Posted at 3:30 PM on September 29, 2008
by Curtis Gilbert
Filed under: Campaign 2008: U.S. MN CD3
The gauzy biographical ads about Madia the Marine and Paulsen the family man have given way to more acidic attacks in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn.
DFLer Ashwin Madia has released a T.V. ad criticizing Republican Erik Paulsen for his role in brokering Minnesota's 2003 state budget deal, which included cuts to early childhood education funding and after school programs. The Legislature made lots of cuts in government spending during that budget cycle, because Minnesota faced an historic $4 billion shortfall.
The ad then claims Paulsen "voted for bonuses for political appointees." The appointees in question were House staffers, and Paulsen did head up the committee that approved the bonuses. But it's worth noting that Matt Entenza, who was House DFL minority leader at the time, voted for those bonuses, too. So did all the members of the committee who were there, Democrats and Republicans, alike.
The Madia campaign calls the ad a "rebuttal" to one Paulsen put out last week.
The Paulsen ad accuses Madia of supporting a variety of tax increases. It includes video of Madia at a candidate forum in January saying he would "look at increasing" the capital gains tax.
Madia spokesman Dan Pollock says Madia doesn't have specific proposals related to the capital gains tax.
Madia's main tax policy difference with Paulsen relates to the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, set to expire after next year. Paulsen wants to make all those cuts permanent. Madia wants to make them permanent for those making less than $250,000 a year. But people making more than that would see their taxes rise under the Madia plan.
Now both campagins have released ads attacking each other. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been running a scathing ad for a few weeks now, implying Paulsen values golf courses more than veterans.
That DCCC ad failed a fact check by KSTP's Tom Hauser. The Paulsen campaign called on Madia to denounce the ad. The Madia campaign refused.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has also vowed to spend money in the race to represent the Minneapolis suburbs. But it has far fewer funds at its disposal than the DCCC.