An autism advocate accused Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack on Monday of revealing his son's autism to get sympathy as he faces questions about his Minnesota ties in a tight congressional race.
Wayne Rohde of the Autism Advocacy Coalition of Minnesota said Cravaack has done little in Washington regarding autism issues. Rohde said Cravaack hasn't joined a bipartisan congressional autism caucus or been active in supporting a federal push for insurance coverage of autism treatments.
"I truly believe it was used to try to gain sympathy and deflect any questions about his residency issue," he said.
Rohde, who lives outside the 8th District in Woodbury, described himself as a Republican who isn't politically active. He contacted both campaigns Saturday and heard back from Nolan campaign manager Mike Misterek, who Rohde said asked if he would be willing to release his story to the media.
Misterek said he called Rohde to acknowledge his message.
"I don't think this is a political thing at all," Misterek said.
Campaign adviser Ben Golnik said Cravaack was being honest in disclosing how his son's autism affected the family's move, calling the contact between Nolan's campaign and Rohde "a disgusting new low."As a previous post noted, Rohde moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota because the latter had a stronger insurance mandate. He was a co-founder of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota.