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MN-08: Group supporting Clark attacks Nolan, Nolan supporters respond

by The Big E on August 3, 2012 · 6 comments

A group supporting Tarryl Clark mailed to voters in Minnesota’s Eighth District this week. Their piece attacks DFL endorsed candidate Rick Nolan for his stance on abortion.

Women Vote!, the political arm of Emily’s List, says in the mailing that Democrat Tarryl Clark will protect abortion rights for women. It raises Nolan’s voting record on abortion during his tenure in Congress in the 1970s.

“As a member of Congress, Rick Nolan failed to protect a woman’s right to choose, voting repeatedly in favor of limiting access to abortions for some low-income women,” the mailing says.

This is the first action Emily’s List has taken on behalf of Clark. The group, which works to elect female candidates who support legalized abortion, endorsed Clark’s candidacy last year. A spokeswoman for Women Vote! did not returned messages to comment on the group’s activity in the race.
(MPR)

A Nolan supporters group, Women for Nolan,  responded with a press release:

With less than two weeks to go before the 8th District DFL Congressional primary, some outsiders are filling our mailboxes with lies and distortions about Rick Nolan’s record on women’s issues.

Shame on Tarryl Clark and her outside Washington supporters. With outside money and distorted, negative attacks, they are attempting to tear down Rick Nolan’s well-earned reputation as a 30-plus year champion for women’s rights, for Planned Parenthood and for civil rights and human rights for all Americans. This is wrong.

Not being from the district, Tarryl is obviously unaware that this is not the way to do politics in the 8th Congressional District and in our DFL Party. Tearing down a good friend and Democrat is not the way to advance the cause of women’s health and women’s reproductive rights here in Minnesota and across our nation. Nor is it the way to beat Chip Cravaack and the Republicans in Congress.

Former State Senators Becky Lourey and Twyla Ring as well as Tina Welsh (Founding Director of the Women’s Health Center) Cordy Strand, Cathy Daniels, Lynette Swanberg and Tessa Hill all signed the statement.

Images of the attack mailer below the fold.
Click on the image to see larger versions. Images from MPR.

Here’s the entire Women for Nolan press release:

Eighth District Women for Nolan Respond to Clark’s Negative Mailings

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 2, 2012

(DULUTH, MN). . .With less than two weeks to go before the 8th District DFL Congressional primary, some outsiders are filling our mailboxes with lies and distortions about Rick Nolan’s record on women’s issues.

Shame on Tarryl Clark and her outside Washington supporters. With outside money and distorted, negative attacks, they are attempting to tear down Rick Nolan’s well-earned reputation as a 30-plus year champion for women’s rights, for Planned Parenthood and for civil rights and human rights for all Americans. This is wrong.

Not being from the district, Tarryl is obviously unaware that this is not the way to do politics in the 8th Congressional District and in our DFL Party. Tearing down a good friend and Democrat is not the way to advance the cause of women’s health and women’s reproductive rights here in Minnesota and across our nation. Nor is it the way to beat Chip Cravaack and the Republicans in Congress.

We are deeply disappointed Tarryl Clark and her allies have become so desperate as to go negative. Rick Nolan has never strayed from running a positive and uplifting campaign focusing on the core issues that unite us: creating jobs, protecting Medicare, ending the partisan gridlock in Washington and ensuring equal and fair treatment for all. This is why he won the DFL endorsement and this is why he is the best candidate to beat Chip Cravaack.

We must reject these negative campaign tactics. We are confident that 8th District primary voters will respond by resoundingly confirming that our DFL endorsed candidate, Rick Nolan, will win on August 14th.  He will represent us all in a manner we can be proud of.

Sincerely,

Women for Nolan Co-Chairs:

Becky Lourey – former State Senator, Kerrick
Tina Welsh – Founding Director, Women’s Health Center
Cordy Strand – Aitkin County DFL Vice Chair
Cathy Daniels – 8th Congressional District DFL Treasurer, Hibbing
Lynette Swanberg – Senate District 7 DFL Board, Duluth
Tessa Hill -Senate District 32 DFL Director
Twyla Ring, Former District 18 State Senator, North Branch, MN

Joel in Duluth August 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

Tina Welsh (who signed the Women for Nolan statement) is a legendary figure in Duluth politics.  Now retired, for many years she was the director of Duluth’s Women’s Health Clinic.  She is probably more associated with the struggle for reproductive rights in the 8th Congressional District than any other individual.

ericf August 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

I’ve observed that when we don’t have an indication of where candidates are in a primary, a good indication is to see who goes negative first. This was an outside group on Clark’s behalf, not Clark, so I don’t trust it as much as a sign, but unless we get an actual poll, this suggests a poll gave Clark bad news. The fact Anderson went negative fist suggests he’s coming in third, and this suggests Clark is running second. It makes me think Clark or Emily’s List has a poll showing them that. DFL primary voters don’t generally respond well to DFl-on-DFL negative campaigning, so attacking is something you generally don’t do unless you’re losing. Doesn’t mean the attack is false or that it won’t work. Just suggests to us who stands where in lieu of a poll. In that case, if that’s right, the attack is sort of good news for Nolan. Or perhaps he has a poll giving good news and that’s why he doesn’t go negative, though that begs the question of why he wouldn’t release the result.

dan.burns August 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

One other thing, there really isn’t much, at all, separating Clark and Nolan in their campaign platforms, at least not that I know of.  So they were kind of in a tough place and had to reach, and reach they did.  I suppose they did some focus group stuff and so forth, and decided that going after these old stances on choice was their best chance, which just indicates how feeble their options are.  I think they’d have been better served by staying positive.  I don’t see this as helping Tarryl politically, down the road.

There are arguments against releasing good internal polling.  Why not just sit on it, peacefully, inscrutably, like the Buddha, instead of tipping your hot hand?

Joel in Duluth August 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Word on the street speaks of some polls that confirm your analysis.  Clark is also hamstrung by the absence of a field operation.  (Both Nolan and Anderson had large contingents in West Duluth’s Spirit Valley Days parade last night, while Clark had about five people march with her.)  This makes her almost totally dependent on adveristing and mailings, and her TV ads are not especially effective.  Anderson, by contrast, is hamstrung by the absence of money to pay for TV, which makes him almost entirely dependent on free media and his field operation.  He’s taken a big gamble by going hard right on mining issues in an effort to run up the score on the Range.  Without advertising, however, it is hard to see how he gets many votes outside Duluth and the Range.  Nolan, right now, is the only one with both the money for TV and a field operation.  And his ads (which feature him giving a fiery speech), while not brilliant, should be effective with a DFL primary audience.

DelJ August 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm

She is such a piece of shit.  I don’t know how anyone can vote for her.

dan.burns August 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm

want to use “blue” terminology, please type it as s**t, f**k, a**hole, or whatever.  The reason for that, is so we’re not blocked at schools and libraries.  You know how people are.

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