Minnesota's Future, a group headed by several conservatives, is scheduled to start running TV ads tonight. The Independent Expenditure group is headed by GOP political consultant Chris Tiedeman and FLS Connect's Jeff Larson. Both Tiedeman and Larson declined to talk specifics on the ad but a source with knowledge of the media buy said $686,490 worth of ads will run on TV stations in the Twin Cities, Mankato and Rochester. The ads will start running today through September 9th. (See update below).
Larson, a close confidante to former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, confirmed the ads will start running this week but declined to offer any more detail.
"I don't have to much to say on it. The ads are going up today and we'll see them later tonight but I'm not going to preview them or really talk about them until they air."
Larson told the Associated Press last week that the group would help "pro-business" candidates.
It isn't certain who is funding Minnesota's Future. The group filed a campaign finance report on July 20th that said it had $820.45 in the bank. That means the group received most of the money for the ads after the August 10th primary. The next reporting deadline for committees to file a campaign finance report is September 21st.
Tiedeman called me back to say that the ad will focus on Democrat Mark Dayton's tax and spending record. He also said the ad buy will not be $700,000 but a little more than half of that ($350k).
Update: Here's the ad:
Here's a little analysis:
The ad summarizes Dayton's plan to increase income taxes but fails to mention that it would only hit Minnesota's top earners (for singles an after tax income of $130,000, for couples an after tax income of $150,000). The ad cites this MPR story saying Dayton wants to raise taxes $5 million, which he said.
The ad is a bit misleading by saying Dayton wants to increase property taxes and the so-called e-mail tax.
Dayton has been proposing a higher income tax on Minnesota's top earners because he complained that additional cuts to Local Government Aid would force higher property taxes. Dayton has proposed increasing property taxes on homes that cost more than $1 million.
As far as the e-mail tax, the ad is citing this PC World that says Dayton advanced an e-mail tax as a way to tackle spam. What the ad doesn't mention is that Dayton advanced that proposal in Congress. What is misleading about is the ad suggests Dayton would tax e-mail as a part of his budget balancing plan. That is not included in his budget plan.
Update: Dayton's Deputy Campaign Manager Katie Tinucci issued this statement about the ad:
"This is just lies, lies and more lies from people who won't identify themselves. Mark has made it absolutely clear that his plan to close Minnesota's budget hole and to invest in education will raise taxes only on the richest Minnesotans. This attack is especially ironic since it's Mark's plan that will prevent property tax increases. And Mark promised in 2003 to vote against any email tax in the U.S. Senate and has never suggested it in this campaign. Mark is determined to put an end to the middle class carrying the tax burden in Minnesota--it's time everyone paid their fair share."
Gotta say, it's about the Future. First ad I've seen with production values aimed at cell phones.