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National Republicans target Nolan in Duluth TV ad

WASHINGTON — Eighth District voters inundated with television ads during the 2012 election cycle had best brace for more. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching a $24,000 ad buy on Duluth television today hitting U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan for voting against a veterans benefits bill in June. Nolan beat Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack by 9 points in 2012 in the most expensive congressional race in Minnesota. 

Nolan was one of only four House members to vote against the Veterans Affairs budget bill on June 4. The NRCC’s ad said “Nolan dishonored [veterans’] service and played politics with their sacrifice” by opposing the measure. 

But at the time (and in a Monday statement to the Star Tribune), Nolan’s office said he opposed the bill because it didn’t fund veterans programs enough. 

In a June statement, Nolan said he voted “in protest, because it under-funds veterans health and benefit programs, while shoveling billions of new dollars into unnecessary new military construction in places around the world where and American presence and American resources do not belong.” 

Nolan’s re-election campaign used the NRCC’s ad in a fundraising appeal to supporters on Monday.

Outside groups, including the NRCC and its Democratic counterpart, spent more than $9.3 million on the 8th District race last cycle, making it the third most expensive House race in the country. Republican businessman Stewart Mills is Nolan’s first challenger for 2014. 

Devin Henry can be reached at

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by David Frenkel on 08/06/2013 - 12:16 pm.

    take no prisoners politics

    This type of political advertising is shameful and disgusting. I do business with the VA and I have been to military hospitals which are being hard hit by the sequester. Why don’t we honor veterans instead of this trashy politics by the Republican National Committee.

  2. Submitted by Joe Loveland on 08/06/2013 - 02:35 pm.

    A constructive suggestion for the reporter

    Why not contact government relations people from veterans advocacy groups to see whether they agree with the characterization of Mr. Nolan as “anti-veteran?”

    Veterans advocates are more expert than we readers are about veteran’s policy. Therefore, they can help us understand whether Mr. Nolan’s vote means that he is working to deliver worse or better services for veterans.

    Making those extra calls to credible third parties would help the reader sort out the partisan claims and counterclaims here.

    • Submitted by Tom Lynch on 08/06/2013 - 10:35 pm.

      You mean report facts?

      We can’t have that. Otherwise journalists won’t be able to use false equivalency. Both sides do it, you know. Just type the spin as if both sides were giving equally valid arguments. Even if one side is full of

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