His first thought was that he'd gotten a parking ticket.
Cottage Grove Republican Rep. John Kriesel and Minnesota Senate GOP legislative assistant Bob Koss got into a profanity-laced, digital shouting match over the retiring lawmaker's appearance in an anti-amendment television ad.
With less than nine days before Minnesota voters head to the polls, the controversial ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in the state is deadlocked, according to the newest Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. The new survey shows 48 percent of likely Minnesota voters support the constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman. Forty-seven percent say they're against the proposed measure.
Sgt. John Kriesel was hired as Anoka County's director of Veterans Services to help veterans manage their lives. He didn't realize he'd be working with two people who helped save his after he was injured in 2006 in Iraq. "What are the odds?" asked Kriesel, who went on to serve a term in the state Legislature. "It's almost too good to believe."
In a fundraising email for Minnesotans United, retiring state Rep. John Kriesel strongly encouraged people to make a donation because "defeating this amendment won't be cheap." The Republican lawmaker also wrote, "We’re facing a constitutional amendment this fall that threatens families. It aims to tell Minnesotans which committed couples are worthy of marriage in our state -- and worse, which ones aren’t."
Not everyone in the Republican party is happy about the recently passed Vikings stadium bill. These feelings erupted over the weekend on email and Twitter as two notable Republicans shared a public war of words.
The proposal would allow electronic pull tabs, electronic bingo and sports-themed tip boards. The bill was originally meant to fund a new home for the Vikings, but the bill's author, Republican Rep. John Kriesel, separated the issue from the stadium, saying he was worried the stadium controversy would sink the gambling expansion.
The bill's chief author, Rep. John Kriesel, says he thinks opponents are blowing the risks out of proportion. Rep. Tina Liebling, a Rochester Democrat who has spoken out against the bill, says she worries children could get hurt or killed.
An effort to amend Minnesota's blue laws has become an annual debate at the Capitol and this year Rep. Stephen Drazkowski was behind the push. The amendment was voted down, 97-25 Friday. Rep. John Kriesel offered an amendment to allow liquor sales in border counties, but only 21 lawmakers voted in favor of it.
The Republican representative tells WCCO that he doesn't think lawmakers will pass a stadium bill "unless we really get some things done over the next week.”
The veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war says he missed two years of life with his children and that he's stepping down from politics to spend more time with his family. Kriesel gained fame in the Legislature when he became one of few Republicans to speak out against a move to ban same-sex marriage.
Minnesota is just losing out on revenue as people cart in bigger fireworks from neighboring states, says Republican Rep. John Kriesel, an Iraq War veteran who says his Cottage Grove neighborhood "sounds like Fallujah." But a spokesman for Minnesota's fire chiefs says lawmakers should leave the big stuff to the pros.