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Reality Check: Ad Supports Dayton Amid Shutdown

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There were no budget meetings Wednesday between Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders.

That brings the state one step closer to a government shutdown.

We’re already seeing the public relations war beginning, especially an ad supporting Dayton from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. The ad claims “drastic” cuts to education.

The left-leaning labor group Alliance for a Better Minnesota is spending up to a million dollars to run this ad statewide, telling Governor Dayton’s side of the story.

It has a hard political spin, asking viewers to “stand up for the middle class.”

It does generally reflect the direction Republicans are taking the budget — rollbacks and reforms — but it steps outside the lines when it says the GOP budget cuts education.

“How we solve out budget problems will say a lot about who we are,” says the ad. “The Republicans want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class, with drastic cuts to education and health care.”

That’s MISLEADING. Education funding is actually going up.

The money the state pays for every student will rise: from $5,124 per pupil this year, to $5,145 next year and to $5,165 in 2012.

And that’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

Republicans DO make severe cuts to inner city schools with minority populations: $20 million cut from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.

And they eliminate money for integration efforts, seen by some as key to closing the achievement gap.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota has grown into a powerful, influential interest group for labor and the Democrats. Last year, it spent $5.6 million targeting GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer with very tough ads that, some say, helped swing the election to Dayton.

That’s REALITY CHECK.

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