Joe Radinovich, the 8th Congressional District Democrat nominee, is threatening legal action in response to an attack ad that claims the candidate has a drug-related charge on his record.
A Wednesday ad produced by the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) claims that Radinovich has been charged with 18 crimes, thirty traffic violations,” and was even “charged” with “possession of drug paraphernalia.”
Radinovich is in a tight race with GOP nominee Pete Stauber, a former Duluth police officer. The most recent poll shows the race is a dead heat.
Breitbart News has identified Minnesotoa’s 8th Congressional District as one of three seats that Republicans must flip from Democrat control to maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Radinovich has addressed several of the petty misdemeanors charged to his record, blaming many of the traffic violations he faced on Hennepin County’s difficult traffic situations.
“It was tough to avoid parking tickets,” the Democrat said, as The Minnesota Sun previously reported. “I reject that they’re a character issue.”
The drug-related charge, however, dates back to Radinovich’s teenage years, and was allegedly dismissed by local officials.
“When Joe was a teenager he received a marijuana-related citation,” Campaign Manager Meredith Raimondi said. “He cooperated and took responsibility for his actions, and the officials in the case saw fit to dismiss the charges.”
The ad is now airing on several networks across Minnesota, many of which received a letter from Radinovich’s attorneys on Friday asking that they stop airing the advertisement.
Watch the controversial ad:
“Minnesota law makes it abundantly clear that in the overwhelming number of cases, Mr. Radinovich was not charged with a ‘crime’ at all, and to explicitly state otherwise is patently false,” a letter from Lockridge Grindal Nauen on behalf of Radinovich stated.
“This advertisement is false, misleading, and deceptive. We ask that you refuse to continue to air this advertisement,” the letter concludes.
Radinovich’s spokesman, Bennett Smith told The Duluth News Tribune that the campaign is “hopeful” that “because of the extreme falsity of the ad it will be taken down.”
The Democrat is pushing for “cannabis reform” on the campaign trail, stating on his website that he supports the “legalization of marijuana, both medicinally and recreationally.”
“As part of legalization, I believe we should act to expunge the criminal records of Americans who have marijuana offenses, and that we should put the revenue local governments collect from sales after legalization to good use by making stronger investments in health care and education that Minnesota families expect,” his campaign website states.
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