What Minnesotans won’t hear at tonight’s GOP Senate debate: The truth.

Republicans have long been “shaky” with their facts on the campaign trail

There’s one thing Minnesotans won’t hear at tonight’s Republican U.S. Senate debate: the truth.

For nearly a year now, Republicans running in the highly contested primary — state Sen. Julianne Ortman, investment banker Mike McFadden and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg — have repeatedly made “false,” “shaky,” and “out of context” claims on the campaign trail.

Minnesotans shouldn’t expect anything different at tonight’s debate, which is hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition of Minnesota. Here are just some of the false claims Minnesotans can expect Republicans to make:


Julianne Ortman accusing Senator Franken of “staying shamefully silent in the face of IRS targeting.” [Julianne Ortman e-mail, 2/25/14] Ortman’s claim was rated “False” by MPR’s PoliGraph.

“And Franken wasn’t silent when the IRS scandal broke. He condemned the IRS’s actions on several major television outlets.” [MPR, 3/5/14]

“Franken didn’t stay silent on the issue after the IRS report came out, as Ortman said.” [MPR, 3/5/14]


Mike McFadden claiming that Senator Franken said “those who liked their health plans could keep them under the Affordable Care Act.” FALSE. McFadden has offered “no record” of Senator Franken making this claim and media outlets have deemed it “shaky” and “taken out of context.”

“But the McFadden campaign offered no record of Franken making that promise… Months ago, the Star Tribune asked McFadden campaign for any back up of its claim about Franken but it has offered no back up.” [Star Tribune, 1/30/14]

“The five-second sound bite Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden is using to try tying Sen. Al Franken to the latest health-care reform rollout controversy is taken out of context.” [MinnPost, 11/4/13]


Chris Dahlberg using the term “Obamaphones,” coined by a right-wing chain e-mail, to talk about government prioritization. Unfortunately for Dahlberg, the program he is referring to — which helps low-income households get phone service — has been around for more than a decade. Right-wing claims like Dahlberg’s were rated “Mostly False” by Politifact. [PolitiFact, 10/28/09]


Mike McFadden claiming Senator Franken directed the IRS to “intimidate and harass people based on their personal beliefs.” McFadden’s claim was rated “False” by MPR’s PoliGraph.

“While Franken signed a letter asking the agency to make sure that groups that are engaging in political activities aren’t violating their tax exempt status, that letter did not single out conservative organizations or encourage the IRS to ‘intimidate and harass people based on their personal beliefs,’ as McFadden said.” [MPR, 3/5/14]