

“The fact they chose to focus on the Obama image seems to suggest a racist statement,” said Dean Byers, chairman of the Douglas County Democratic Party.

The vandalism was the third in the past two months targeting party headquarters in the southwest Oregon city. The first act involved someone filling the front door keyhole with solder, said building owner Byron Frazer. Later, someone glued a couple of flyers denouncing both Obama and former President George W. Bush for the Iraq war.

A Republican Party official denounced the vandalism, noting that their Douglas County office has been hit in the past.

“I think it’s unfortunate people choose to express themselves that way,” said Tom Hatfield, an alternate to the state Republican Central Committee. “We do have a First Amendment that allows good and reasonable discourse, and that should be allowed. This is inappropriate. This is out of line.”

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