Idaho politics: Minnick labels another charge about Labrador's work in immigration law

Rep. Walt Minnick isn't backing off of his criticism of Republican opponent Raul Labrador's work in immigration law.

In a guest opinion, the 1st District Democratic incumbent defends his controversial TV ad criticizing Labrador, and adds a new wrinkle: Minnick says Labrador sold his clients immigration documents that they could have received through the government.

"Raul’s business website sold immigration documents that could be obtained for free from the U.S. government, taking advantage of those who did not know better," Minnick writes in his guest opinion.

Minnick didn't make this claim in his TV ad, but campaign manager John Foster says it isn't a new issue. He says the Associated Press wrote about the issue in June, in an article about rapidimmigration.com, a company that provided self-help kits in legal immigration.

"Some packets included forms seeking the same information as a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services questionnaire would ask, though the materials noted that rapidimmigration.com would use the information to fill in the federal application forms," the Associated Press reported in June.

Labrador accused Minnick of lying, saying his company did not sell government forms — but instead sold step-by-step instructions on how customers could fill out government immigration forms. "(Minnick is) willing to say anything to get re-elected."

Here is a full comment from the Labrador campaign:

This is yet another attempt by Walt Minnick to deflect or attempt to divert attention from a meaningful, legitimate debate on a relevant campaign issue — as he has done on virtually every issue of this campaign. He is feeling the heat for running a mean-spirited, deceitful TV ad incessantly and he and his campaign continues to grasp at straws in a disgraceful attempt to defend the indefensible.

His own position on illegal immigration is just one major issue he’s avoided — the biggest are joblessness in America, as well as the explosion of the national debt under the Democrat majority, which he is responsible for due to his vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker. Raul Labrador wants to talk about all the issues, particularly jobs and our national debt. But instead the people of Idaho are subjected to yet another attempt by Walt Minnick to denigrate his opponent for his profession that reduces us all as concerned citizens.

Here's the Minnick guest opinion in full:

Facts are stubborn things.

We may wish they are not true. We may find them distasteful. We may even be
told that the facts themselves are not as they seem.

But facts they are, and no amount of political spin or media misreporting can change the facts.

Such is the case with Raul Labrador.

Advertisements about my opponent in the Nov. 2 election have stirred up some controversy, including on these editorial pages.

Some in the media and liberal blogs don’t like the straightforward, tough look at Raul’s own record and background, the two things he specifically points to as his main qualifications for office.

Although he claims to counsel illegal immigrants that they must leave the country before he can help them, in 2008 he told a gathering that half his clients have some sort of illegal status.

Records from the U.S. Justice Department show that he has represented hundreds of people facing deportation.

Raul’s business website sold immigration documents that could be obtained for free from the U.S. government, taking advantage of those who did not know better.

Before he ran for Congress he described his views on immigration as “to the left.”

And while Raul apparently does believe that our immigration system is broken, he did joke — even brag — about the “good living” he makes from that system.

Everyone facing criminal charges in this country has a constitutional right to representation by a lawyer. But it is hypocritical of Raul to claim he opposes “amnesty” and demand deportations when he earns his living by defending those here illegally who face just that.

He can’t have it both ways.

Raul himself has not publicly refuted any specific part of my advertising, and has only complained about quotes being “taken out of context.” He may believe that to be true, but I believe the advertising speaks for itself.

I am the first to agree that Raul, as an immigration attorney, is obligated to offer his clients the absolute best defense possible within the ethical standards and norms established by the legal profession.

However, there should be close scrutiny of Raul for running for office and saying one thing about immigration after doing the opposite in his professional life.
Walt Minnick is the incumbent candidate for 1st Congressional District.

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Walt Minnick is just plain

Walt Minnick is just plain wrong about this part:

"Everyone facing criminal charges in this country has a constitutional right to representation by a lawyer. But it is hypocritical of Raul to claim he opposes “amnesty” and demand deportations when he earns his living by defending those here illegally who face just that."

Providing legal representation to people who need it is not the same as supporting "amnesty." By conflating the two distinct points, Walt is showing a complete misunderstanding of immigration law. Or if he does understand immigration law, then he's being the worst sort of politician.

Labrador has admitted he supports amnesty

It is hypocritical for Labrador to claim he opposed amnesty then go on Univision and state that he wants people to take a quick trip home, already promised that they would be able to return and have a path to citizenship when they do -- i.e., amnesty for the price of a plane ticket.

Minnick a no show on illegal immigration

Where is Congressman Minnick's voting record on immigration?

It's disingenuous of Minnick to want to (mis)inform voters about Labrador's record on immigration when he himself has not lifted a congressional finger on this issue. He takes cheap shots at Labrador's profession as an immigration lawyer to infer that he would be tough on illegal immigrants, but campaign rhetoric is not the equivalent of legislative action which Minnick has so far failed to produce after nearly two years in Congress.

AND has there

And has there been any legislative action in Congress or the House of Representatives on immigration upon which Minnick could vote in the two years he has been there? There has been legislation before a committee but has there been any introduced on the floor of the house for vote or discussion? NO.

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=436 check yourself.

Minnick's silence

Has Minnick been prohibited from introducing legislation? It would have been appropriate for him to counter the very liberal legislation introduced by Gutierrez (D - Ill) with something more acceptable to Blue Dogs and Republicans, particularly since the President said he wanted an immigration bill this year, not next year.

Where does Minnick stand on the Dream Act which may come up again in a lame duck session or early next year?

Where does Minnick the lawyer and congressman stand on the federal government suing Arizona?

Has Minnick expressed an opinion about the Arizona law? With at least 11 other states considering similar legislation, it would be nice to know what he thinks.

And has Minnick done anything wrong other than this?

Is the one trick pony going to help your cause?

Think about it. If you could come up with more transgressions your friends, neighbors and fellow Idahoans could latch on to,what might happen?

So far it's been little else other than that advertisement.

I know how strongly you feel about your government so why cripple your contributions to the change you so badly dream of?

I'm SERIOUS. I really can't criticize you without looking goofy or something if you don't present a strong and brilliant attack.

Then you start arguing about crap such as my signature when you have few otner ideas. That has to make me sad. I can't be the sharpest tool in this shed much less count on you to keep life running smoothly for the rest of my family across Idaho! My parents don't want to move here, their families live there TOO.

We argue so badly here and just how many actually read us here? Are we arguing to ourselves? When KR brings this thread to the main site, we won't be there, our comments won't carry over. A different mix will take it possibly in a different direction.

I'm telling you...if you want Walt GONE one liners won't make a good joke of him.

You cannot say I won't try to help you now.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

Answer to your question is yes

But you know how Kevin hates it when our comments are off topic.

As far as I'm concerned, Minnick's votes for Pelosi as Speaker and for the financial regulation bill which will give us a huge new federal agency and its latest czar (Elizabeth Warren makes Pelosi look conservative) cancelled his nay votes on stimulus, cap and trade, and healthcare.

It should come as no surprise that Minnick has received $10,000 from the American Bankers Assoc. and $10,000 from Goldman Sachs.

Kevin is French or whatever and at least he doesn't use Latin.

For all he says about openmindedness, Dan Popkey lets it work.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne