Reality Check

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Reality Check: Major League Soccer & Public Stadium Funding

Minnesota lawmakers are showing a deep reluctance to wade into another stadium debate at the Capitol. That’s after Major League Soccer awarded a professional franchise to a group of Minnesota investors, who may ask for public stadium funding — the same kind of funding every other professional sports team got.

04/01/2015

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Reality Check: The Price Of Not Buying Health Insurance

Minnesotans have until Feb. 15 to sign up for health care insurance or pay a tax penalty. And this year, that penalty could really sting. According to MNsure, the state’s health care exchange, the 2015 penalty for not buying insurance coverage is:

02/04/2015

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Reality Check: Last Winter’s Snow Removal Cost Minnesota $136M

Two words we learned last year that we hope we don’t hear again anytime soon: Polar Vortex. Last winter set new records for Minnesota cold, and now we’ve learned it also set a new record for how much money was spent on snow and ice removal.

01/30/2015

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Reality Check: Will MN Finally Get Sunday Liquor Sales?

Minnesota lawmakers are taking aim at a nearly century-old law that’s been very difficult to take off the books. Liquor stores cannot legally open on Sundays. If it’s hard to understand why, you are not alone. It’s an 82 year old law some lawmakers are trying to repeal.

01/23/2015

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Reality Check: Minnesota’s Evolving Rural Profile

Since 1960, it’s been an unstoppable population shift, and a new study from the Center for Rural Policy and Development shows a 50-year migration from rural Minnesota to the urban corridor stretching from St. Cloud through the Twin Cities and Rochester.

01/16/2015

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Reality Check: Low Gas Prices

Just when you thought gas prices couldn’t go any lower – they did.
Some Twin Cities gas stations are now selling gas for lower than $2.30 a gallon, a windfall for consumers.

12/11/2014

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Reality Check: Transgender Athletes In Minn. High Schools

Minnesota joins 32 other states with policies for transgender athletes on high school sports teams. But that doesn’t make it any less controversial. Minnesota transgender students can choose a sports team if parents and health care professionals can prove their gender-related identity. Students don’t need proof of sex-change surgery or hormone therapy.

12/05/2014

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Reality Check: Why Are Gas Prices So Low?

AAA is forecasting more travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving than at any time since 2007.

11/26/2014

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Reality Check: GOP Ad Linking Collin Peterson To Nancy Pelosi

National Republicans are targeting Minnesota’s 7th District with a barrage of last-minute TV ads. That’s where Democratic U.S. Representative Collin Peterson is facing off with Republican Torrey Westrom.

10/31/2014

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Reality Check: Franken’s Ad Claims McFadden Closed Mont. Paper Mill

A new ad from U.S. Senator Al Franken accuses his Republican challenger Mike McFadden of helping shut down a Montana paper mill, and costing workers hundreds of jobs.

10/30/2014

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Reality Check: Guns And 8th District Candidates

The hotly contested 8th Congressional District campaign took another turn this week, over guns. The National Rifle Association is pouring nearly $750,000 into a negative ad which mocks incumbent Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan. The ad features an actor in a suit and a goofy hat, posing for election-year photos. “Nolan doesn’t get basic gun safety, and doesn’t know how many shells go in a duck gun,” the ad says.

10/30/2014

Rick Nolan And Stewart Mills

Reality Check: Are 8th District Ads Backfiring?

Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is unexpectedly among the most hotly-contested House races in the country. Outside groups are on a spending spree, pumping millions of dollars into television ads attacking Democrat Rick Nolan and Republican Stewart Mills. Mills, whose family founded the popular sporting goods chain stores Mills Fleet Farm,

10/20/2014

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Reality Check: New Franken Ad On McFadden Is Misleading

A new TV ad by Democratic Sen. Al Franken claims his Republican opponent Mike McFadden searches the world for places to avoid paying taxes.

10/08/2014

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Reality Check: Minnesota Millionaires In Congress

Democrats are continuing their TV ad war against Republican 8th district Congressional candidate Stewart Mills, calling him an “out of touch millionaire.” But if he’s elected, Mills would join hundreds of other millionaires in Congress, including many from Minnesota.

10/03/2014

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Reality Check: NRCC Ad Against 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan

Minnesota 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan is the target of a barrage of Republican advertising with a tough, emotional edge. The ads from the Republican Congressional Committee make the claim that the Democratic Congressman is soft on terrorists.

09/30/2014

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Reality Check: Gov. Dayton’s First 2014 Campaign Ad

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is airing his first political campaign ad of the year. He takes credit for “coaching” Minnesota to an economic turnaround. But did that really happen? The ad shows Dayton behind the bench, coaching a hockey team (Minnesota) that was down, but not out. It’s mostly true, but it leaves out important details.

09/25/2014

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Reality Check: The Stewart Mills Attack Ads

National Democrats are spending more than a $1 million on television campaign ads taunting Republican congressional candidate Stewart Mills. It’s a signal that Democrats take first-time candidate Mills seriously in northern Minnesota’s Eighth District race against incumbent Congressman Rick Nolan.

09/24/2014

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Reality Check: Freedom Club TV Ad Has More Whoppers Than A Burger King

Work continues in St. Paul on an $89 million dollar State Senate Office Building that’s become politically charged. But a Freedom Club television ad blasting the project may be digging itself into a bigger hole than the building’s basement.

09/19/2014

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Reality Check: Why Is So Much Political Ad Money Being Spent In N. Minn.?

The barrage of political campaign ads has begun in Minnesota. That’s no surprise. What is unexpected, however, is all the early spending on two Minnesota Congressional seats. For more than two decades, 7th District Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson was untouchable– and unbeatable. So why are Democrats spending a fortune to run this attack ad on his little known opponent, Torey Westrom?

09/17/2014

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Reality Check: Jeff Johnson And The Tea Party

Independent Minnesota political groups are spending a fortune on television ads this campaign season. They’re branding GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson as a “tea party Republican.” The ads are relentless, and ominous.

09/12/2014

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Reality Check: Franken’s Ad On McFadden’s ‘Tax Inversion’

A tough new ad from Democratic Sen. Al Franken accuses his Republican opponent’s business of avoiding taxes by headquartering overseas. But Republican Mike McFadden calls the ad “ridiculous” and “full of lies.” The ad marks a new Franken campaign strategy: directly attack McFadden for his business dealings.

09/05/2014

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Reality Check: TV News Clips In Franken’s Ad

Sen. Al Franken’s TV ad skillfully weaves the campaign’s own video and real TV news broadcasts, adding a narrator’s voice that sounds like a newsreader and morphs into actual TV anchors.

08/28/2014

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Reality Check: Ad Slams Franken’s Record Voting In Line With Obama

A new television ad from Minnesota Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden accuses Democratic Sen. Al Franken of voting almost 100 percent of the time with President Obama. The ad, with a humorous tone, ties Franken to Obama with a very Minnesotan insult: a Franken look-alike struggling to back his boat into the water.

08/25/2014

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Reality Check: Mike McFadden’s ‘Stitches’ Ad

Minnesota’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden is a hands-on guy. So much so, his family says he practices DIY health care. In a McFadden television ad called “Stitches” airing widely in Minnesota, McFadden’s son says his father removed his stitches because he thought it cost too much.

08/15/2014

Voter Turnout

Reality Check: Voter Turnout Expected To Be Low In Primary Election

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is estimating a low turnout for Tuesday’s statewide primary election. Out of 3.1 million Minnesota voters, only 10-15 percent will turn out, according to Ritchie.

08/11/2014