Politics

Councilwoman Apologizes for Calling Emmer ‘Whore’

Congressman’s staff took comment on Facebook image as a threat

A Minnesota city councilwoman apologized to Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., for what she called a “total lapse in judgment” in commenting on his Facebook page. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Minnesota city councilwoman said she formally apologized to Republican Rep. Tom Emmer for writing what was taken as a threat on the congressman’s Facebook page. 

Melissa Maher, a city councilwoman in Lino Lakes, wrote on a photo of Emmer meeting with farmers that he should “avoid people who have a lot of deadly objects at hand,” the Pioneer-Press reported.

Maher also called Emmer “a coward and a party whore” for his vote on the Republican bill to replace the 2010 health care law.

Maher deleted her comment but Emmer’s chief of staff David FitzSimmons took a screenshot of it and called on her to apologize.

“Today’s political climate can oftentimes be heated and tense,” FitzSimmons told the newspaper. “And while it is a person’s constitutional right to disagree, a threat of violence — or encouraging violence from others — is taking it way too far.”

Maher told the newspaper she was “deeply embarrassed,” and that the comment was not intended as a threat. She said she posted it late at night when she was exhausted.

“I should have known better than to post it,” she said.

Maher told MPR News that as soon as someone responded to her comment on Facebook that she “realized and responded back to her saying that it was a total lapse in judgment and just a very poor choice on my part.”

She said she mailed a formal letter of apology to Emmer.

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