84-year-old Minnesota Representative Ron Erhardt (D-Edina) is in hot water after alleged remarks he made via phone to a pro-gun organization.
Every election cycle, the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance surveys more than 280 candidates running for the Minnesota House on their stance on gun rights. But now, Andrew Rothman, the President of GOCRA, is calling for Erhardt to take anger management courses after he allegedly said, “You come near me, and I'll blow your head off!”
Here is the conversation, according to an affidavit signed by Rothman and posted by the Minneapolis City Pages:
“When contacted, the individual answering the phone identified himself as Ron Erhardt. Your affiant identified himself and reminded Rep. Erhardt of the approaching questionnaire deadline. Rep. Erhardt indicated that he did not intend to complete the survey. Your affiant, following the procedure used with each candidate, reminded Mr. Erhardt that GOCRA's policy was to give a special "F*" grade to candidates with no voting record or survey, as set out in the "How will this information be used?" section of the introduction...
Rep. Erhardt responded, yelling, "Give me a double F! No more surveys! You come near me, and I'll blow your head off!" Rep. Erhardt then disconnected the phone call. The call's duration was 78 seconds.”
Here is Rothman’s reaction to the exchange.
“Your affiant found it quite remarkable, in his experience, to be threatened in such a fashion. In his dealings with other candidates over the years, even those who are openly antagonistic to GOCRA and its efforts, the candidates' responses have been civil, mature, and professional. In his dealings with other sitting legislators, as a citizen and, now, registered lobbyist for GOCRA, he has never had a legislator act in such a manner for merely approaching him or her, reacting so explosively and with threats of violence. Your affiant noted it contemporaneously on his call log, and immediately called Bryan Strawser, executive director of GOCRA's polling partner, MNGOPAC, to report and memorialize the exchange, and to inquire whether he, or others, had experienced anything even remotely similar. To the best of affiant's information and belief, none had.”
But Rothman did not take the threat seriously and also has no plans to visit Edina.
He tells City Pages, "I have no intention of visiting Mr. Erhardt in Edina,” and continued on the GORCA webpage, writing, “We recommend anger management therapy and early retirement for this candidate.”