LENGTH: 30 seconds
SPONSOR: Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty
COST: More than $250,000 for one week.
TARGET AREA: Statewide.
TEXT: Accountant John Heutmaker: “I’m not being paid to say this. I’m not an actor. I’m an accountant. I checked the numbers on all the new ways Mike Hatch says he wants to spend our money. We’re talking $6.4 billion or more. That’s extra money the state doesn’t have. So they’ll have to come to us for a tax hike averaging $2,912 per family. Bottom line: Minnesota can’t afford Mike Hatch.”
KEY VISUALS: Footage of Heutmaker in an office. File folders drop on his desk, a computer spreadsheet flashes by and a calculator depicts the numbers $2,912. Key stats appear on the screen to reinforce the spoken message.
GOAL: To portray Hatch, Pawlenty’s Democratic challenger, as a candidate who would raise taxes if elected.
ANALYSIS: While he might not have been paid, the accountant in the ad is a former Republican candidate for the state Legislature and acknowledges still being active in party circles. Pawlenty’s figures are suspect. He gives a four-year total of programs that Hatch has mentioned — not all of which he has committed to — and divides the cost by the number of households to come up with a tax burden. Hatch contends some programs, like his goal of expanding fiber optic cable in greater Minnesota, could be privately funded. While Hatch has made promises that carry large price tags, he hasn’t recommended general state taxes to pay for them. Suggesting every family would get hit with the higher cost probably isn’t a fair representation. Even so, Pawlenty used the tax issue effectively in his 2002 campaign for governor. That could put pressure on Hatch to respond in kind before voters take the ad’s message to heart.
Analysis by Brian Bakst, Associated Press writer
- Election News
GOP candidates rally the faithful in Mankato
Republican candidates Tom Emmer and Randy Demmer were in Mankato Saturday morning rallying the faithful. Former Senator Norm Coleman was in town, too.
Leadership values at heart of Mankato mayoral contest
Mankato mayoral candidates Eric Anderson and sitting mayor John Brady differ somewhat on the specifics of effective mayoral leadership.
Walz seeks 3rd term in challenging season
A former defensive coordinator for the Mankato West Scarlets, Congressman Tim Walz is facing an all-out blitz in his run for a third term.
Demmer offers a contrasting philosophy
State Rep. Randy Demmer, the Hayfield Republican looking to unseat Congressman Tim Walz, isn’t offering a 100-point plan to balance the budget, or a detailed health care proposal, or a 20-year strategy to make America energy-independent.
Ward 5 race a battle over Mankato's stewardship
The voters of west Mankato have a clear choice between a three-term incumbent who defends the city’s record and a challenger who sees wasted spending across the city.
Wilson fighting uphill battle in 1st District
Independence Party candidate Steven Wilson hasn't the funding of his two main challengers, but he's not short on ideas.
Campaign Notebook: Governor debate tonight at MSU
The race for governor will be focused on south-central Minnesota with tonight’s debate at Minnesota State University, but the candidates were also scheduling some additional pre-debate campaigning in the area.
Frost, Robb vie in Ward 3
Councilman Mark Frost and challenger Carie Robb are both community-minded candidates who see themselves as common-sense councilors.
Foreman, Massad contend in Mankato Ward 1
Mankato may not have a budget deficit, but its struggle to find a balance of tax increases and cuts weighs on the mind of Ward 1 competitors Najwa Massad and Karen Foreman.
North Mankato City Council candidates field wide range of topics
Incumbents Diane Norland and Ken DeWitte and challengers Kim Spears and Bob Freyberg vied to put their best feet forward in the latest round of Greater Mankato Growth-sponsored public candidate debates for North Mankato City Council.
- More Election News Headlines
- GOP candidates rally the faithful in Mankato