What Tom Emmer learned from his DWIs


Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer sat down with us in his home for an extensive interview about his life.  It’s part of our Almanac tradition of doing deep biographies of all the candidates which will air in the fall.  We took on some tough topics and later in the day Emmer walked through the Capitol Press Corps to deal head on with those topics including his DWIs and opposition to 35W victim compensation fund. 

As some had predicted, we did ask Emmer what he learned from the DWIs.  He said it’s about “being responsible, when you make a mistake don’t run from it, run to it, address it, make sure you’re doing the right things.”  I followed up with asking “How did you address it, did you stop drinking, do you not drink anymore?”  Emmer did not answer that directly but said “This is not about that history, I’ve addressed it by making sure I don’t make the mistakes that we’ve made in the past.  We’re talking about another lifetime ago.”

We also spoke with Emmer’s parents, wife and children who will reveal a whole different personal side of the candidate.  But you’ll have to wait for that until after we know the Democrat and Independent he’ll face and we’ll profile them as well this fall. 

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Robert Langford on 07/30/2010 - 11:25 am.

    Tom Emmer must have misheard the question. To suggest that he was “being responsible when you make a mistake” (the first DUI) and “make sure you are doing the right thing” surely means you do not get two (2) DUIs, doesn’t it? I hope Mary asked him about his everyday work. I do not know if he is a “small businessman” like the ads portray, or a “lawyer” with quite different functions and ethical responsibilities. Or does he just try to avoid the perjorative that is heard when the right wants to paint someone as unethical and grubby? Do we know after this interview whether Emmer still drinks, despite his bad luck in getting caught? Hope the rest of the interview is more than just Emmer general theory talk.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/30/2010 - 11:36 am.

    Or does he mean that his ‘mistake’ was getting caught?

  3. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 07/30/2010 - 12:22 pm.

    It is very obvious that Mr. Emmer is not addressing anything now that he has not addressed before. He’s evading some (biographical) issues, and hoping discussions about his legislative positions on DWI, etc. end here.

    But, I’d like to commend him for not putting his foot in his mouth and setting pitfalls for himself. Silence or a non-committal and vague position sometimes pays off especially with an electorate that is not alert.

  4. Submitted by Tony George on 08/02/2010 - 07:32 am.

    Apparently Emmer learned that even with two drunk driving convictions, you can still work to reduce the penalty for drunk driving.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/02/2010 - 08:58 am.

    If you’re going to slam someone’s positions, it’s usually a good idea to know a little something of the issue before hand lest you leave the impression that you’re an uninformed bag of gas.

    Emmer’s proposal in no way reduced penalties for a DWI conviction; Tom simply believes we are all entitled to due process and that “innocent until proven guilty” is a concept worth preserving.

  6. Submitted by Tommy Johnson on 08/02/2010 - 09:20 am.

    It’s simply amazing that such an ardent defender of Bush The Lesser would talk about “concepts worth preserving.”

    After all, it was Bush The Lesser’s AG, Alberto Gonzales, that infamously claimed our Constitution provides no right to Habeas Corpus for American Citizens.


    Perhaps Mr. Swift can provide a citation for where his selectively beloved Constitution guarantees the right to drive?

    Besides his imagination, that is…

  7. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/02/2010 - 09:44 pm.

    Did Emmer ever stand up and sign the “No new taxes” pledge from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota? Or is he reserving his ‘right’ to some moral flexibility?

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