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Tom Emmer should avoid people with 'deadly objects,' says Lino Lakes councilwoman

The Facebook threat to Rep. Tom Emmer ruined a perfectly good insult.

The Facebook threat to Rep. Tom Emmer ruined a perfectly good insult. Associated Press

Last week we brought you the wild scenes from GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen's Facebook page.

After Paulsen's affirmative vote to pass "Trumpcare" reform, his suburban constituents raged, warning Paulsen he was serving his last term in Congress.

Over in central Minnesota, where GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer holds a safely Republican seat, people angry about his healthcare reform vote can make no such threat. So instead, one tried a passive threat of violence.

"If I were you Emmer," she wrote, "I'd avoid people who have a lot of deadly objects at hand. Selling us out was not a good plan for your future."

This, even in light of fury over a plan to leave poor people begging for public services, is too far. Telling a member of Congress to look over his shoulder for a violent attack is not OK -- and the woman who wrote it should've known better.

As noted yesterday in a tweet from Emmer's chief of staff (and former Minnesota legislator) David FitzSimmons, the author of that post was one Melissa Maher, an attorney by trade, and a city councilor for the town of Lino Lakes. 

Maher soon realized the error of her Facebook ways -- certainly after they were pointed out to her by one of her own constituents, who replied to the comment by saying it "borders on threatening." Maher replied, saying her post was a "total lapse of judgment." 

Reached Tuesday by Minnesota Public Radio, Maher reiterated her thoughts about the "very poor choice" of words, saying, "I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I would post a comment like that." She added that she plans to reach out to Emmer's office to apologize directly. 

She should at least do that, if not resign from her position in public office, where "total" lapses in judgment are sort of a problem.

The worst part of all this is that Maher's indefensible reference to violence distracts from her post's perfectly acceptable closing line to Emmer: "You're a coward and a party whore."

See how effective that is? Let us learn from Melissa Maher's mistake. No more talk of sticks and stones. Keep it to deeply felt insults, and we'll all be fine.

Except for poor people with health problems.

UPDATE: After this story was published, City Pages received the following statement from Melissa Maher: "I take full responsibility for posting that inappropriate comment on Congressman Emmer's Facebook site. It was not meant as a threat towards Mr. Emmer. I am both embarrassed and humiliated that I posted something like that. The fact that my post could potentially reflect badly on the city of Lino Lakes is horrifying to me. I greatly admire my fellow council members regardless of their political affiliations or opinions, and I personally apologized to them for my actions. This was a personal post and this matter is being treated as such."