TRUTH TEST: NRCC Attacks Bonoff on Taxes

November 03, 2016 02:11 PM

Democrat Terri Bonoff has a 10-year voting record in the Minnesota Senate and it's being used against her by Republicans in her 3rd District Congressional race.

"I have repeatedly been willing to vote for unpopular taxes," is the quote from Bonoff featured at the beginning of a new TV ad from the National Republican Campaign Committee.

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RELATED: See all of Tom Hauser's Truth Tests

That quote came from a debate with her Republican opponent, Erik Paulsen, in August and she was specifically talking about taxes to help fund transportation infrastructure projects.

In 2008, she did vote for a transportation finance bill that included a series of gas tax increases to help fund a $6.6 billion plan for highways, bridges and roads.

READ: Bill to raise gas tax

It was favored mostly by Democrats, however a few Republicans crossed party lines to override a veto by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The ad also says Bonoff voted in favor of "local sales taxes." It cites the 2006 bill that financed the new Twins stadium in part with a local sales tax in Hennepin County. However, that bill passed with bipartisan support.

READ: Twins stadium bill that included sales tax in Hennepin County

Finally, the ad claims "Bonoff voted to raise her own salary 35 percent" and that by doing so she was "sticking taxpayers with the bill." It is true Bonoff voted for a bill in 2013 that would have raised legislative pay from about $31,000 to $42,000. All Republican Senators and five Democratic Senators voted against the bill. Bonoff joined 33 other Democrats voting in favor on a bill that narrowly passed 34-32.

However, the House, which was also controlled by Democrats at the time, declined to take up the bill unless there was broad, bipartisan support. So the bill never became law.

This ad includes mostly true statements of fact, although it does mislead viewers to some extent on the pay raise issue. The ad gets a B-plus on the "Truth Test."


Tom Hauser

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