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Flashback: Emmer Had Past DWIs -- And Sponsored Bills To Soften DWI Laws

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A month after the Star Tribune article, Emmer also authored a legislative amendment, adopted by the state House, to seal information on DUI convictions after 10 years, for all new convictions going forward. Although the amendment passed the House, it was later dropped in the state House-Senate conference committee. It should also be noted, as the local CBS affiliate pointed out, that this would not have applied to Emmer's own past record. His past convictions would not have been sealed.

Back during the contest this past April for the state GOP convention's endorsement (a process that is usually tantamount to nomination, by custom in Minnesota), Emmer was attacked for these proposals and his past record by his main GOP opponent, state Rep. Marty Seifert.

Seifert's campaign went so far as to distribute to convention delegates a letter from a pro-Seifert delegate whose husband and son had been injured by a drunk driver. The delegate wrote: "I won't question Tom Emmer's motives in sponsoring these pieces of legislation. As an elected representative of his district, he is within his rights to author bills on any subject he likes. As a lawyer, he also undoubtedly has strongly held views on the state's civil and criminal laws. But I think it is completely legitimate for us delegates to question his judgment as a politician and public figure. Was it wise for multiple offender Tom Emmer to sponsor these bills as a legislator?"

In response, Emmer posted a YouTube video in which he bluntly discussed having made past mistakes, what a difficult experience it was for him, and how he changed his direction in life:

Emmer went on to win the state party's endorsement, thanks in part to a late endorsement from Sarah Palin, and was then endorsed by Seifert, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the rest of the state GOP.

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