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Republican attack ad in Minnesota has exquisitely bad timing

A negative mailer backfires on the GOP.

CREDIT: Donald Trump on Twitter
CREDIT: Donald Trump on Twitter

As people around the country learned about the possibility self-proclaimed 10 billion dollar man Donald Trump hasn’t paid income taxes in nearly two decades over the weekend, some in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota received this mailer from the state Republican party:

Trump’s circumstances are different from what the Minnesota Republican Party alleges about Democratic state House challenger John Huot. Trump reportedly could have avoided paying income taxes for 20 years because of arcane tax rules and a $900 million loss he claimed in 1995. Minnesota Republicans allege in the mailer that Huot was delinquent.

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Still, the question posed on the front of the Republican mailer — “Would you trust someone who didn’t pay his own taxes to protect our tax dollars?” — is clearly applicable to the candidate at the top of the GOP ticket.

During the first presidential debate last week, Trump said his ability to avoid paying taxes makes him “smart.” It’s unclear whether Minnesota Republican Party chair Keith Downey agrees.

Asked by the Minneapolis Star Tribune to comment on a story about Trump’s taxes, Downey demurred.

“I won’t weigh into that,” Downey said. “We’re so focused on our state level races, we have enough going on.”

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During a question-and-answer session with journalists last month, Downey said the prospect of Trump being elected presents “a huge risk” and worried about him trying to “install a bit of an imperial presidency.” But Downey supports Trump nonetheless.