Tom Emmer sponsored a law to reduce penalties for drunk drivers.
Tom Emmer never introduced legislation to reduce penalties for drunk drivers.
This is an old charge first leveled by a liberal blogger. It was later picked up by the Star Tribune in a story back in March 2009. It was also used as an attack by Tom’s opponent in the Republican endorsement for governor in May 2010.
At the request of local prosecutors, Rep. Emmer agreed to author their bill to reform the court system and how DWIs are handled. The legislation prepared by the prosecutors and other interested parties with the assistance of nonpartisan House research staff would have provided incentives for early and immediate prosecution of first-time offenders.
Currently, drivers arrested for DWI simply petition the court to get their license back. It was never the intent of the legislation to change the way drivers arrested for DWI were treated. In fact, the goal was to eliminate unnecessary costs in the court system and allow prosecutors to spend more time actually prosecuting drunk drivers.
The DFL chairman of the legislative committee that heard the bill was not concerned with Rep. Emmer’s driving record as it related to his proposal. He actually helped Emmer pass the bill, saying “When I look at the bill, I’m going to look at the bill independent of any record from the author, especially if it’s from 1991.”
The attack represents a new low in this campaign. Millions of dollars in negative campaign advertisements have already been spent against Tom Emmer. Never before has so much been spent against a candidate this early in the campaign.
Fortunately, most Minnesota voters are enjoying their summer and will reject these personal negative attacks.
Hear Tom Emmer speak in his own words about this issue: