First ad of Minnesota Senate race is a lulu

Neither U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar nor her likely Repub challenger Kurt Bills has aired the first campaign ad on an actual TV yet. (That Quick-Kurt-Bills-as-Fast-Talking-Paul-Wellstone deal is still online only.) But according to Blois Olson’s “Morning Take,” Republican primary candidate David Carlson aired two spots on Fox News in the western and southwestern suburbs during the “O’Reilly Factor” and the Sean Hannity show.

One is a simple introductory/biographical ad, emphasizing Carlson as a Marine vet. But the other one is a staggeringly awful guilt-by-association-fest attempting to associate Bills with a bunch of crazy retrograde and racist positions that the ad suggests have been taken by Ron Paul in the past. (I do not mean to confirm, without a whole lot of checking, that Ron Paul holds these positions or said the things attributed to him. Many of the positions are inferred from Paul’s devotion to the cause of states rights. But I am reasonably sure that Carlson has no evidence that Bills holds most of the views, no does he say that Bills does, other than that Bills is a “devoted supporter” of Paul.)

The positions that Carlson attributes to Paul/Bills include: no civil war to free the slaves, women and minorities don’t have the right to vote, schools aren’t integrated, “saving the Jews was none of our business,” Adolf Hitler was originally a positive influence, and Martin Luther King was a pedophile. Here’s the ad:

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Ross Williams on 08/03/2012 - 06:38 pm.

    How Did You Miss This Until Now?

    “Carlson has no evidence that Bills holds most of the views … other than that Bills is a “devoted supporter” of Paul.

    Why does he need more evidence than that. Carlson seems to be warning us that Paul’s views are not just “libertarian”, as some in the media have described them. They include a lot of other extreme positions and Bills has openly identified himself with and supported Paul, whether despite those views or because of them.

    “I do not mean to confirm, without a whole lot of checking, that Ron Paul holds these positions”

    Paul is someone who has won support of the majority of national Republican convention delegates in Minnesota. Why do you need to do a “whole lot of checking” on the positions he holds now? Shouldn’t that have happened a long time ago?

    You might ask how, if those are his views, its completely escaped public notice and why we are hearing them for the first time in this ad. And why,even now, you don’t appear to take them seriously enough to do any checking before you imply they aren’t true.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/03/2012 - 07:42 pm.

    It’s all a plot

    to make Kurt Bills sound reasonable.

  3. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 08/03/2012 - 10:44 pm.

    Crazy against crazy is no solution.

    Mr. Carlson is a well intentioned sort of guy as one might expect from someone who’s served their country in in such a meaningful way. Ron Paul is also a well intentioned person who thinks that the cure for what ails this country is a “healthy” dose of his brand of libertarianism. But libertariianism is not a soltuion for the massive global warming and other crises which face us as a species. Ms. Bachmann should have shown us what such “well-intentioned” but truly ignorant people can do to damage what is in the public interest. The solution is not for the opposition or the Democratic Party to run a “libertarian” candidate which thinks we need to be doing even less than what Bachmann advocates. I’m concerned about what I’ ve heard about Mr. Graves running against Bachmann and his being a libertarian.If it clarifies that Bachmann is anything but a libertarian, that’s good. But the DFL needs to have somebody who is running on what the DFL is for.

  4. Submitted by Jennifer Evans on 08/05/2012 - 12:00 am.

    Carlson is a rarity in Politics

    I first met David Carlson when he door knocked my house on the East Side of Saint Paul in 2008, he was the Republican candidate for State House, and I’ve paid attention to him ever since. First off, we never had candidates hit our street, but a Republican was definitely not expected. My husband and I found him to be extremely bright and charismatic.

    The fact he grew up in our community, which aint the easiest thing to do, and come out like he is doing the big things he’s doing, is bringing great pride to a lot of East Siders that you can do anything you put your mind to-he’s kinda a hero if you ask me. My brother was in the Marines, so I know what those guys go though and Carlson was in the infantry, so we give him a lot of props and respect for that because he didn’t have to do that. That’s why so many non repubs supported him in the city, he’s real and won’t be a push over like the rest of them when they get elected, and he’s a fighter.

    I read he is doing a Security Strategies Masters program, the kind of stuff you want your senator to know. Although we’re Democrats, we don’t do any party things but we vote every election and we take our candidates seriously. David is the only Republican we’ve ever voted for, and if the election were today we’d be voting for him over the rest because we believe in him. This Bills guy is a joke, the Republican Party looks stupid with him, fighting the gays, women, then they bring this kind of guy in who supports this racists southern redneck Ron Paul with the big confederate flag, and people say this man aint no racist? Come on.

    If the Republicans in this state were smart, they would support David Carlson in this race and maybe have a chance at winning. Amy will be tough, we like her but we want someone younger in, and a veteran is important and this guy represents for vets.

  5. Submitted by John Reinan on 08/05/2012 - 08:29 pm.

    Jefferson Action is working to end this kind of stuff

    Eric, you should take a look at what MN-based Jefferson Action is doing in a hotly contested Congressional race in Ohio. This is precisely the kind of thing they’re trying to end, and they’re starting to have an impact.

    I’m working with them in a paid capacity, so full disclosure. But this is so on point that I had to mention it.

    http://www.jeffersonaction.org

    • Submitted by Ross Williams on 08/06/2012 - 10:34 am.

      End What?

      End the impolite exposition of the consequences of policies politicians claim to support. As far as I can tell there is nothing inaccurate in this advertisement. The problem is that the issues it raises have gone unreported.

      Ron Paul represents a significant political movement and Kurt Bills has forcefully identified his campaign as part of Paul’s movement. He really does believe the Civil War was a mistake, that states should have been allowed to secede. And the consequences of that really would have been a separate, permanent slave empire if the confederates had been successful. Paul really does believe people should be free to discriminate against hispanics, blacks and other minorities. And he really did express support for Hitler and opposition to our involvement in saving Jews from the holocaust.

      There is nothing wrong with this ad, except it doesn’t fit the media’s narrative about Ron Paul or Kurt Bills and that makes them uncomfortable.

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/06/2012 - 10:49 am.

    When you explicitly take up the mantle of a person with history, you should know what that history is.

    Whether the real Ron Paul believes in the things that were printed in his name or just tolerated them as a cynical attempt to gin up support after a failed 1988 run, they still are a part of his history.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2008/01/the_rockwell_files

    Either way, when you want the trains to run on time, you need to look at the conductor.

    It’s a lazy, sloppy way to campaign, “I’m just like…”

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/06/2012 - 12:29 pm.

      Good point about Lew Rockwell

      Imagine how loudly the right-wing would squeal if a Democrat had issued a newsletter in his name that said comparably outrageous things.

  7. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/06/2012 - 12:18 pm.

    Lazy journalism

    Eric, this is some of the laziest reporting I have ever seen.

    In one of Paul’s congressional campaigns, his opponent pulled a quote from newsletter published in Paul’s name which stated that 95 percent of black men were criminals. Paul claimed that the quote was not his and that a staffer wrote it without his knowledge or permission. The problem is that there are decades worth of newsletters in Paul’s name which contain similar racist and anti-semitic material, and the kind of nutty things that appear in the Carlson ad. In response to those newsletters being turned up, Paul claimed that he did not author those either, despite the fact that the articles frequently refer to himself in the first person or cite his experience as an Ob-gyn. Paul would have you believe that hundreds of publications went out under his name over a period of several decades, and he had no knowledge or control over it.

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/angry-white-man?page=0,0

    Whether Bills supports everything Paul ever said is unclear – he may be like you, Eric, and just isn’t interested in questioning the popular version of Ron Paul that has emerged in recent years. But if you are going to imply that Carlson’s ad was false and/or just a hit piece, don’t you think you need to actually check things out? This is a guy that thinks that Minnesota should print its own money, so can you be sure that he doesn’t support any of the crazy things Carlson says he does?

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/06/2012 - 01:10 pm.

    Can’t help but notice…

    …as a non-Republican, that there’s a lot in the ad telling me why I should not vote for Kurt Bills (I don’t really need any prodding on that point), but nothing explaining why I should vote for David Carlson.

    • Submitted by Jennifer Evans on 08/07/2012 - 09:26 pm.

      Did you bother to watch his other ad?

      I saw his ad online first, but he ran them in St. Paul last night. First was an ad about David and his vision. The “hard” ad came the next hour, so saying he didn’t give any reasons to vote for him are false. Perhaps you need to watch the other video “Making Minnesota Strong Again” on his youtube channel…

  9. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/06/2012 - 03:33 pm.

    I agree with Dan Hintz: where’s the reporting here? The digging? The analysis, not just the showing, of the ad’s claims?

    This shallow piece, that just re-runs the TV ad for us, is an example of what’s wrong with what passes for political news in this country. We get to share a little clip that reinforces what is a potentially very wrong idea about candidates.

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