The Facebook photos Tom Emmer doesn't want you to see

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The acorn doesn't fall from the tree
Minnesota's Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer put his family front and center in his first television ad, his 20-year-old son Tripp making the pitch that his father is "always talking about cutting taxes and reforming government."

But City Pages has obtained Facebook photos of Tripp drinking at 19, two years away from the legal age to do so. Given Emmer's own controversial past with drinking--he has two DWIs and has championed the rights of DWI offenders in the Statehouse--it's no wonder the photos were scrubbed before dad announced his campaign for governor.

Apparently Tripp didn't learn his lesson: Just last month he pleaded guilty to underage drinking.

In the Emmer ad, the kids talk about their dad's ideas for cutting taxes and boosting job creation. The camera cuts to all three boys doing chores, and Tripp is shown taking out the trash.

Here's Tripp as he appears in the ad:

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But there's something about Emmer's past that doesn't make him so family-friendly. He has repeatedly had to publicly address his 1981 and 1991 DWI arrests. And as a state representative, he once authored legislation that would have made drunken driving records private after 10 years and allowed DWI offenders to keep their licenses until they're convicted.

Alliance for a Better Minnesota produced a DWI-themed attack ad that's been in heavy rotation. In it, Margaret Everson talks about the pain of losing her son, John, in a car crash caused by a drunken driver.

"When I heard that Tom Emmer sponsored a law to reduce penalties for drunk drivers, I was outraged," she says. "And then I read that Tom Emmer has been arrested twice himself for drunk driving. And this man wants to be governor?"

This brings us to the photos of young Tripp. The source of the photos says they were obtained more than a year ago, at a time when Tripp's privacy preferences on Facebook made the images available to the public.

That also means he was 19 or younger when he was snapped power drinking with his bros and posing alongside a passed-out girl with a penis drawn on her face and arm in marker.


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