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Eye On Boise

Ad Watch: Minnick’s latest commercial

Here's a look at the claims in Congressman Walt Minnick's new campaign ad, which starts running today in the Boise and Spokane TV markets:

CLAIM: "Raul Labrador - misleading you again. It's gotten so bad he was forced to pull another false ad before it even ran. So who should you trust?"

CONTEXT: Yesterday, Labrador's campaign pulled an ad before it began airing after being notified that it contained copyright material from the "Idaho Debates" on Idaho Public Television. The clip in question was Minnick in a 2008 debate gaffe saying he favored a "middle class tax increase," a comment that he corrected two minutes later in the debate by saying he favored a "middle class tax cut," though the correction wasn't included in the ad. The Labrador campaign is revising the ad to use different material and likely launch this weekend.

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CLAIM: "A businessman - Walt Minnick's one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress. He opposed Obama's tax increases, proposed a balanced budget amendment and a ban on earmarks to cut government spending."

CONTEXT: Minnick is the former longtime CEO of Trus Joist Corp., which became TJ International; and then launched Summerwinds Garden Centers. The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste PAC, when it endorsed Minnick, the only Democrat among its endorsees, called him a "bright light among his colleagues" and said he "has a proven track record of voting to eliminate government waste and reduce taxes." Minnick opposed both President Obama's budgets and his cap-and-trade legislation on the basis that they'd increase taxes, and co-sponsored legislation for a balanced budget amendment. He also sponsored a bill to ban earmarks and has refused to request any.

CLAIM: "And Walt's supported by Citizens Against Government Waste and the Chamber of Commerce. Walt Minnick, right for Idaho."

CONTEXT: Minnick was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce early in the summer, and the organization has run two TV ads on his behalf in Idaho. The Meridian Chamber PAC endorsed him this week.

IMAGES: The ad includes several scenes used in Minnick's earlier ads, including a not-too-flattering photo of Labrador, Minnick shaking hands with soldiers and Minnick fly-fishing, along with printouts of recent online news reports and a brief scene from the close of Labrador's TV ad.

LABRADOR RESPONSE: Labrador's campaign issued this statement in response to the ad:
"Walt Minnick is running a toxic campaign that is desperately trying to deflect attention from his failed record in Congress.  Our first ad was entirely accurate and is still running.  In fact, it is now running in Spokane.  Our new ad will begin appearing this weekend in both Spokane and Boise and it will tell voters about Minnick’s troubling record on taxes.  He voted to reinstate the Death Tax, which will be devastating to many Idaho farmers, ranchers and their families.  He is on record saying all options are on the table for draconian and unpopular measures and if he’s re-elected Walt Minnick will gladly raise taxes to pay for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic spending binge these past two years."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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