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Exclusive — ‘Possession of Drug Paraphernalia’ and Dozens of Other Charges: Ad Exposes Minnesota Democrat’s Brushes with Law

Anti-Joe Radinovich Ad
Congressional Leadership Fund
Washington, D.C.

A brutal new ad will hit Democrat Joe Radinovich in Minnesota over his history with criminal convictions, license suspensions, and having been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, Breitbart News has learned.

The ad, from the House GOP leadership-backed Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), is perhaps one of the most brutal this cycle. It literally shows an illegal aluminum foil drug-smoking device to illustrate how Radinovich was charged by police back on Feb. 4, 2005, with possession of drug paraphernalia.

But that’s not all: The ad counts off Radinovich’s 18 various criminal charges, dozens of traffic violations, multiple driver’s license suspensions, and argues that this Democrat is not fit to serve in Congress due to his record.

The ad, titled “Fast Times” and provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release, is available to view here:

“Joe Radinovich wants to go to Congress to make laws, but he’s spent his life running from the law,” CLF spokesman Michael Byerly said in a statement accompanying the ad. “Radinovich’s run-ins with the law include 18 different crimes, five drivers’ license suspensions, even a possession of drug paraphernalia charge. Joe Radinovich isn’t fit to serve in Congress. Minnesota families deserve better.”

Court records obtained by Breitbart News show that Radinovich was charged on Feb. 4, 2005, with possession of prohibited drug paraphernalia and he pled “not guilty” on March 21, 2005. The case went to trial on July 6, 2005, and Radinovich received what is known as a “continued for dismissal” disposition on the drug paraphernalia charge.

In Minnesota, prosecuting attorneys will sometimes offer a continuance for dismissal on charges pending compliance by the defendant with certain terms for a period of time when the case is later dismissed. Per the court records, Radinovich agreed to comply with random drug testing at his own expense. But those records also show Radinovich—a month after receiving the continuance—received a delinquent payment notice.

Two months after the continuance on the drug charge, Radinovich’s driver’s license was suspended. In December 2005, Radinovich was found guilty of driving without a license—while it was suspended. Later, in 2006 and 2007, he was convicted and found guilty of driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license in two separate incidents.

The traffic cases have already come up in previous ads, and fact-checkers have agreed that Radinovich has a problem there. The new revelation here is the drug charges.

The fact that Radinovich has emerged as the Democratic nominee for Congress in Minnesota’s eighth congressional district despite with all this in his history is fairly remarkable. Democrats nationwide are riding a grassroots wave of hatred for President Donald Trump and attempting to use that fuel from resistance to Trump to win key House districts and retake the majority for the first time in nearly a decade. But, failure to vet candidates produces weaker general election prospects in places that have emerged as national battlegrounds like Minnesota’s eighth district, where Radinovich faces Republican Pete Stauber on Nov. 6.

This particular district has one of the unique characteristics of being one of the few districts in America where Republicans have an opportunity to flip a currently Democrat-controlled seat to GOP control. Currently represented by Democrat Rep.

Rick Nolan (D-MN), the eighth is a district in which Trump crushed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. Nolan, who vacated his congressional seat to run a failed-in-the-primary campaign for Lieutenant Governor, nearly lost the seat in 2016, winning by less than a full percent. Trump, though, got 54 percent of the vote as compared with Clinton’s meager 39 percent—a drubbing for a district that has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate over a Democratic candidate for president in the last several elections except 2016.

Trump and several Republicans traveled to Minnesota earlier in the summer to campaign with Stauber to give him a boost in the key House race. Trump’s Duluth rally, where Stauber also spoke, was a major success for the GOP:

This new ad hitting the airwaves in Minnesota on Wednesday comes from CLF, a super PAC endorsed by House GOP leaders Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The organization has offices in dozens of key battleground districts nationwide, including in Minnesota’s eighth district.

This particular race is a major battleground, as a new New York Times/Siena College poll shows Radinovich up one point over Stauber inside the survey’s margin of error. Radinovich, at 44 percent, leads Stauber, at 43 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

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