Tom Emmer's 2 DWIs rock GOP race for governor

Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer

"This is a letter I wish I did not have to write," began the April 20 message from Sandra Berg that made the news media rounds yesterday. "However, my sense of duty as a state convention delegate and my family's personal story compel me to do so."

What followed was an account of the injuries suffered by Berg's husband and son after they were hit by a drunken driver on Father's Day 2009.

It ended by dragging Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer's two decades-old DWI arrests out into the sunlight -- again.

Emmer's drunken driving arrests are common knowledge, he's addressed the issue before, and says he's been smeared unfairly.

Seiffert's camp, for it's part, said it happily circulated Berg's letter to make a political hit.

The endorsement takes place next Friday.

Marty Seiffert

Marty Seiffert

Here's part of Berg's letter:

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 racts 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.

Here's Seiffert campaign manager Kurt Daudt:

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.

Here's Emmer's rection:

I understand my colleague Marty Seifert and his desire to win at any cost, and I know that politics can be a contact sport for many. But even I have to say this attempt to smear my good name (in light of the fact that I have long been public with my past) reaches a new low and ignores the understanding and compassion for others in Minnesota who, after making the same mistake, have gone on to be some of the best leaders and teachers in this state.

Is Emmer right?