While we’ve been focusing a lot on the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” and their serial lies about Tom Emmer (currently accuracy rate climbing up toward 0%), the other DFL candidates haven’t done a whole lot better in the accuracy department.
Matt Entenza has been running a very dirty campaign…against Tom Emmer. Not against Mark Dayton or Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, of course, behind whom he’s running a wan third place in the DFL primary race.
But that hasn’t kept him from spending nearly $4 million on ads so far this cycle – more than Tim Pawlenty spent in his entire winning campaign in 2006, and more than Tom Emmer might spend in this entire cycle, too.
And for that money, he’s gotten ads that aren’t any more accurate about Emmer than A4aBM’s dreck.
When I first saw Entenza’s “Education” ad – which makes the very “tenther”-y claim that Entenza will withdraw from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – I thought that the ad’s claim that Emmer supported NCLB didn’t pass the stench test. I have spent the past two weeks trying to get confirmation from the Emmer camp (which should hush those of you who’ve been yapping that I am “with the Emmer campaign”, capisce?), so MPR’s Catherine Richert, at MPR’s Polinaut “Poligraph”, got the story first.
I thought, like so many of these scabrous “vote” claims you see in Dems’ ads, that it was a report about an out-of-context vote that was muddied by some sort of procedural or parliamentary foible or another. I was right:
Entenza’s campaign says Emmer voted against a plan to drop No Child Left Behind in 2008. And at first blush, it would seem that way.
But parliamentary maneuvering on the House floor muddied the intent of the amendment Emmer voted against. It didn’t just end the program; it contained other unrelated provisions.
It’s a tenet of conservatism unto the point of dogma that we want education pushed to the state and, preferably, local level; we take unjustified flak for wanting to abolish the Department of Education. Emmer is – so we’re told! – nothing if not a thoroughgoing conservative, and Richert’s got the records to prove it. I’ll add emphasis as appropriate:
In early 2009, Emmer co-sponsored a bill that would have prevented implementation of No Child Left Behind.
Later that year, Emmer told Minnesota Public Radio that he opposes No Child Left Behind.
“I object to the federal government having any law that tells the state of Minnesota, more importantly parents of children in the state of Minnesota, this is how your schools are going to be run,” he said on Dec. 11, 2009.
Emmer supports holding teachers accountable, spokesman Bill Walsh said. He just doesn’t think the federal government should tell the state how to do it.
That’s more like it.
In a radio ad that’s part of the same series, Entenza claims that Emmer proposes “devastating thirty-percent budget cuts”. That’s another ancient, ripe, stinky rhetorical turd that we thought we’d dispensed with almost two months ago. Alas, like all DFL propagandists, Entenza’s people apparently believe they can trust to some kind of diminished capacity and short attention span on the voters’ part.
And with Ventura and Franken on our collective electoral conscience, they may have a point. But we can try to shoot for better, can’t we?