Fact Check: New attack ad on Stewart Mills considered "misleading"

By KBJR News 1

July 25, 2014 Updated Jul 25, 2014 at 7:32 PM CDT

DULUTH, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) --- U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan's Republican challenger is demanding a new attack ad be taken down.

In a letter to local television stations, Stewart Mills claims a new attack ad by House Majority PAC and AFSCME contains misleading information and "blatant lies" about his stances on minimum wage and tax reform.

The attack ad says Mills is out of touch and strings three separate sentences together to try to prove it.

"I guess one could say it could be seen as putting words in his (Mills) mouth," said University of Wisconsin Superior Political Science Professor Alison Von Hagel.

Von Hagel says the majority of the ad does not contain factual errors, but provides information that could be misleading to voters.

"The splicing is cause for concern and certainly is used for particular motivation on the part of the producers," Von Hagel said.

Mills says the ad manipulates the timing of his words in a twenty minute long speech.

"Now Stewart Mills is against raising the minimum wage, but wants a tax break for the wealthy," the ad says.

If you ask the Mills campaign, these claims are not true.

Mills said he never once called for a tax break on the wealthy and says raising the minimum wage will not fix the economy, but job growth will.

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden says the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) will provide financial support to even out attack ads published by Democratic leaning outside groups.

"They realize that Mr. Nolan is not in touch with his constituents, he's cast some really bad votes and kind of represents the extreme side of the spectrum," Walden said.

Von Hagel says the 8th Congressional District race will be targeted by more ad's like House Majority PAC's, and voters should be critical of all attack ads on both sides this election cycle.

"There are truly so few competitive districts left in this country," Von Hagel said. "When there are competitive races, when there is an open seat, when there is an incumbent that looks like he or she could be challenged, what we see is all the money in the political universe seems to converge on these places."

A spokesman said House Majority PAC and AFSCME are pumping in $150,000 combined to air the ad against Mills.

Nick Minock
nminock@kbjr.com