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Eye On Boise

Labrador: ‘This is a lie’

You can read my full story here about Congressman Walt Minnick’s latest campaign commercial, which is out today and replaces both of his earlier ads; the new one, like one of the earlier ones, faults Minnick’s GOP challenger, Raul Labrador, on immigration. Labrador decried the new ad as “deceptive” and “intentionally misleading;” Minnick’s campaign defended it as “informational” and “the truth.”

Meanwhile, Minnick also launched a radio ad that’s similar to the new TV ad but longer, with former U.S. Marshal for Idaho Mike Johnson talking about illegal immigration and about a do-it-yourself immigration law website Labrador operated until three years ago. In the radio ad, Johnson says, “Raul Labrador profited on immigration by selling documents to people they could have gotten for free,” a claim Minnick himself also made this week in an op-piece distributed to Idaho newspapers that editorialized against his earlier immigration ad. “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 wrote in the op-ed article.

Labrador sharply disputed that point, and said he never sold official immigration forms. “This is a lie,” Labrador said today. “It’s a complete fabrication. … I did not sell documents people could have gotten for free. I included forms, but that’s not what I was selling.” The do-it-yourself immigration law packets focused on instructions, Labrador said. “They had instructions on how to fill out the forms and included the forms for the convenience,” he said, “and it also sent them to the USCIS website so they could get the latest forms, just in case forms had changed.” He said, “They’re trying to say that I was trying to dupe people - it’s not true.”

Minnick’s campaign pointed to an Associated Press article about Labrador’s website, which said, “Some packets included forms seeking the same information as a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services questionnaire would ask, though the materials noted that would use the information to fill in the federal application forms.” It also provided copies of a federal form and a form from one of Labrador’s packets that sought identical information.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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