Entenza responds to Kelliher on NCLB as final hours of primary campaign heat up

Do not call it an “attack ad.” It is not.

But it is surely a purposeful response commercial that DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza launched today to counter what his campaign says is bad information coming from DFL-endorsed candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

In recent debates and in a news release last month Kelliher has attacked Entenza’s view that No Child Left Behind should be scrapped. The former DFL House minority leader consistently calls for Minnesota to pull out of the federal program, Kelliher has said such a move will harm Minnesota’s schools and and reduce federal funding by more than $400 million. But the Entenza campaign disputes that, saying a 2004 State Legislative Auditor’s report said pulling out of NCLB won’t cost the state any dollars.

Besides the verbal criticism from Kelliher, Entenza campaign manager Dave Colling said her campaign is delivering a similar message in its door-knocking and phone calls to potential voters.

In the 30-second ad, which begins with an image of former President George W. Bush and then cuts to Kellliher, a narrator says: “Margaret Kelliher is attacking Matt Entenza, saying we can’t afford to lose [NCLB]. But studies show Minnesota is forced to spend as much for No Child Left Behind as we get from Washington.”

Said Colling: “We can’t let these attacks go unanswered any longer.”

In response, Kelliher campaign manager Jaime Tincher issued a one-line statement this afternoon. “We are disappointed that in this late hour before the DFL primary, Matt Entenza is running misleading, negative TV ads,” Tincher said, without being specific.

The dustup suggests a few things: the so-called “ground game” of the campaign is heating up. Both candidates’ campaigns are calling or meeting thousands of potential voters daily in the final days of the campaign. Oddly, the polls show Mark Dayton ahead, but it is Kelliher who is more aggressively going after Entenza, and now his response.

“Matt has run nothing but a civil and positive campaign,” said Colling.

Entenza will flood the air with commercials in the final five days. Every TV viewer could see as many as 12 Entenza ads during this period, including the NCLB spot that launched today.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Aaron Landry on 08/05/2010 - 03:10 pm.

    Using a juxtaposition of George W. Bush and Margaret Anderson Kelliher within the same few seconds and verbally wrapping a Bush-era policy around her neck isn’t an attack ad?

    Entenza’s campaign has been in a tailspin that feels like it will hit the ground and blow up into a ball of flames even before August 10.

  2. Submitted by Lindsey Knowles on 08/05/2010 - 03:21 pm.

    Looks like an attack ad to me. The death throws of a quixotic campaign.

  3. Submitted by Bruce Pomerantz on 08/05/2010 - 10:36 pm.

    #2: Quixotic campaign? Try: Egotistic(al) campaign.

    I, for one, fear what a person who did opposition research on the out-going attorney general of his own party would do if he has the power of the governor to harass actual or perceived opponents.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/06/2010 - 11:38 am.

    If it walks like a duck . . .

    It’s worth noting that the voiceover says “studies show” but only one source is listed, a 6 year old study.

  5. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/08/2010 - 11:24 am.

    Margaret Anderson Kelliher has said we should reform No Child Left Behind rather than lose federal funds. I’m not sure there is a way for states to modify it OR, more importantly, to modify its successor Race to the Top — another program that punishes schools and teachers and principals rather than helping them.

    I agree with Margaret on many things (especially the Minnesota Health Plan and the return to progressive taxation symbolized by her choice of John Gunyou), but I fear that America’s entire public school system is in danger from the feds efforts to “reform” it, with schools having to fire entire teaching and administrative staffs and/or being forced to close and be replaced by PRIVATE or public charters.

    See a recent book by Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education for Research in the Bush administration, who says she woke up to the damage No Child AND Race to the Top could do and now speaks strongly against both.

    Also google “results of Arne Duncan’s reforms to Chicago schools” for a study sponsored by civic-minded Chicago business people that shows the results aren’t as good as claimed.

  6. Submitted by Julie Goldsmith on 08/09/2010 - 10:51 pm.

    NCLB was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and has already expired (2007). The Obama administration is sponsoring bi-partisan work to reauthorize ESEA with a new name and alterations entitled the “Blueprint for Education.”

    I’ll toss this question out there, does it make sense for Matt Entenza to use it as one of his campaign pillars?

    President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as a part of the “War on Poverty.” This is the Act that was reauthorized during the Bush administration as NCLB. The ESEA is in place to do far more than test our kids (MCAs in Minnesota). It is in place for education programs for those in poverty, training highly qualified teachers, safe and drug free schools (this may be eliminated through the new reauthorization), language instruction for English language learners and more.

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