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NRCC smear backfires

The NRCC has sent out at least three mailings (here's the third) claiming that Patty Wetterling "failed to vote in three elections." The AP does some checking and finds that it's a damn dirty lie:

The National Republican Congressional Committee claimed in a brochure sent to 6th District voters this week that Democratic candidate Patty Wetterling failed to vote in three big election years, including 2004.

The hitch? Wetterling voted in both the primary and general elections that year, when she made her first run for Congress in the suburban and exurban district.

NRCC Press Secretary Jonathan Collegio cited Wetterling's voting record from the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, which shows no evidence of her voting in a March 2004 presidential preference ballot.

But that's because there are no official voting records on anyone from that ballot, which was conducted by the political parties at precinct caucuses, said Kent Kaiser, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office. News reports said scrap paper and Post-It notes were used as ballots in some busy precincts.

Wetterling accused Republicans of lying about her voting record.

"They're trying to say that I didn't vote for myself in '04," she said in a prepared statement issued Tuesday. "I think the 6th District knows better than to believe that."

This was a BS attack from the start. The other elections (2000, 2002) were primary elections. I didn't vote in the primary this year; less than 16% of Minnesotans did. I hope this doesn't disqualify me from running for public office.

In all likelihood, a majority of those who prepared this ad didn't vote in the primaries, either.

And, please-- not voting in the nonbinding "presidential preference ballot" at the caucuses?

Collegio on Wednesday said the NRCC won't back off its claim. The record shows that Wetterling didn't vote in the 2000 or 2002 primary elections.

"If Patty Wetterling wants to produce documentation showing that she did in fact vote in the 2004 presidential preference ballot, then we will take a look at it," he said.

I did vote in this ballot in 2004. Of course, there will be no record of this, because we voted on slips of paper. The ballots were counted by hand and, to my knowledge, a person's vote was not recorded anywhere.

Patty Wetterling should sue the NRCC for libel.