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Politicians make plenty of boneheaded statements but Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s criticism of an Iraq war veteran’s courage probably takes the cake for this political season.


In the legislative session post-mortems, the Big Lake Republican clashed with Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, over the freshman lawmaker’s successful efforts to pass a Vikings stadium bill. Kiffmeyer, who grew up in Pierz, sent an email to her supporters in which she criticized the stadium deal. Kriesel responded by accusing her of lying about the legislation. Kiffmeyer responded to Kriesel and he shared her message in his Twitter account.

“From Mary to me RE: Stadium: “Not only (do you have) no clue but no courage to run again and be accountable and see what your district thinks.”

Kriesel followed that up with another tweet.

“Just received the most classless email from Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer. I will do whatever I can to make sure she is not re-elected. Classless lady.”

One doesn’t have to be a political genius to realize there’s no way one can question the courage of a decorated war veteran who came home a double amputee after a roadside explosion in Iraq. Kiffmeyer, a former Minnesota secretary of state, certainly should have known better than to put a statement like that in writing, even if she thought it was going to be confidential.

WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler, on the CBS Minnesota website, reported his station repeatedly tried to get a response from Kiffmeyer this week, but she did not respond. Kiffmeyer, who advocated for her Voter ID bill at a Rosenmeier forum at Central Lakes College in 2012, is running for the state Senate in 2012. Kriesel is not running for re-election, citing the pressures of family life. However, his tweets indicate that he’s still upset about Kiffmeyer’s statement. Kriesel, a maverick Republican who opposed the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, tweeted:

“I would consider taking out a second mortgage on my house to donate to who is running against Mary Kiffmeyer.”

It’s going to be another interesting election year.

— Mike O’Rourke

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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