Chanting Points Memo: Emmer And No Child Left Behind

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?

12 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Emmer And No Child Left Behind

  1. OK, I can’t find anything that would indicate whether or not a state can neither prevent the implementation or opt out of NCLB. Could a bill such as Emmer’s even have made a difference? Further, can Entenza scrap it, as his ads claim that he will do?

  2. I suspect that a state can just refuse the money that the Fed gives for NCLB compliance.

  3. Wait a second, that wasn’t the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence they were shredding in the Entenza propaganda ad?!?!? Are you sure?

  4. bosshoss429, Mitch, you might want to look at the state of Texas which was among the first to try getting out of NCLB.

    But of course, that only makes sense if you do any checking into the conservative origins of NCLB, which utterly refute Mitch’s statement:
    “It’s a tenet of conservatism unto the point of dogma that we want education pushed to the state and, preferably, local level; ”

    Because the congressional record says otherwise. Look not only at the 84 out of 85 Republican Congressional sponsors; look at the Republicans who authored the bill; look at the 28 proposed Amendments, of which aprox. 25 were accepted and made part of the bill —overwhelmingly made by Republicans. Only 1 Senate amendment – and that wasn’t made by Kennedy, although it was made by a Democrat.

    Looking at those amendments, I’m not persuaded that your statement about conservatives is even remotely accurate. Looking at the post-passage of NCLB, including who tried to get out of it — not persuaded there either.

    If Emmer has a position, he isn’t being clear on it. It is on his shoulder to be making that position, and supporting it with documentation. He hasn’t.

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  6. DG, ever the willful propagandist, has never really researched NCLB’s history. It was co-authored primarily by four legislators; Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, Democratic Representative George Miller, Republican Senator Judd Gregg and Republican Representative John Boehner. Those 4 legislators working in concert with Bush domestic advisers Margaret Spellings and Sandy Kress crafted the bill that eventually passed the House and subsequently the Senate.
    Many of the amendments to the bill represented the back and forth worked out by the primary 4 authors and the White House and farmed out to various representatives to ensure the buy-in by the other legislators and to create a truly bipartisan end product, Some of the amendments represent the kind of compromises that are necessary in any healthy political endeavor. Were all of them good? Of course not, but that’s how you make sausage.

    DG makes much of the bill being introduced in the House by a Republican and offers this as proof that Kennedy was not involved.
    First the Constitution mandates that such a bill be introduced and passed in the House before the Senate can take it up. Since it was bipartisan and it had to originate in the House it is custom that the co-author from the majority party be the one to introduce the bill.
    Second Senator Kennedy made sure everyone knew that he was not just co-author, but the legislative machine behind its progress, and that fact was trumpeted repeatedly by the NYT, Boston Globe, and the WAPO among others throughout 2001. If DG were a serious researcher she would have to studiously avoid the mainstream press and broadcast outlets of that epoch not to know this, but like all good propagandists, DG believes that memories fade and you can tell people their past is whatever she wants you to believe it is.

    Why was it necessary to introduce NCLB in the House of Representatives (for those of you who may not remember their high school civics)? Because it was among other things an appropriations bill.

  7. Deegee, you don’t seem to understand the difference between conservatism and some Republicans’ actions.

    And as for Emmer’s clarity:
    “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.

    How much clearer can he be?

    If you don’t want people to call you a tool, then stop acting like one.

  8. I hasten to add to kel’s excellent comment that DG appears to not understand the import of “amendments” vis a vis an introduced bill. Either that, or she doesn’t care.

  9. Actually I think DG’s mistake is to think that conservatives and Republicans are the same thing.

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