Tom Emmer's drunken driving past slammed in new ad [VIDEO]

Drunken driving arrests in a candidate's past are kind of like a gun on stage in the first act. It's a safe bet that as the story unfolds, the DWIs, like the gun, are going to come into play. And so it goes: A new ad released yesterday from the progressive Alliance for a Better Minnesota tackles Emmer's drunken driving history head on, with a woman who lost her son to a drunk driver expressing shock that someone with a record such as Emmer's would run for governor.

It's not the first time the issue has come up in this cycle. Marty Siefert tried to use Tom Emmer's DWIs against him in the race for the GOP endorsement, but the personal attacks didn't get him anywhere.

Whether the attack will play any better this time around remains to be seen, but in a state where one in seven drivers has a DWI on record, at least some voters may have some compassion for the GOP candidate.

As the most personal salvo fired across party lines so far, the ad could also signal the start of the ugly part of the campaign. Emmer isn't the only one running for a governor with skeletons in his closet. Democratic candidate Mark Dayton has acknowledged his history of alcoholism and depression.

Minnesota GOP chair Tony Sutton said in December that Dayton's personal problems were "not relevant" to the campaign. We'll have to see how long that lasts if the left keeps hammering Emmer on his drunken driving.

Here's the ad:

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