The same day Republican congressional candidate Erik Paulsen appeared at a press conference decrying the negative tone of Minnesota's 3rd District race, he also released a new television ad accusing his DFL opponent Ashwin Madia of repeatedly lying.
One of the three alleged "lies" is based on a story broken right here on Polinaut.
It dates back to Madia's DFL endorsement battle with state Sen. Terri Bonoff. Madia won that endorsement even though some DFL delegates were suspicious of his Republican past.
In talking about that issue, Madia often said he had supported John McCain during the Republican presidential primary in 2000. Two days before the DFL endorsing convention, I asked him about that:
MPR: 2000 election, of course, McCain wasn't the nominee. Did you actually vote for Bush in 2000?
MPR: You didn't? You voted for Al Gore?
But Madia told another reporter that he had voted for Bush that year. When I saw that article, I asked the Madia campaign which statement was true.
"He flubbed it with you," Madia's then-spokesman Chris Truscott said, explaining that Madia had, in fact, voted for Bush. Truscott said Madia had been distracted during our interview and misspoke.
Nice catch Curtis on Madia telling you one thing, and then changing his story. I’m not sure I buy Madia’s story that he just misspoke, you asked him the question twice to make sure he understood the question. It was also suspicions that he answered that way right before the endorsing convention, and then didn’t correct the record until you caught him, and it was after the endorsement.
Actually, MPR may have caught one of the other lies as well. At the Democratic National Convention, MPR taped Madia saying he didn’t take a dime of corporate PAC money, less than a week after he had to return a contribution because it came from a corporate PAC. So it appears MPR may be a lying politician’s biggest enemy.
I guess I can forgive Madia if he "flubbed" a question...those were tense times and he was putting in 16-18 hours a day...sometimes people misspeak. I have to take him at his word and I doubt very seriously it would have made any difference in the endorsing campaign...both sides were solidly behind their candidates and nobody was being swayed. I was a delegate and I know this because I personally spoke with most every other delegate to measure how strong a supporter they were for either Ash or Terri. As for the PAC money, it was returned immediately when he found out where it came from...he doesn't personally talk to everyone who gives money to the campaign...many people send money who have never met or spoken to him, and I'm sure it's the same for Paulsen. If this returned PAC check is such a big deal, why not call on Paulsen to return the $100,000+ he's received from Big Oil, Pharma, Insurance and Banking. MPR's just trying to do their job, and by the way, when they report on a video or audio from a press conference it would be really helpful for the questioner to use a microphone so we could hear the question and the answer. I see by Erik's latest attack ad, he's really staying positive and running an issue oriented campaign....he must not listen to his mentor very well.
If Madia wanted to hide his vote why did he tell another reporter that he voted for Bush in 2000 very early in the endorsement race? He also had told Dem activists at the time.
He misspoke; it happens.
Paulsen, however, continues to whine about negative campaigning while making outrageous character attacks on Madia. He refused to condemn the "not one of us" accusations by Carey and Michel when given the chance, twice, on WCCO.
It is also interesting that he mainly makes personal attacks on Madia. Could it be that he can't attack Madia on the issues because Madia's positions on the issues are what the voters in 3rd CD are looking for?
The GOP strategy for the final stretch: Tie your opponents to Bush.
Now that I think of it, I recall Al Franken was a guest on Letterman in November-December of 2001 where he said something like "I think the President is doing a great job on this war in Afghanistan." Cue the Coleman ad!
If Madia was "distracted" during the interview, will he be able to concentrate if elected? Give me a break. The guy lied.