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Minnesota's attorney general speaks out against anti-Jewish candidate running for Roseville's school board

AG Keith Ellison sounds off on antisemitic school board candidate
AG Keith Ellison sounds off on antisemitic school board candidate 02:18

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's top law enforcement official says a school board candidate is on his radar after his extreme antisemitic views were made public. 

In his blog titled "A Zionist Movement," Vaughn Klingenberg is very clear on what he believes.

"The beliefs are so awful and heinous. Here he is publically posting that people should brand Jews, sterilize Jews, segregate Jews, impoverish Jews," said Steve Hunegs, ex-director of the Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas.

RELATED: US Jewish leaders stress need for security vigilance as antisemitism surges

Klingenberg's blog proposes that Jewish people should be permanently rendered sterile so they cannot reproduce. The candidate for school board in Roseville also visited two synagogues, one in Minneapolis, and the other in St. Paul.

"His behavior, going to synagogues, visiting, if you want to use that word, invading the sacred space of the synagogue during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the man is escalating his behavior," Hunegs said. "He's running for school board in Roseville, he needs to be thoroughly repudiated. It's hard to imagine anything more contrary to education than a Holocaust denier."

He has the attention of Jewish leaders who are already on high alert because of the surge of antisemitism across the country. 

"One person says it, another person says it. Where does that lead? Potentially to conduct. What is that conduct? Very dangerous, hostile, aggressive, perhaps violent," he said. "We all have an obligation to try to address the tone and conduct of how people all of us conduct ourselves."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says this now-public figure's actions have him on his radar. 

RELATED: Highest number of antisemitic incidents since 1979 recorded last year, Anti-Defamation League finds

"He has our attention. He's clearly tried to get the attention of the public by spewing hateful, antisemitic rhetoric, which is obviously untrue but is also dangerous," Ellison said. "Minnesota has no place for hate, and we're not going to tolerate it. And he can think whatever he wants to think, he can even blog about it. But when he starts showing up at peoples' houses of worship and trying to inspire others to commit acts of hatred, that's where we have to draw the line."

Ellison says his office is looking at whether Klingenberg's conduct violates any Minnesota statutes.

WCCO also reached out to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who said his office is also monitoring the situation. Choi warned the biggest danger in the face of these threats is silence.

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