Beer. Bacon. Corn dogs.
What sounds like the recipe for a great day at the Minnesota State Fair is also the subject of Michele Bachmann's latest ad against her DFL opponent Tarryl Clark.
"While you're at the fair, you should know that Tarryl Clark here voted to raise taxes on your corn dog, and your deep-fried bacon and your beer," Jim the Election Guy, a fictional character featured in Bachmann's ads, tells viewers. "So, if you see Tarryl Clark while you're at the fair, just ask her: What's up with voting to tax my beer?"
Here's what's up with that: When it comes to corn dogs and bacon, Bachmann's claim is on shaky ground. But she's right that Clark voted for higher taxes on beer.
Bachmann's staff points to a handful of votes Clark cast during her time in the state senate as support for the claim.
Corn dogs and bacon
First, it's important to note that Minnesota's sales tax does not apply to food bought at the grocery store. But it does apply to food that is sold in restaurants or by other food vendors, including those at the state fair.
In 2008, Clark voted for a constitutional amendment that would have raised the sales tax by 3/8 of 1 percent to protect water and land - commonly known as the Legacy Amendment. After the Legislature passed it, voters approved the tax increase.
So, it's wrong to say that Clark voted for the sales tax increase. Rather, she voted to let Minnesotans vote on the Legacy Amendment.
Bachmann's campaign also points out that Clark voted twice in 2007 and 2008 respectively against amendments that would have allowed a referendum on a metro area sales tax increase meant to help pay for transportation improvements.
Bachmann reasons that, without the referendum, voters did not have the opportunity to stop the sales tax. But that's a stretch: voting against a referendum is not the same as voting for a sales tax increase on corn dogs and bacon as the ad says.
In 2009, Clark voted several times to increase taxes on beer, wine and liquor. But the legislation was vetoed, so the beer sold at the state fair is not subject to a recent tax increase as the Bachmann ad implies.
It's true that Clark voted for a sales tax increase on beer. But Bachmann's ad is wrong when it comes to corn dogs and bacon: Clark never voted to increase taxes on either.
YouTube, "State Fair," accessed Aug. 31, 2010
Minnesota Department of Revenue, Fact Sheet: Food and Food Ingredients, accessed Aug. 31, 2010
Michele Bachmann for Congress, Script and Fact Sheet, accessed Aug. 31, 2010
Tarryl Clark for Congress, Fact Check: Michele Bachmann Uses Voter-Approved Legacy Amendment to Attack Tarryl Clark, Aug. 31, 2010
Senate Journal, April 3, 2006, page 4525
Senate Journal, March 23, 2007, page 1267
Senate Journal, Feb. 21, 2008, page 6637
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, accessed Aug. 31, 2010
Senate Journal, May 8, 2009, page 4466
Senate Journal, April 24, 2009, page 2754
Interview, Zach Rodvold, campaign manager, Sen. Tarryl Clark, Aug. 31, 2010
Interview, Sergio Gor, spokesman, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Aug. 31, 2010
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will hold a series of job forums next Monday, May 10th. A spokeswoman for Bachmann said Bachmann will be at each event. Here are the details from the office:
With the unemployment rate in Minnesota coming in at over 8%, Minnesotans are rightly worried about the economy, the seemingly futile policies being enacted by our government to combat it, and the future of our nation. I hope that Sixth District residents are able to join me at one of the four forums on May 10th so we can work together to discuss new policies and opportunities for job growth as our economy struggles to regain its momentum.(2 Comments)
County and state employment specialists have been invited to be on-site to provide individual assistance and advice for those hiring and those seeking employment. The forums are free and open to the public.
10:00am - 11:30am
Holiday Inn, intersection of Highway 15 & Highway 23
75 37th Ave. South, St. Cloud, MN 56301
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Community Center, City of Monticello
505 Walnut Street, Monticello, MN 55362
4:00pm - 5:30pm
12000 Central Avenue NE, Blaine, MN 55434
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Hugo American Legion
5383 140th Street North, Hugo, MN 55038
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign for Congress reports raising $810,000 in the first quarter of 2010. Her campaign reports having $1.53 million on hand. The totals don't include last week's rally with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin since the rally/fundraiser occurred in the 2nd Quarter. Here's Bachmann's release:
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District today filed her 2010 first quarter report with the Federal Elections Commission showing over $810,000 raised the first quarter, with $1.53 million cash on hand.
"I am so grateful for the support of nearly 8,000 individuals who contributed to my campaign this quarter," Bachmann said. "We have worked hard to build a grassroots team of contributors that will give us the strategic edge to win in November, and it is with their support we will be able to fight back against the Democrats and their special interest allies who have made me a top target for defeat."
More than 7100 of the contributions in the first quarter were in amounts of $100 or less, and included over 3500 first time contributors. In addition to raising over $810,000 in the first quarter of 2010, Bachmann for Congress had a successful launch to the second quarter with a fundraiser featuring Governor Sarah Palin attended by over 900 people.
Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann says she raised $591,600 in the last quarter of 2009 and finished the year with more than $1 million cash on hand for her re-election effort.
Her DFL opponents, Maureen Reed and Tarryl Clark have also raised a lot of money, but far below what Bachmann has collected. Reed raised a total of $574,600 in 2009 and ended the year with $388,000 cash on hand. Clark reported this week she raised a total for the the year of more than $600,000 and ended 2009 with just under $389,000 cash on hand.
Bachmann's total fundraising for 2009 was just about $1.553 million.
Here's part of the release from the Bachmann campaign:
"Americans everywhere are fed up with the reckless liberal agenda of higher taxes, more spending, more government bailouts and takeovers, and rising deficits and debt emanating from the Democratic Majority in Washington. Clearly, Congresswoman Bachmann's common sense message of individual liberty and fiscal responsibility is resonating loud and clear with the hearts and minds of her constituents," said Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok.
"After all, you can't have almost 9,000 individual contributors from Minnesota without being in tune with the voters. The numbers speak for themselves, and the campaign couldn't be stronger."
A new MPR News/ University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute poll shows voter concerns over Rep.Michele Bachmann's recent comments have cost her support in the 6th District.
The poll of 430 likely 6th district voters shows 45 percent favor DFL challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg, compared to 43 percent for incumbent Bachmann. Support for Bob Anderson, the Independence Party candidate, was 5 percent.
The poll's margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. which means the race is a statistical dead heat.
The survey was taken after Bachmann publicly questioned whether the views of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama were anti-American, and suggested the media investigate the anti-American views of Congress.
Nearly 4 out of 10 6th district voters said they were less likely to support Bachmann because of her comments compared to 8 percent who said they are now more supportive.
Bachmann's level of support trails John McCain, and Sen. Norm Coleman, who both have leads in the heavily Republican district. Coleman's 14 point lead over Democrat Al Franken is much bigger than McCain's 3 point lead over Barack Obama in the district.
Coleman had 44 percent support in the district compared to Franken's 30 percent. IP Senate candidate Dean Barkley is polling at 17 percent in the 6th District, and 9 percent are undecided.
In the presidential race in the 6th, McCain has 47 percent and Obama has 44 percent. Seven percent are undecided.
By way of context, Bachmann defeated DFLer Patty Wetterling 50-42 percent in 2006. In 2004 President Bush won 57 percent of the district's vote compared to 42 percent for John Kerry.
The poll was conducted between Oct. 21 and Oct. 23.
Speaking to a business group in St. Cloud today Michelle Bachmann said she stepped into a trap laid by MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and she regrets that she used his term "anti-American" to refer to Barack Obama's views.
Thanks to MPR reporter Ambar Espinoza, here's what Bachmann said:
She also answered a few questions from reporters.
Decide for yourself how what she says stacks up against the original interview.(4 Comments)
I stopped byThe Life of the Party party held by the Republican National Coalition for Life and Chairwoman Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly is a socially conservative activist best-known for her opposition to feminism and abortion.
The event was being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Paul, which is also where the Texas delegation is staying. Fox News was being shown on TVs throughout the lobby, which I found out is not the norm but rather a courtesy for their Republican guests.
Gov. Sarah Palin was scheduled to accept the 2008 Life of the Party award at the event before she was chosen as McCain's running mate. She canceled her appearance late last night and while Schlafly did not express unhappiness while addressing the gathering, she expressed it to ABC News.
But the attendees I spoke with didn't seem disappointed -- they just seemed really excited about Palin. She's clearly energized the social conservatives and I saw one man with a hand-made "Vote Sarah" signed taped to his back.
A protester from Code Pink managed to make it inside the hall where the party was being held and got on stage during Schlafly's welcome. After grabbing the mic and starting to say how the "truly pro-life" members of Code Pink welcomed them, a few delegates got up on stage and escorted her off as the rest of the crowd spontaneously started singing "God Bless America."
Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and Rep. Michele Bachmann also spoke at the event. Gov. Palin's award was accepted on her behalf by Debbie Joslin of the Alaska Republican Party.
And delegates got to enjoy the music of the Twin Cities' very own Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band.
The RNC has confirmed that Sen. Norm Coleman and Rep. Michele Bachmann will be speaking at the convention tonight.
I will post what times they will be speaking as soon as the schedule is confirmed.
Update: Coleman will take the stage sometime between 7:00-7:30 and will be welcoming the delegates to St. Paul.
Update 2: Bachmann is slated to speak at 7:30, after Coleman.