Good Question: Why Are There Wis. Political Ads In Minn.?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In nearly every commercial break, Twin Cities television stations are airing ads bashing incumbent Republican Wisconsin State Senator Sheila Harsdorf for giving corporations and millionaires tax breaks, and bashing Shelly Moore for wanting to give government health care to illegal immigrants.

So, why are Minnesotans seeing political ads for Wisconsin elections?

“If you’re living in Western Wisconsin, you’re getting Twin Cities television stations,” said Larry Jacobs, from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School for Public Affairs.

Jacobs pointed out that many in Hudson and River Falls work in the Twin Cities, and political advertisers are savvy enough to try to capture those people, too.

“If you’re traveling here, you’re maybe watching the TV at work or over the lunch hour,” he said.

Obviously, TV signals don’t just stop at state lines, but the 10th Senate District in Wisconsin is essentially made up of the east metro of the Twin Cities. The district hugs the state line, with the largest cities Hudson and River Falls just 30 miles or so from the WCCO-TV transmitter in Shoreview.

“If you want to have an impact on a recall election in Wisconsin, doing ads in the Twin Cities is a way to reach a whole lot of folks,” said Jacobs.

He pointed out that now U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaak used this strategy when he was running for office. He bought ads in his district in Duluth, but also in the metro Twin Cities.

“TV is a terrific medium for getting out a message and particularly for driving turnout,” said Jacobs.

Turnout is important, of course, in a recall election where only one race is on the ballot.

“This is a good investment, if they’ve got the money,” he said.

Twin Cities TV time is expensive, which is why independent groups backed by unions or business are buying the ads.

“It’s nothing we are considering, it’s just cost-prohibitive,” said Hannah Ledford, spokeswoman for the Moore campaign who works for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “The reason they’re buying: most people in the senate district watch Minnesota Television. It’s simply what they have access to.”

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  • Bill

    Bad enough we have to suffer thru our own political ads, Now Wisconsin!, GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mom

      You watch too much TV Bill. Get out of the basement, off your fat a__ and do something more constructive with your time.

      • Fureal


    • djp

      I AGREE!!!
      Oh…”Mom”…put a lid on it…these commercials are running during News hours too!

  • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

    The State Union Workers in Minnesota Stealing From Taxpayers

    With all the Union rallies going on in Wisconsin we need to look at what the State Union Workers are doing to the tax payers in Minnesota and what they consider fair.
    Lets take a look at what MinnesotaAssociation Of Professional Employees wrote in their website Tuesday February 22, 2011
    Schools are closed. Workers, high school and college students, community members, religious groups and concerned citizens have dropped their daily lives to rally against Gov. Scott Walker’s Draconian attacks on middle-class jobs and his proposal to strip Wisconsinteachers, nurses, social workers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights
    Let’s read what they are saying.
    We the Union are having our teachers call in sick and having Doctors give them fake sick notes. We are telling you this because even thought you the voters of Wisconsin elected a new Governor and Senators to clean up the waste, we think you the voters are wrong and we are going to do everything we can to take your votes and throw them in the trash. We don’t care about the financial mess that both parties got us into and we just want more money.
    The Unions in Wisconsin are right now paying nothing into their retirement and not a dime into their healthcare. How about the private workers? They are paying about 25% into their healthcare and retirement, which is not right. But still the unions want more of the tax dollars.
    Gov. Walker’s proposal would require government employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to their pensions and 12.6 percent toward health care costs. Both figures are still quite generous; on average, private sector workers pay about twice that. Those add up to a combined pay cut of 7 to 11 percent. This is a small price to pay to bring the budget back in order.
    Government Unions make 32% higher income than their private counterpart, so with the cut that is being asked of the unions they still come out ahead.
    People are also learning that, nationwide, unionize government workers have 31 percent higher salaries than non-unionized government workers and receive 68 percent more in benefits. Even with an 11-percent benefit cut, the unionized portion of Wisconsin’s government workforce would still cost more for taxpayers to maintain than in other states.
    Last year KSTP did a story on the City of St Paul workers and the work they did. The work consisted of going on long breaks and milking the clock. The were unions milking the tax payers (your money) If this was done in the private sector these workers would have been fired on the spot.
    Last year in Minnesota we had a nurses strike that the union said was about the patients. How strange it was when the union got their money, not another word about the patients.
    When illegal immigrants were caught by ICE last fall in St. Paul the union was right there to fight for their rights. What they did was sell out on the American worker.
    When Detroit was having financial problems and went to the unions for concessions, the unions would not budge. Now Detroit has an 18% unemployment rate thanks to the unions.
    So this is what is coming to the Minnesota taxpayers, get ready to open your wallets to help pay all the healthcare costs for Government Unions while you struggle to pay for a Doctors visit for yourself or your child.
    The unions had their time and they did a great job in helping the workers of America. But the Unions have sold out to the dollar and the turned their back on the American workers. The Unions have turned from shaking your hand to giving you and the American public a shake down of our wallets.

    • GN

      Thanks Mark, you pretty much nailed it.

    • Citizen

      So, Mark, what would you propose we use to replace the unions’ collective bargaining—you know, where everyone gets together to let management know they need better benefits, or higher wages, or to participate in a little bit more of the corporate profits. You remember those profits, where CEO’s make almost 300 times more than the lowliest worker. How successful will employees be stating their case one by one? Breathlessly awaiting your answer because I know you must have one.

      • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

        Well lets see, I started my business by working 18+ hours a day, now I work about 12 hours a day. I have 25 members on my staff some PT some FT. Should they make the same as me? Should the long hours I worked to get us up and running have a value? Should my money I put into the business have a value? Should the staff I have make the same as me? You Sir or Mam have no clue how the economy works in this Country. You remind me of the clowns that want it all, but don’t want to work for it! People earn the money they make, it is not handed to them!

      • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

        You missed some reading! I have no problem with the Unions on some things, but to demand something for nothing. They can hit the road and and go and ruin the economy in another state.

        • Citizen

          You did not answer my question as to whether or not or how we replace the unions. You did not respond to the effectiveness nor fairness of forcing employees to bargain one on one with employers who can fire and hire at will. In short, you just ranted on and on about how much you hate unions and how very special you are and how hard working. In this world, you can work harder or smarter. You say you work 12 to 18 hours days but you sure have a lot of time to post here and apparently read ‘CCO.

          • GN

            Hey Citizen, unions will return if the balance tips too much in one direction or the other. Mark is right in that today and in the past 30 years, unions have done more damage to the private sector employment, with a lot of help from government, than any other business in the nation. Yes, union is a business.
            That unions have put their full effort into unionizing government employees with the idea that government jobs will not be outsourced and a constant supply of income is a travesty. They have been successfull now that over 36% of public employees are unionized and less then 7% private sector and declining. Anyone with any political and economic knowledge should know that it is creating a disastrous change in the balance of political and economic power and the inability of the US to remain a sovereign nation (history through the centuries).

        • Peace Mark

          Mark, I have no idea who you are, but since you seem to know all about me, I would like to clear some things up. I am a union member (no, I am not at work right now.) I make less than $50,000 per year, and pay for half my health insurance. I make contributions out of each check for PERA. I work 9 hour shifts–nights, holidays and weekends. My job keeps me very busy, I do not have time to go online, take long coffee breaks, take time off to protest for some teachers and whatever else it is union members are constantly accused of doing while at work. I understand through your many posts that you had a bad experience with a union many years ago. That happens. Not everyone is suited for every job. My union has protected co-workers who were being wrongly targeted by vindictive supervisors. My union also protected someone who should’ve been fired 5 times over, even though our local did not support it. The ironic thing is, I am a Conservative. Why am I in a union job? Because to do what I want to do, I have to be. It is a public service job, I can’t have it any other way. My issue with you is your blanket statements about unions. ALL unions this, ALL unions that and you refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees with you. Do some changes need to be made to some unions? Yes. But please don’t lump all the good union employees in with the few bad apples. Just as in any walk of life, there are going to be some people below your standards. There has to be, that’s how we get high standards. You are so passionate about your work and theories, it’s too bad you can’t put that passion somewhere else, instead of assuming you have all the answers for people and professions you know nothing about.

          • waste

            When I hear that the best teachers are being laid off because of union rules instead of who is performing the best, I have to say, what the F___.
            Is this really what you want as a union person? You sir, are in a union. You see this waste, if you as a member will not stand up and correct things in your union family, then the rest of us will tell you and your union family we have no need for you.

            Why is it that people in an organization always know when something is wrong, unethical, etc, but they never do anything about it.

            Stand up and demand that unions should not have a strangle hold on your job. You should be free as an American to work the job in or out of the union. If unions are so great, then everyone would join. Why are they similar to slave owners and force themselves on workers?

            • Peace Mark, and Waste too

              I am not a teacher, so I cannot speak of what you say. The county that I work in has been fortunate enough to not have layoffs, so I cannot speak of that either. How do you know if I have or have not “spoke up” about things I want corrected in my union? You make an awful lot of assumptions, which was exactly my point to Mark–you do not know me, where I work, how I work or what I’ve done with unions. My union thinks I’m a big pain the derriere for what I have tried to do. Some of it I’ve accomplished, some not. I keep trying. Your biggest mistake? Assuming I am a “sir”…

            • Flush the Waste

              Way to prove her point there, Waste! No wonder MN needs unions, to protect the rest of us from people like you and Mark.

  • gardengurl

    I understand why they are on MN stations, but I wonder why the MN stations must run so many of them during the same time span? It’s ridiculous – I’ve seen the same ad at least 5 times during one thirty-minute program. That’s the fault of the station that so greedily purchases the advertising, is it not?

    • StraycatStrut

      Its all about the money. More ads=more vote mentality. I can hardly wait to see all the BO ads for President with his 33+ fund raiers so far just this year, plenty of $$ to spend. Should actually be comical with BO telling us all about his Great Economic Plan from the golf course for the country. But hang on…. next year will be a doozie for political ads for sure.

    • idiocracy

      The station is greedily selling those spots to the politicians. With the rise of streaming video, downloading of TV shows, 100s more channels, on-demand and DVR, TV is losing viewership, companies aren’t getting as much bang for their buck with ads, so they sell ad time for cheaper and then one organization buys too much and perpetuates the process. People watch less TV because of the ads, but they have to bombard you with ads to make up for people watching less TV.

      • idiocracy

        Oh, sprinkle a little of the loudness war in there and bake for 30 minutes (15 minutes of ads while you wait).

        The television stations know exactly how loud the commercials are compared to the program you’re watching. They choose to not do anything about it. Or every single one of them have incompetent audio techs. WCCO had a good question on this topic… “It’s no louder than a car crash on the show you’re watching” Um, except the car crash doesn’t last 2 minutes for every 5 minutes of show. Here’s a hint TV stations- If you want to improve your viewership, improve the quality of what the people are watching. Step one is to lower the volume of the commercials. If the show is louder than the commercials, you will have people tuning in more and longer. WCCO though, you seem to have the volume up too loud for everything now. Blows out the detail in the sound. Great for your older viewers watching Wheel Of Fortune…

  • Norseman

    Cheeseheads know how to vote?!

    • Jay

      We arent doing any worse than you in choosing the right candidate for the job. Seems youve picked some lulu’s too!

  • Reasonable

    Oh so much to talk about here….

    1.) I’ve not seen a single ad as all of my tv comes from Hulu and Netflix. Sorry channel 4…

    2.) Mark from MN Tax Misunderstanding: Your support of Gov Walker is possibly misdirected. If you were running your business in WI, you’d be paying a higher tax rate than you would in MN. If you don’t believe me, look it up and learn something. The fun part of Walker’s bill is that it creates a provision whereby WI state govt can privately auction off the operations of public utilities. I don’t have the link to the bill, but it’s section 6. Basically, while the state will still have to operate the building, the staff will become party to whoever owns the operation. In a nutshell, private enterprise (or the highest campaign contributor if you will) will get all the profit from operating the plant and not have to pay absolutely zero in property taxes. So, more taxes from WI residents in terms of payroll tax and no revenue at all from ownership.
    THIS is why unions are still a good thing and protect the interest of the workers.

    Here’s another benefit of collective bargaining on larger enterprises; imagine the wasted time in reviewing your average twin city school’s staff on a one by one basis. Instead, people get a yearly review on the whole. So Mark, you have 25 employees. What if you had 2,500? Do you want to spend ten minutes a day reviewing each employee? It’s all you’d have time to do and you wouldn’t be able to run your business. Now instead, you collective bargain and every one gets a 3% raise and your time/money spent on negotiating is all of a couple of days. Even a person like you has to see the benefit of that.

    In the end. Just be reasonable and understand that there is a purpose for these things and it isn’t to try and take an additional $4.83 from you every year.

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