Think back over the past six months of Mark Dayton’s campaign. Think over the ads he’s run. Think back over the messages.
Why would you vote for Mark Dayton?
Now, make no mistake; the Dayton campaign – and its “third-party” advertising from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which is “third party” only on the most technical sense of the term, having been funded largely by the Dayton family – has tried to give you all sorts of reasons to vote against Tom Emmer; two drunk driving arrests 20 and 30 years ago, some grossly out-of-context statements about food server wages and legislative records and some poking and prodding at his conservative voting record.
But why would one vote for Mark Dayton?
Let’s go through his ads and see if we can find a positive, affirmative reason to vote for Mark Dayton, rather than against Tom Emmer. Let’s run through the Top Five reasons:
5. He wants to tax “the rich”. Which “rich?” We’ll come back to that later.
4. He was a high school teacher forty years ago, and will make sure that schools get more money, or something. The message is a little vague.
I got nothing.
The fact is, Mark Dayton’s entire campaign has been run on slime. Think of the campaign’s salient points, such as they’ve been:
- Emmer favors “Uncertified” Teachers… – …of exactly the type that Mark Dayton himself once was.
- Minnesota Cities need to be able to launder their spending through the state to dodge accountability to their own taxpayers: We pretty well addressed and debunked that here, and here, and here, and here, and here.
- Emmer Got Sued!: The Strib’s Pat Doyle “distinguished” himself with his hit piece on Emmer, which managed to maneuver itself into spreading everything about Emmer’s legal and personal record that could be construed as unfavorable – while carefully excising all exculpatory context. Someday when they give awards for showing that “journalistic ethics” are merely “a framework by which journalists justify the means toward their ends”, Doyle will be a winner emeritus.
- Emmer Hates Gays – Except even the most remedial degree of reporting shows that the whole claim is based on a fraudulently-overblown and out-of-context claim of support for one Bradlee Dean. This was blown up into the most contrived astro-turf campaign I have seen in all my years of watching DFL astroturf – a coast-to-coast fabrication of the vapours that generated much heat about Target Corporation’s donation of $150K in cash and services to a pro-business PAC that, nonetheless, did nothing much except show America what a bunch of yapping McCarthyites Minnesota liberals are.
- The Phantom Plan: Until about Labor Day – four solid months – the DFL and its minions caterwauled about Emmer’s lack of a “budget plan“. Then he released a plan – which balanced the budget – and pointed out the inconvenient truth that Dayton’s first whack at a plan came up $3billion light; his second plan is a little over a billion off the mark.
- Emmer Had Two DUIs, and wanted to lower penalties for drunk driving!: The episodes were twenty and thirty years ago. And Emmer has been constantly forthcoming about his youthful mistakes, unlike Senator Dayton’s silence on his record of alcoholism, mental illness and other erratic behavior (of which more later). As to ABM’s giggly claims that Emmer tried to “lower penalties for drunk driving” – it turned to be a gross, craven distortion, the sort of thing that was called a “filthy lie” in a more direct age.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota broke records, not only for spending (nearly unreported by the mainstream media and utterly unchallenged by our state’s so-called “watchdog” organizations), but for the serial falsity of its claims. The DFL’s bullpen of news-release blogs were only too happy to carry the water. While the DFL caterwauled about corporate funding, ABM spent nearly four million in funds from public employee unions and…the Dayton Family and candidate Dayton himself.
Mark Dayton has no positive vision for the state of Minnesota.
He waves the flag of “class” envy – really achievement envy – and vague blandishments about school funding…and that’s about it.
Minnesota deserves a better vision than this.
Minnesota deserves better than Mark Dayton.