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Area GOP's women video flap gets national attention

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A female GOP candidate said a local Republican Party official's decision to post a video on the party's website that showed attractive photos of Republican women and unflattering photos of Democratic women was "juvenile" and distracting.

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"It was a very juvenile act," Minnesota House hopeful Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury said. "Frankly, I really don't know what the thought process was in doing that."

Kieffer, a candidate in District 56B, said she and fellow GOP House candidate Kathy Lohmer of Lake Elmo demanded the video be removed from the site.

It was taken down, but the episode drew criticism from Minnesota Democrats and national left-leaning publications and cable television commentators.

On Thursday, liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann dubbed Senate District 56 GOP webmaster Randy Brown, who apparently had posted the video, the "worst person in the world."

The nearly five-minute video, found on YouTube, begins with photos of Republican women, including U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and other national figures. The GOP photos are set to the Tom Jones song "She's A Lady."

About halfway through, the video switches to unflattering photos and illustrations of Democratic women, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama and Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary. That slideshow plays to "Who Let The Dogs Out?" by Baha Men.

After the video appeared on the website, a link to it was posted on the local GOP's Twitter account. The tweet read: "Republican women vs Democrat women."

The video prompted a demand by Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Brian Melendez that GOP leaders apologize for the "sexist and offensive" video.

"The day when a woman was judged by her looks rather than her competence and intelligence should have passed three generations ago," Melendez said. "But apparently Republican leaders in the year 2010 still think of that bygone era as the good old days, and want to bring it back."

Kieffer, who has no involvement in the local GOP website, said she learned of the video from others. She said she and Lohmer quickly attempted to contact Brown and District 56 Chair Joe Salmon to demand the video be removed.

Senate District 56 includes Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Landfall, and part of Stillwater.

Bachmann represents the district in Congress, and all three of the legislative district's state lawmakers are Democratic women.

Kieffer, who is trying to unseat Rep. Marsha Swails, said the video flap is distracting.

"I hope that we can just focus back on the issues," she said.

A message left with Salmon was not immediately returned. Brown could not be reached for comment.

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