Posted at 9:31 AM on October 26, 2012
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8
After a Duluth TV station refused to air a Minnesota DFL ad critical of Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack because it included the claim Cravaack "doesn't even live in Minnesota anymore," the DFL has come up with a new version of the spot.
The reworked "Pretender" ad shares the tone of the previous spot, and is almost identical, apart from the claim Cravaack doesn't live in Minnesota.
Cravaack's wife and children moved to New Hampshire last year because of his wife's job. Cravaack revealed in an interview with the Star Tribune that his son has autism, and that played into the decision to move the family. Cravaacck has a home in North Branch, prompting his campaign to object to Democrats' claim he doesn't live in Minnesota.
Although the DFL has backed down, the Nolan campaign is standing by its own ad in which Nolan looks into the camera and says Cravaack "doesn't live here anymore."
Cravaack and Nolan are engaged in one of the most competitive congressional races in the county, where millions of dollars in outside, special-interest spending is dwarfing direct spending by the two campaigns.
With MPR's Tom Scheck.
With less than two weeks to go before the election, President Barack Obama's campaign says it will be doing a last-minute ad buy in the Twin Cities broadcast market through Election Day.
A campaign official declined to say how much it is spending.
The news comes as Republican Mitt Romney's campaign announced a modest ad buy for the area as well. In recent days, Republicans have hinted that they're looking to expand the map in Minnesota, though it has not been considered a competitive state this election.
An Obama campaign official stressed that the buy is targeted at western Wisconsin, a battleground state that overlaps with the Twin Cities media market.
This is Obama's first TV buy in the Twin Cities market. The campaign has been broadcasting in the Rochester area largely because it overlaps with Iowa, another battleground state. Obama has also been advertising on the radio here, and his ads can be seen on cable as part of a national effort.
Romney's ground game in Minnesota is non-existent , though outside political groups including Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund and Americans for Job Security have been running ads in the state critical of Obama's record.
Neither Romney nor his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have campaigned in Minnesota, but both have stopped in to raise money.
Meanwhile, Obama and his surrogates have been to the state for public events. Neither Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden have traveled here since Labor Day, however.
Update: The public file shows President Obama's campaign spending $137,010 at KARE-11 and Fox9 through election day.
Romney's campaign is spending $29,550 on KARE-11 and KSTP-TV.
In his latest television ad, 2nd Congressional District Republican Rep. John Kline uses a familiar Minnesota landmark to emphasize how dire the nation's debt problems are.
With the Metrodome as his backdrop, Kline said, "America's national debt is $16 trillion. It's the equivalent of selling every seat in the Metrodome, every single day, for 9,000 years. This debt is weakening America. To cut spending, I led the successful fight to ban wasteful earmarks."
Kline's numbers are right, but his ad deserves some context.
This week, the nation's total debt is about $16 trillion. That includes intergovernmental debt, such as the Medicare and Social Security trust funds. Debt held by the public, meaning federal debt held by individuals, corporations and governments, is about $11.3 trillion.
The Kline camp assumes that Vikings tickets cost an average of $76, which is a reasonable assumption given tickets for games this season currently costs somewhere between $15 and $143 each. The stadium can seat 64,111 people.
Assuming the stadium is full every day, all year, at $76 a pop, Kline is right that it would take about 9,000 years to reach $16 trillion.
For several years, Kline has eschewed earmarks, the practice of requesting money for pet projects at home in annual appropriations bills, but he wasn't always such a purist.
In 2004, the Star Tribune reported that Kline received $3 million for projects in his district in a highway funding bill.
In 2008, Kline was among 20 House and Senate lawmakers who dumped the practice, along with Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who has long crusaded against earmarks as the hallmark of wasteful spending.
"There's a growing awareness that the system is broken and we aren't going to fix it unless some of us start taking a stand," Kline told the Associated Press in 2008.
Earmarking is currently banned in the U.S. House. But that hasn't stopped lawmakers from finding other ways to send cash home to their districts. And budget experts say that earmarks are such a tiny sliver of the federal budget that banning them does little to ameliorate the nation's debt woes.
Kline accurately uses the Metrodome to describe the size of the nation's debt.
And while PoliGraph questions Kline's characterization of how effective banning earmarks is in lowering spending, he largely gets it right in this ad.
Rep. John Kline, Forcing Washington to Be Responsible, accessed Oct. 25, 2012
The U.S. Treasury, Debt to the Penny, accessed Oct. 25, 2012
The Vikings, Single Game Tickets, accessed Oct. 25, 2012
Forbes, Minnesota Vikings, accessed Oct. 25, 2012
Minnesota Vikings, Mall of America Field at the H.H.H. Metrodome Information, accessed Oct. 25, 2012
Associated Press, Lawmakers who forgot funding for pet projects risk angering voters back home, by Sam Hananel, Jan. 22, 2008 (subscription only)
The Star Tribune, Kline's spurning of earmarks has cost, by David Peterson, Jan. 8, 2008
The Star Tribune, The funding increase that really isn't earmarked projects cut into state highway allocation, by Kevin Diaz, June 1, 2004 (subscription only)
The Brookings Institution, Put Earmarks in Perspective, by Thomas Mann, March 6, 2009
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Earmarks are just a state, Nov. 16, 2010
The New York Times, Earmark Ban Exposes Rifts Within Both Parties, by David Herszenhorn, Nov. 16, 2010(5 Comments)
Posted at 4:14 PM on October 26, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: Voter ID Amendment
The campaigns on both sides of the fight over Minnesota's proposed voter ID constitutional amendment unveiled new television ads today that will hit the air for the final stretch of the campaign.
Opponents of the requirement to show photo identification in order to vote have an ad that features DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson, who contend that the amendment is too costly, too complicated and will result in many unintended consequences. They urge Minnesotans to vote no. The 30 second ad began airing today in the Twin Cities.
In a news release from the anti-amendment organization Our Vote Our Future, Campaign Manager Luchelle Stevens thanks both leaders for their willingness to speak out.
"Our multi-partisan campaign is focused on the very concerns that Governors Dayton and Carlson address in this ad," Steven said. "Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike will face the costs and consequences of this poorly written amendment."
Voter ID supporters also unveiled a new ad titled "One Vote." It features several people, including World War II veteran Robert McWhite, who also appeared in two earlier ads. They contend that showing an ID is a reasonable way to protect everyone's right to vote and make it hard to cheat.
A news release said the 30 second ad begins running Saturday on broadcast television stations statewide.