Alan Fine, the Republican candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, called today for the retraction of a Star Tribune story that unearthed his now expunged 1995 arrest record for domestic violence.
“The Fine campaign does question the use of certain language and feels that there is strong misrepresentation of Mr. Fine’s marriage and relationships and character,” he said in a press release.
Fine disputes the paper’s statement that it obtained his expunged record two weeks ago. “It is the understanding of the Fine campaign, that Mr. Fine presented these documents voluntarily to the Star Tribune upon their request on July 10, 2006 in an extensive interview with Erik Black[sic] at the request of the editorial staff of the Star Tribune regarding this issue,” he said.
The story, published on today’s paper, details Fine’s palpable relations with his ex-wife Rebecca Wexler, the mother of his 12-year-old son.
Fine said the story failed to mention that he now has the primary custody of his son. He also expressed a suspicion on the timing of the story, and the fact that he had made public of an earlier op-ed piece in which the Star Tribune refused to publish for him.
“We are deeply concerned about the apparently strategic release of this story due to the close proximity of the general election on November 7 and following the critical campaign mailing to 100,000 voters in the 5th district regarding factual information which specifically connects Keith Ellison to a questionable organization,” he said.
In a telephone interview, Fine said “the entire story is extreme distortion of facts” and a “terrible attack” on him. The arrest record, he added, was “false arrest” and should never have been there.
Asked why he waited nine years to clear his record, Fine said he happened to be in the Courthouse one day in 2004 and it occurred to him to remove that “false” arrest from his record. He vehemently denied that he did that knowing that he will run for an office.
“I didn’t decide to run for Congress until March this year,” he said
Ellison’s campaign didn’t want to comment on this story.