DFL 3rd District congressional candidate Ashwin Madia had his own press conference today. He responded to questions raised yesterday by his Republican opponent Erik Paulsen’s campaign about Madia’s ties to the Minneapolis suburbs.
Madia responds to experience questions.
Madia called the charges that he lacks sufficient suburban life experience “bizarre.” State Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, leveled that criticism yesterday on behalf of the Paulsen campaign. He said Madia will have trouble understanding the problems facing suburban families, because Madia, 30, hasn’t raised children or had to pay a mortgage.
“I find it slightly unnerving that people who have no problem sending 17- and 18-year-old kids 10,000 miles to fight and die in this war have such a problem sending a 30-year-old a few hundred miles to help end this war,” said Madia, who served in Iraq as a Marine Corps lawyer.
Michel clarified his statement today, saying his concerns also include Madia’s lack of legislative experience. Michel and Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey spoke with reporters after Madia did.
In response to reporters’ questions, Madia said he would “probably” have voted for the Wall Street bailout package that went down to defeat Monday in the U.S. House. Madia said the vote should have been delayed, and he is still hoping for a bill with more protections for tax payers and oversight outside the Treasury Department.
Independence Party candidate David Dillon says he would have voted against the package. He thinks Congress should “tee up” a bailout bill, but not start buying up mortgage-backed securities unless credit markets freeze up.
As of this posting, the Paulsen campaign has not said which way he would have voted on Monday’s bill. At a debate last week, Paulsen raised concerns about the bailout’s hefty price tag, and said at that point “I don’t think I would be supporting it.” Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, who holds the seat Paulsen, Madia and Dillon are seeking, voted against Monday’s bill.
Madia also said there is nothing he can do about the negative ads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running against Paulsen. KSTP has fact-checked a DCCC TV ad, giving it a ‘D,’ and it flunked a DCCC mailer accusing Paulsen of accepting campaign donations raised at a Las Vegas strip club.
By law, Madia cannot coordinate with the DCCC and he has no control over what ads they run.
“I wish there was something I could do about them, but there’s not,” Madia said of the ads. “To the extent that they’re inaccurate, I condemn them.”
Madia didn’t say he believed the ads were inaccurate, and his campaign has also raised the strip club money accusation.