The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2012

October 31, 2012

Campaign notebook: lies, damned lies and footnotes

(Continued)

Friday afternoon, Quist complained about the sham footnote in the mailer attacking him. “The footnote simply gives the facade of documentation,” he said.

Quist used footnotes in the chameleon ad, including one attached to the allegation that Walz is looking to cut Social Security and Medicare. According to the footnote, proof of Walz’s intention to wreak havoc on the financial security of elderly Americans is in the Aug. 17 edition of National Journal in a analysis entitled “The Legend of Simpson-Bowles.”

The National Journal story quotes Republicans and Democrats and lots of numbers about the proposal by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — the super-committee assigned to come up with a deficit reduction plan. One thing that isn’t in the Aug. 17 National Journal article is any mention of Walz.

Walz has said that he might support a deficit-reduction approach “something like” the Simpson-Bowles plan, but Quist offers no evidence that Walz has ever supported “major cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”

The Walz campaign was willing to comment on this ad.

“The false and misleading ad by Mr. Quist is a last ditch effort by a desperate candidate who has ran nothing but a negative campaign,” said Walz campaign spokesman Tony Ufkin. “Southern Minnesotans know that Tim is the only candidate in this race that will work in a bipartisan manner to tackle the debt while protecting Social Security and Medicare, stand up for middle class families and fight to ensure our promise to our veterans is honored.”

So, the bottom line: Footnotes in political ads can be totally bogus.*

Footing the bill

In the final three weeks of an election, congressional candidates have to report large donations within 48 hours. Walz has received 17 donations of $1,000 or more since the end of the last reporting period on Oct. 17. The $23,950 is on top of the $1.9 million in receipts the Mankato Democrat had previously reported for the election cycle.

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Election 2012