Over the last few days, we've learned that politics can make people that are ordinarily intelligent kind of stupid. According to Minnesota Public Radio, we got a pretty good example of that yesterday in the aftermath of Minnesota's vote on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Representative Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican from District 16B, sent the following e-mail to her supporters following the passage of the stadium bill:
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.
That's where the party started.
Representative John Kriesel, who is also a Republican, took exception to the way that Kiffmeyer characterized the bill's passage.
Force it through? C'mon Mary. You can disagree with the bill but don't lie about it.
In response, Kiffmeyer went from zero to "derp" faster than. . .well, something that can go from zero to "derp" very quickly.
Not only no clue but no courage to run again and be accountable and see what your district thinks.
Now, Kriesel was an ardent stadium supporter, as anybody that has followed the story around these parts knows. We also happen to be pretty big fans of his. He had announced earlier in the session that he was not going to seek re-election to the legislature, and was recently named to the post of the Head of Veterans Services for Anoka County. Why would he have been appointed to such a position?
Because, in 2006 as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, Kriesel lost both of his legs to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while serving in Iraq. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, a Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star.
But yeah. . .he just doesn't have the courage to face his constituents. That must be what it is. Because Iraqi insurgents are bad and all, but the people of Cottage Grove? They're the scary ones.
Pretty much sums up the mindset of the "Wilfare" crowd, don't you think?
Mrs. Kiffmeyer, if you're reading this, really. . .what the hell is wrong with you? I mean, it's one thing if you just don't know what happened to Mr. Kriesel in Iraq, even though I'd find that hard to believe since it's pretty much common knowledge. But as someone that worked with Mr. Kriesel, not to mention being part of the same party and caucus, there's no way you wouldn't have known.
Paul Perovich has flown helicopters in the Army, navigated the nighttime skies of northern Iraq in an F-16 Falcon for the Air Force and taught many other Army and Air Force recruits to do the same.
My guess is that it's just a matter of time before Kiffmeyer questions his courage, too.
So, since many of you have asked that we keep track of who voted against a Vikings' stadium for this fall's Minnesota elections. . .well, here's your first one.