Some harsh words have been flying between Republican state Reps. Mary Kiffmeyer and John Kriesel over the Vikings stadium vote, which he supported and she opposed.
And as an example of how rancorous and bizarre the political process can be — even amongst those in the same party — Kiffmeyer questioned the courage of Kriesel, an Army vet whose legs were blown off in Iraq six years. He’s been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.
It started last week, after the Legislature approved the public subsidies for a new stadium. In an email to her supporters, Kiffmeyer wrote:
Usually bills get better when they come back from a conference committee.
This time, it got worse. Additional pork for St. Paul and Minneapolis was added, a shocking data privacy for the Vikings was included, the funding mechanism of the pull tabs continued, the percentage to charity got smaller, no user fees included and the general fund continues to be at risk of bailing out this project in the future. In addition, the “new” $50 million the team is “adding” to their portion is offset by the team getting the naming rights instead of the state. The Wilf family also got back in their exclusive rights to a Soccer team for the next five years or so. Quite an amazing package for the owners.
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. The City Council of Minneapolis has the last vote after the Governor signs the bill.
Kriesel, one of the stadium bill authors, fired back:
Force it through? C’mon Mary. You can disagree with the bill but don’t lie about it.
Whereupon Kiffmeyer responded:
Not only no clue but no courage to run again and be accountable and see what your district thinks.
Kriesel then sent this to his Twitter followers:
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
And then another tweet:
I would consider taking out a second mortgage on my house to donate to whoever is running against Mary Kiffmeyer.
Kriesel is not running for re-election, saying in March that after one term in office, he wanted to spend more time with his family. Then last month he lined up a job as head of Anoka County’s Veteran Services department. He had bucked Republican legislative leaders by opposing the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
Kiffmeyer, a former secretary of state, is running for state Senate in the newly created District 30, which includes Big Lake, Elk River, Otsego, St. Michael, Albertville and Hanover.