No rest for the weary in House 5B. The Minnesota GOP today accused House 5B DFL nominee Carly Melin of residency violation, which is the same tack used against former Rep. and IRRRB commissioner Tony Sertich in 2000 when he first ran. Melin, who moved back to Hibbing last year to take a job with the Minnesota judiciary, currently lives with her family in Hibbing. She is a legal resident of Hibbing and eligible to run.
The operative difference between Melin circa 2011 and Sertich circa 2000, however, is that Melin moved back to take a job with no immediate intention of running for office. Hibbing’s own Tony Sutton, state Republican chair, nevertheless makes the hay:
DFLer Voted In August 10, 2010 Primary As St. Paul ResidentSt. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb today called on Democrat Carly Melin to come clean with the voters of House District 5B regarding questions about her residency.“Is DFL candidate Carly Melin trying to pull a fast one on the voters of House District 5B? While Melin now claims she lives with her parents, state records show she may have a serious residency problem. According to state law, ‘Candidates for the legislature must meet legislative residency requirements when elected. This means that at the time of the general election, a candidate for the legislature must have resided in the state for one year and must have resided in the legislative district for six months.’“Melin voted in the August 10 primary election as a St. Paul resident, which means Melin would have had just five days to move to House District 5B in time to meet the state’s residency requirement for legislative candidates. It’s time Melin came clean with the voters of House District 5B,” Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton stated.“Everyone knows Melin doesn’t have the experience to lead. Now we find out her candidacy may not even be legal under state law. We need to get to the bottom of this situation,” said Republican Party of Minnesota Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb.
The DFL response gets to the bottom rather quickly.
GOP Launches Desperate Attacks Instead of Focusing on Real Issues Like Job Creation
DFL candidate Carly Melin fully meets residency requirements
ST. PAUL (February 2, 2011) — Today, Republicans launched an unfounded residency challenge in the special election in legislative district 5B, leaving facts on the sidelines and lobbing attacks at DFL candidate Carly Melin instead of focusing on the issues.
“The residency requirement in Minnesota is clear: a candidate must live in their district for six months prior to the special election. Carly Melin meets that requirement,” said Jay Benanav, attorney for the DFL Party. “Carly graduated from law school in May, took the bar in St. Paul in July, accepted a job in Hibbing on August 9th and moved back to the district on August 11th. Those are the facts, and there is no question that she is legally able to run for office.”
Melin, who won the DFL nomination in yesterday’s primary election, attended law school and took the bar exam in St. Paul before moving home with her family in Hibbing. Bar-review courses, along with the Minnesota State Bar exam, are only offered in the Twin Cities.
“Carly has done what we want all Minnesotans to do – stay in Minnesota, receive a quality education, then return home to give back to her community. But rather than applauding her commitment to service, the Republican Party is throwing stones trying to gain the political upper hand instead of relying on the merits of their own candidate,” said State Chair Brian Melendez. “It’s just another example of misplaced priorities of the Republican Party – launch false attacks instead of focusing on issues that matter.”
Those of us hoping to turn back time to 2000 finally get our wish. Except this time we’re older and fatter. Yay, us!