Campaign Notebook by The Associated Press


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.”

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.

Wetterling is running for an open seat against GOP state Sen. Michele Bachmann and Independence Party candidate John Binkowski.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)