Port: Sen. Cramer reports Hazen man for making violent threats, calls him a 'menace to society'
"We are concerned about the safety and well-being of Sen. Cramer and his family in response to Michael Quinn’s violent and hostile pattern of behavior," a spokesman for Cramer said.
MINOT, N.D. — A North Dakota man who was involved in an aggressive incident with Sen. Kevin Cramer in 2017 has been charged with trespassing after he refused to leave a Republican Party facility in Payson, Arizona.
The 2017 incident, which happened at an open-to-the-public town hall event and involved Quinn pushing Cramer as he tried to stuff money in his pocket , made national headlines. "I was out of my mind with anger," Mike Quinn of Hazen, North Dakota, told The Washington Post at the time .
Quinn, a former candidate for the state Legislature for the Democratic-NPL, later apologized to Cramer during an interview with both men on my radio show in May, 2017, but Quinn has re-emerged with troubling behavior in recent weeks.
According to Cramer, Quinn called his office and told an intern that he's going to “punch Cramer in the face” the next time they see each other.
Cramer's office confirmed the call to me, and indicated that the situation has been turned over to federal authorities for investigation.
“We can confirm that we have received at least one phone call from Michael Quinn, which threatened violence against Sen. Cramer, in recent weeks," Cramer spokeswoman Molly Block told me. "It is currently under active investigation by federal law enforcement. We are concerned about the safety and well-being of Sen. Cramer and his family in response to Michael Quinn’s violent and hostile pattern of behavior.”
A week after that phone call, Quinn was cited for trespassing in Arizona.
According to a police report from the Payson Police Department, which I obtained through an open records request, Quinn entered the local GOP headquarters and began an argument about gun control and mass shootings.
After party staff asked him to leave, Quinn refused, and the police were called.
Per the report, police reviewed a video recording of the incident, and cited Quinn.
"It is clear in the video that Michael was asked numerous times by the manager, Lori, who had authority to remove people to trespass them from the property," Sgt. M. McAnerny wrote in his June 2, 2022, report. "Michael acknowledged to me that he had been trespassed and asked to leave and did not."
According to court records, Quinn has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on July 11.
I spoke with Quinn and asked about the threatening phone call described by Cramer and his staff. "Absolutely a lie," he said, denying he made the call. "There's no truth in that."
In a subsequent call, Quinn acknowledged he called, but suggested the threat was a misunderstanding. He said the person he was talking to asked if he was the one who hit Cramer at the town hall event. Quinn said he denied hitting Cramer, but may have said "I wish I would have."
As for the incident in Arizona, Quinn said he was upset because his daughter had called him telling him his daughter's school had been locked down over a gun-related incident. "It upset me that my granddaughter was scared to go to school," he said. "I decided to go in [to the GOP facility] to see what they had to say for themselves."
He conceded that he was asked to leave and refused — when I asked him why he didn't leave when asked he said "I should have" — but said he thinks the matter will "go away."
"I could get these people to come into court and embarrass the hell out of them," Quinn said, adding that Payson is a "very redneck area."
Quinn also told me that the local GOP had filed for a restraining order against him, but claimed the order was obtained on false pretenses.
Cramer, who once accepted Quinn's apology for the 2017 incident, doesn't agree that these are small matters.
"We’re living in a time when the Left’s public rhetoric is no longer political speech but has turned quickly to assault. When public bullying comes from a violent person threatening violence against me or my family, I’m not going to take it casually," he told me. "Criminals need to be treated like criminals. Michael Quinn is a menace to society and he has been coddled for far too long. He is a serious threat and needs to be dealt with as such.”