Seifert and Emmer start trading blows

Precinct caucuses are less than a day away and two of the Republican candidates for governor are starting ramp up their attacks of one another.

Marty Seifert sent out a lit piece last week that criticized Tom Emmer for voting against an amendment that would have required Hennepin County hold a voter referendum on a sales tax increase to fund a new Twins ballpark.

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In the lit piece, Seifert targets Emmer and Democrats Tom Rukavina, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza for voting against an amendment that would require a referendum.

Emmer’s campaign immediately responded with a campaign e-mail to supporters. In it, GOP state Rep. Mark Buesgens, how is the chair of the Emmer for Governor campaign, criticized Seifert for the lit piece and went after him for voting for the Health Impact Fee and the renewable energy mandate:

Seifert recently resorted to what unfortunately happens when campaigns get desperate: negative campaigning. First we saw a whisper campaign that was quickly stopped and condemned by their campaign. Now Seifert is attacking on the phones and through the mail to potential caucus attendees, with the first hit criticizing Tom’s vote on a referendum. I’m glad Marty is criticizing Tom for standing up and taking the tough vote instead of passing the buck to the voters or another body of government. I hope he continues to attack on other issues that define their differences such as the cap and trade vote or the vote to raise the cigarette “fee.”

That response prompted Seifert supporter Howard Hamilton, CEO of MicroControl, to point out that the bill including the Health Impact Fee on cigarettes also included anti-abortion legislation (the unborn child protection act).

Some chose to vote against the bill and thus cast an anti-tax but anti-life vote. Some chose to vote for the bill and cast a pro-life yet pro-tax increase vote.

Thus, those Republican activists who blast Seifert for choosing to cast a pro-life vote either don’t understand the issue or choose to obfuscate the issue.

Conservative hero Congresswoman Michele Bachmann chose to vote in the same manner as Seifert. When her opponents for the Republican endorsement for Congress attacked her on the issue, Bachmann famously declared that she would vote pro-life at every turn.

(On a humorous side note, Bachmann employee Jack Tomczak blasted Seifert’s vote on his Facebook page and then backtracked furiously after it was pointed out that his boss voted the same way.)

Will Emmer supporters in the Sixth District start demanding that someone attempt to wrest the GOP endorsement from Bachmann because of her vote “for” the tobacco tax?

The same holds true for 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen. Any Emmer supporters want to dump him from the GOP?

How about state Senator Mike Jungbauer, who has endorsed Emmer? He voted the same way in 2005. Will Emmer supporters in Senate District 48 attempt to oust him over this vote?

The two candidates are obviously working to secure undecided voters at tomorrow’s precinct caucuses. Will the attacks get sharper leading up to April’s convention.