By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
On Wednesday, Republican Stewart Mills bragged to supporters that his campaign got a television ad against him "yanked." But the ad is still running across the state.
The ad, from the AFSCME union and the Democratic House Majority PAC, uses tape to quote Mills as saying he is offended by the idea that high earners are not paying enough in taxes. Mills is hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the Eighth District.
"The idea that the wealthy aren't paying their fair share… 2 percent, the 1 percent whatever percent you want... is personally offensive," the ad quotes Mills as saying.
After the ad was released and aired, the Mills campaign said it was misleading and spliced together sentences.
"To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive," the campaign quotes Mills, a scion of the Mills Fleet Farm fortune, as actually saying.
It asked stations not to run the ad. At least two stations, owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, complied. Hubbard Broadcasting is owned by Stanley Hubbard, a Mills donor and mega-contributor to Republican and conservative causes in Minnesota and nationally.
But other stations are continuing to air the ad.
In fact, House Majority PAC communications director Matt Thornton said, and public documents make clear, the groups have bought more air time to air the ad on other stations after the Hubbard stations declined to run the ad. Thornton said since July 22, the groups have spent a combined $675,000 to run the anti-Mills ad.
The Eighth District race is on the radar for many national groups and is considered one of the most competitive in the county. Nolan has served one term after snatching the district from one-term Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Cravaack ousted longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar from his seat.
From Minneapolis Star Tribune on August 6, 2014.