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Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer says disabled Purple Heart recipient John Kriesel has "no courage"

Kiffmeyer should've minced words when taking Kriesel to task for his pro-stadium stance.
Kiffmeyer should've minced words when taking Kriesel to task for his pro-stadium stance.

People sometimes say politics is war, but retiring Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, could tell you from experience that the two are very different.

Kriesel, 30, lost both of his legs in Iraq in 2006. He was later awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star. So it's no surprise he was pissed off when Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, sent him an e-mail saying he has "no courage."

Sure, warfare and politics are two different contexts, but could Kiffmeyer have possibly chosen more inappropriate words to make her point?

Kiffmeyer, who is running in November for a new state Senate seat representing St. Michael, Albertville, and Otsego, was responding to Kriesel's steadfast support for the Vikings stadium bill. An opponent of the bill, Kiffmeyer wrote the following last week in an e-mail to her supporters:

I realized that this was a set deal between the Vikings, the Governor and the bill authors and that no matter the amendments or arguments, it would get done. They had enough votes to force it through.

In response, Kriesel sent the following message to Kiffmeyer:

Kriesel's war record suggests he's about as courageous as they come.
Kriesel's war record suggests he's about as courageous as they come.
Force it through? C'mon Mary. You can disagree with the bill but don't lie about it.

Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Krisel announced in March that he won't be seeking reelection to the legislature. He took a job last month as head of Anoka County's Veteran Services department. But Kiffmeyer apparently thinks Kriesel's decision not to seek reelection is cowardly, as his constituents won't have the opportunity to express their opinions about his pro-stadium stance with their ballots. So in response to Krisel's message, Kiffmeyer sent him the following e-mail: "Not only no clue but no courage to run again and be accountable and see what your district thinks."

Kriesel took to Twitter to express his indignation over his Republican colleague's "no courage" diss:

The episode demonstrates just how polarizing the stadium issue was, even within each of the two major parties. It also suggests Kiffmeyer should probably have a staffer take a gander at her e-mails before she fires them off, lest she stick her foot down her throat again. Kiffmeyer hasn't yet apologized for her ill-considered word choice.

See also:
-- John Kriesel, pro-gay marriage MNGOP Rep., won't seek reelection [VIDEO]


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