KSTP TRUTH TEST: Attack on Fischbach misleads

Tom Hauser
Updated: October 23, 2020 06:30 PM
Created: October 23, 2020 06:22 PM

Minnesota's 7th Congressional District is by far the most expensive in Minnesota in both candidate spending and outside spending. TV ads are suddenly flooding the airwaves attacking both Democratic incumbent Collin Peterson and Republican challenger Michelle Fischbach.

Several ads aimed at Fischbach include some elements of truth but are often unclear and misleading.

"The special interests have a special friend in Michelle Fischbach," says a TV ad from the Democratic House Majority PAC. "They bankrolled her campaign and she voted their way."

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The ad claims Fischbach received over $160,000 from special interests. However, it gives no citation or time frame for when she received the money. Records from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board indicate her state Senate campaigns received $35,755 between 2009 and 2018 from lobbyists and political action committees. As a candidate for Congress this year she has received just over $170,000 from special interests, according to the website opensecrets.org. By comparison, the same website shows Democrat Collin Peterson has received just over one million dollars from special interests in the current election cycle

The ad goes on to criticize Fischbach over farm policy along with funding for education and health care.

"Trying to gut funding for Minnesota schools and hospitals. Even a government power grab forcing farmers to give up productive land."

It's unclear what they mean by "gut funding for Minnesota schools and hospitals." While Fischbach was in the state Senate funding for schools went up most years, although not by as much as Democrats wanted. The same is true for health and human services funding.

As for "forcing farmers to give up productive land," there is some truth to this, but it comes with a twist. Fischbach did vote in favor of a bill supported by and signed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that created "buffer strips" to protect waterways from farm run-off.

"Worse, Fischbach cashed into work for the special interests as a lobbyist," the ad says.

This is true. Last year after leaving public office, Fischbach took a part-time job as government affairs director for the Central Minnesota Builders Association.

This ad includes some trues statements, but mostly exaggerated and misleading information that leaves a false impression.

It gets a "C" on the "Truth Test."

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