With the Republican State Convention a little over a week away, Marty Seifert's campaign is attacking attention rival Tom Emmer for his two prior DWI arrests.
An e-mail sent out by Seifert's campaign this afternoon includes a letter from Republican activist and state delegate Sandra Berg whose husband and son were badly injured after their car was struck by a drunken driver last year.
In the letter, Berg writes,
"Our choice for the next Republican endorsee for governor is an extremely serious matter. It is important that we delegates are aware of important, relevant facts before the Republican state convention. To hold these facts back and instead allow the Democrats, the Star Tribune or other news media to air out the facts in a general election campaign would be a supreme disservice to our party.
The fact is one of the major candidates asking for our endorsement for governor has been arrested for drunk driving. Twice."
Click here to Download Berg Letter
A quick Google search shows that Emmer's DWI record has already been reported on by several media outlets. Here is a Star Tribune story from March 29. According to the article, Emmer received a DWI-related ticket in 1981 and faced DWI charges again in 1991 when he was 30. Emmer pleaded guilty to careless driving and the two DWI charges and a license plate violation were dropped.
Berg's letter goes on to criticize Emmer for supporting legislation that would soften the state's DWI penalties.
Seifert's campaign issued the following statement:
"Republican activist and state convention delegate Sandra Berg’s family was victimized by a drunk driver. As a result, she was moved to share important information with fellow Republican state convention delegates about Tom Emmer’s record: two past DWI arrests; his efforts in 2009 as a legislator to weaken the state’s DWI laws and cover up the fact he broke them; and not sharing this information when asked about a possible “October surprise” at a recent candidate forum.
Sandra’s letter provides factual information about a vital issue for the delegates to consider: the electability and credibility of candidates. At her request, the Seifert campaign distributed her letter.
While there is much in common between Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer on the issues, there are differences too. Marty will continue to run an issues-based, substantive campaign to lead Minnesota forward."
Emmer's campaign responded by accusing Seifert of reaching a "new low" in campaigning.
“We’re all used to October surprises by the Democrats, but we never thought Marty would sink so low to launch this April surprise against a fellow Republican at the last minute before the convention,” said Rep. Mark Buesgens, Chairman of the Emmer for Governor Campaign. “The fact is that Tom has been upfront with delegates about this issue. They were the subject of a newspaper article last year and Tom has been very forthcoming about his actions to anyone who asked.”