LINO LAKES, Minn. — A seemingly innocent photo of Rep. Tom Emmer chatting with two farmers in Cokato, Minnesota led to one local councilwoman to issue a serious threat against the sitting congressman.
On Monday, a photo of Emmer visiting the farm of Harlan Anderson in Cokato, was posted on his official Facebook page.
“I had a blast visiting Harlan Anderson’s farm in Cokato this morning. It was enlightening to hear all about the day to day work growing alfalfa, as well as learning about his work encouraging young people to take an interest in farming. Farmers like Harlan are such an asset to our community, and we can never thank them enough for everything they do,” Emmer wrote.
The photo drew the ire of Lino Lakes City Councilwoman Melissa Maher.
“If I were you Emmer, I’d avoid people who have a lot of deadly objects at hand. Selling us all out was not a good plan for your future. You’re a coward and a party whore,” Maher wrote.
Two hours later, Maher replied to a comment admonishing her stating, “You’re right…Total lack of judgement on my part.”
The Star Tribune reports that an official complaint has been filed with Capitol Police in Washington D.C. due to its threatening nature. Capitol Police have jurisdiction over federal buildings in D.C. in addition to providing security for members for Congress and their families in the United States.
Communications Director Rebecca Alery told Alpha News in a statement,
“Today’s political climate can oftentimes be heated and tense, and while it is a person’s constitutional right to disagree, a threat of violent – or encouraging violence from others – is taking it way too far.
Elected officials are held to a higher standard than private citizens, and with Council Member Mayer’s comments she is telling the people of Lino Lakes and all Minnesotans that it is okay to say or god forbid act on these threats as well.
We would like Melissa Maher to issue a public apology and for Mayor [Jeff] Reinert to publicly condemn this post to indicate that this sort of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Maher told Alpha News that her comment was not a threat directed towards Emmer.
“Congressman Emmer’s posting showed him visiting with farmers, my comment was referring to those farmers that he may be visiting with, implying that his vote to repeal the ACA [Affordable Care Act] may make some of them very angry,” Maher said. “My comment, though worded irresponsibly and inappropriately, meant nothing more than expressing my displeasure with Mr. Emmer’s politics, in particular, his vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act.”
An apology to Emmer and his staff is already in the works. “I have already sent, through the mail, a written apology to Congressman Emmer and his staff,” Maher said.
Alpha News has reached out to Lino Lake Mayor Jeff Reinert, but he did not respond in time for publication.
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Updated on May 11, 2017 at 9:58 a.m. to include comments from Lino Lakes City Councilwoman Melissa Maher.