Emmer turns down penny protester's invitation to immigration forum

Tom Emmer
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer, left, reacts as an unidentified man rushed up and dumped a bag of pennies as Emmer met with restaurant servers during a town hall meeting at Ol' Mexico Restaurante and Cantina Wednesday, July 14, 2010 in Roseville, Minn.
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is turning down an invitation to talk immigration with the man who dumped pennies in his lap.

Emmer spokesman Bill Walsh says the campaign won't acknowledge Nick Espinosa, who poured the pennies at a town hall meeting and gave reporters a fake name, Robert Erickson, on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Espinosa invited Emmer to an immigration forum at a Latin American marketplace in Minneapolis.

Espinosa says he made up the alias to get into a tea party gathering and kept using it after getting threats. Espinosa says he is an activist with the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee.

In a letter to Emmer posted on his blog, Espinosa says he was 15 when his immigrant father was deported.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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