The new Alliance for a Better Minnesota ad attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer has been put to the test three times now, and the results show it to be technically accurate, but misleading.
The Alliance, a labor-backed organization, released and ad this week criticizing Emmer for missing votes during the 2010 legislative session. The ad says Emmer missed 142 votes last session on things like education, veterans affairs and jobs.
MPR’s Tom Scheck put the ad through the PoliGraph test, and found it to be factually accurate, but lacking context. From MPR:
“The Alliance for a Better Minnesota gets its numbers right. But viewers beware: Understanding this ad requires some context. Election season was already heating up when the legislature met for its 2010 session. And that means several lawmakers, including the Democratic candidate for governor, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and state Rep. Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield, a congressional candidate, also missed votes to campaign.”
KSTP’s Tom Hauser rated the ad with a C+ after putting it through his Truth Test.
Hauser said the numbers are accurate, but also points out that other gubernatorial candidates missed votes to campaign, including Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state Rep. Paul Thissen. The ad also equates each missed vote to a missed day of work. Hauser says that’s unfair, as many votes can be taken in a single day. On May 4 alone, Emmer missed 32 votes on amendments to the health and human services bill, according to the KSTP report.
For the same reasons, WCCO’s Pat Kessler also found the ad to be misleading in his Reality Check, and threw in some interesting side facts. Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert had a perfect voting record in 2010, and DFL candidate Mark Dayton only missed 3 percent of votes during his time in the U.S. Senate, according to WCCO.