Yesterday news broke that a Spirit Lake Indian Reservation official had accused Rep. Kevin Cramer of “threats of violence” and “verbal abuse” during a discussion over his concerns about the Violence Against Women Act.
The woman, one Melissa Merrick, posted her version of events online but so far that version hasn’t been corroborated by anyone else. Rep. Cramer has disputed the veracity of the account as well.
What’s interesting is that Merrick is something of a left-wing activist on the reservation. She’s been a volunteer for the Barack Obama campaign, but more than that, she’s made baseless accusations against conservatives in the past. Which I should have remembered when her name popped up, because I’m the one she accused.
In the 2010 election cycle I wrote about offers of gas cards and flat-screen televisions being made to get people in the Spirit Lake Reservation to the polls. Under state law, compensating people for voting is illegal, and agree or disagree with me I found the program problematic.
As a result of my criticism, I was accused by Merrick and state Democrat party officials of having gone to the Spirit Lake Reservation to hang up signs with fraudulent voting information.
Or, at least, having bankrolled the operation. Because a ream of paper and some scotch tape needs bankrolling, I guess?
There was no truth to the rumors. I’ve only been to the Spirit Lake reservation twice, both times have been since 2010, and I think someone on the reservation might have noticed the portly white guy walking around hanging up phony voting signs. If said signs ever existed in the first place. But that’s beside the point.
What’s clear is that Merrick is an operative. A political professional. She’s made false allegations in the past, and that calls into question her credibility when it comes to the allegations she’s making against Rep. Kevin Cramer (especially given some of the more outlandish claims made in her online comments).