UPDATE: Bluestem has received an email from Vern Swedin disputing the
information in the Alliance for a Better Minnesota radio ad. He has
asked Bluestem Prairie to pull the YouTube, the factcheck document that ABM prepared, and the post that discusses
Bluestem's editor has asked for a public statement from Vern Swedin about his objections, as he now asserts that his emailed objections about the ad and post are confidential.
We will certainly publish a rebuttal of the claims alleged in the radio ad and fact check should Mr. Swedin decide to make this information public. However, Alliance for a Better Minnesota prepared and produced the radio ad, not Bluestem Prairie, and we believe that it, like the Republican Party of Minnesota flyer, are part of the story about the race in Senate District 24. [end update]
October is still young, but two new independent attack pieces illustrate how the race between Vicki Jensen (DFL) and Vern Swedin (R) for the open seat in Minnesota Senate District 24 is heating up.
The Republican Party of Minnesota has sent a third, rather generic direct mail piece attacking small business owner and school board member Vicki Jensen as a tool of "Teacher Union Bosses and their special interest group allies who are spending millions (the horrors!) to elect candidates like Jensen" who will block reforming education by ditching seniority. The back of the mail piece is shown above.
Just as with the first pieces, this has the feel of boilerplate--there's nothing specific to Jensen's service on the Owatonna School Board, work as an active member of the local chamber of commerce, or anything tailored to be district.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund radio ad is an entirely different matter. The 60 second spot makes a direct Rovian attack on what many might say is Vern Swedin's strength: his business career. Swedin is accused of allegedly leading companies that outsourced jobs, piled up debts, were slapped with hundreds of thousands of tax liens, and faced nearly a million dollars in lawsuits from unpaid lenders.
Here's the audio: [note 11/25/2012: Swedin has asked Youtube to pull the ad over privacy concerns; if the youtube is no longer available, listen to the clip here on LiveLeak.]
A friend in the district sent the audio file. Bluestem contacted ABM for supporting documentation of the claims made in the ad, and received the following document. As the friend who sent the audio file said, "It's going to get ugly." The material against Swedin is very specific. Here's the fact check document: