MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District rematch between Congressman Rick Nolan and republican Stewart Mills is once again one of the closely watched campaigns in the entire country.

In 2014, this 8th District race alone generated more than $12 million in outside spending – the second-most expensive congressional campaign in the entire country.

Eighth district voters are the toughest in the state, known for hardball politics.

Nolan joined WCCO Sunday and began by defending his ad that portrays him as an “outsider.”

“My opponent tries to always portray me as professional politician – first elected in the 70s. He forgets the fact that I left politics,” he said. “I spent 32 years in business: sawmill and a pallet factory business up in the 8th, an export trading business, involved in the community as president of our Central Lakes College Foundation as a volunteer — raising scholarship money, serving on my town board. I’ve been out of politics for 32 years.”

“I just returned,” he added. “I was trying to recruit a younger candidate. I tried to convince the mayor of Duluth and some younger representatives and senators.”

The Mills campaign says Nolan has repeatedly voted to raise his own pay while cutting veterans’ salaries.

“As to the ads, they’re just wrong,” Nolan said. “Congress did not vote itself a pay raise in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012 — number one — so he’s just making that up. Secondly, it’s illegal for the congress to pass a pay raise for themselves. You can pass a pay raise, if you want, for the next congress, but we didn’t even do that,” he said.

Nolan did say that he voted for a higher pay for congress before he left in the early-1980s.

“One of the reasons I left the congress back in 1981 was, with four kids, I couldn’t afford to serve in the congress, so I voted to increase the pay for future members of congress,” he said.

In response to being accused of not raising veterans’ pay, Nolan said that’s also wrong.

“I voted to increase veterans’ pay, soldiers’ pay in 2016, in 2015,” he said. “Before that, there was a great deal of concern being expressed about what was happening in the VA, they weren’t getting the job done and taking care of our veterans. The bill that the congress put up didn’t fund the VA the way people felt it should. Many of the veterans groups were opposed to the bill in its form. As a result of killing those first measures, we were able to make some progress and I voted for the appropriation.”

The overall aim of the ad was to paint Nolan as weak and dangerous on terrorism because some of his votes.

“That’s just not true. They run these ads saying Nolan wanted to release terrorists from Guantanamo (Bay) into the United States. There’s another sentence that goes after that: release them into maximum security prisons here in the United States where they belong and where they will remain forever. Why? Because it’s costing $7 million per prisoner in Guantanamo. And we can house them in a maximum federal security prison here in the U.S. for $33,000. We can save half a billion dollars by putting them in prison where they belong.”

Nolan also spoke on being accused of wanting to bring in Syrian refugees and being soft on terror.

“I’ve lived in the Middle East. I speak Arabic. Some of these people were our friends, our supporters. They worked alongside of us. They were interpreters for us. Others are just women and children and victims of something they aren’t responsible for. Nobody has been a stronger advocate than I have in a proper and thorough vetting of refugees. No matter where they come from. It’s a process that requires the CIA, the FBI, the National Security, Homeland Security to approve them. It takes several years and before that they spent several years in refugee camps. They are so thoroughly vetted and investigated. I think Minnesota has taken in something like 24. And I think 20 of them were women and children, and two of them were men that were allies and supporters of ours.”

WCCO has repeatedly extended an invitation to candidate Mills to appear on the show.

Comments (12)
  1. Dan Mack says:

    “And we can house them in a maximum federal security prison here in the U.S. for $33,000. ” We should send all of our State prisoners there. They cost us $45,000/ year. Our 750-800 sexual offenders in Dayton’s luxury treatment centers cost us $130,000 per year each. Send them too. We believe Rick, and we want more terrorists here in the Socialist Village. Their diversity makes us stronger.

    1. bulldog says:


      I’d explain to you why your comment is either misinformed or just simple lying, but you couldn’t understand that either..

  2. leftofright says:

    More misrepresentation by WCC-ZERO. The attack adds on both sides are paid for by the DNC and RNC, not by the candidates or their specific campaigns. Just more fodder for the political canons, except WCC-ZERO does not mention that, they specifically call out Mills campaign for lieing, but not Nolan’s. If you want the truth, you really need to check in with several “news” sites and then filter it yourself because you will only get the far left side of the story on this “news” site….

    1. bulldog says:

      The media and our politics in general have been center or center-right since the early 80’s, you and the rest like you all whining about big bad left-wing media tells us just how far you have wandered into the right-wing fantasy land.

      90% of all American media is owned by 6 corporations who support and benefit greatly from Republican and right-wing economic and tax policies, they would never jeopardize that by leaning left. It’s just another example of how far to the right you have gone.

      With all your anti-science, anti-education, and anti-common sense positions, any time someone offers facts or the truth about anything, you see it as left-wing propaganda.

      What’s it like being that disconnected from the real world?

      1. leftofright says:

        Wow, talk about being at attack dog. You have no idea politically what or who I am, yet you lump me in with the far right. I actually think for myself and gather my infomration form more than just his one far left political “news” bureau. If you actually did any research you would know that CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS are all the largest news organizations, yet they “report” or fail to report based on political beliefs that benefit the politically left candiate and hinder or atttack the politically right candidate. I understand it is hard to think for oneself when you think that the government will take care of you and do away with all of the evil, but please take a moment and ask the Americal Indian how trusting our gvernment worked out for them. As for being disconnected for the real world (again with insults and no facts), I would love to be because then I could be like my liberal friends with their heads burried in the sand not knowing who is about to pound their rear ends…. try watching Fox once in a while along with WCC-ZERO and then you might figure out that the truth is somewher ein the middle, if you open your mind and think for yourself that is…..

        1. bulldog says:

          More corrections for you.

          “If you actually did any research you would know that CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS are all the largest news organizations”, you should take your own advice because in only a few moments you would learn that of the ‘news” sources you mentioned, only CNN makes the top 5.

          “yet they “report” or fail to report based on political beliefs that benefit the politically left candidate and hinder or attack the politically right candidate “. it doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it, it still won’t be true.

          “As for being disconnected for the real world (again with insults and no facts)“, your comments on this are proof enough.

          FOX is not an actual news agency and I don’t watch WCCO News or any TV news, I gather my news from a wide variety of sources, both domestic and international. I also have personal contacts all over the world, good folks I’ve known for many years, and they give me their view of world news and events on a regular basis. I only check in at local sites like this one so I can keep up on the nonsense being spewed by the local right-wingers and the alt-right, white nationalist types who like to comment here.

          You complain that I make assumptions about your politics without knowing anything about you, well, I’ve done business with people of different stripes all over the world and I have been active in state and federal level politics for almost 50 years, it didn’t take more than a sentence or two to know exactly what your politics are.

          Anyway, nothing I say will influence you one way or the other, you might learn something and I know how much right-wingers hate being educated. I’m done here.

  3. Norge says:

    You can bet that Esme Murphy and Pat Kessler set up this whole ‘in kind contribution’ for Nolan. Both are nothing but Clinton tools of the lowest order. If either of them even tried to become ‘balanced’ in their reporting, they would tip over on their face. Nolan’s self portrayal as a being just a ‘good ‘ol hard working’ businessman is as phony as slick willies ‘feel your pain’ moment. He says “Congress never passed pay raises” while he was there, but notice that he never says that he didn’t vote for them…and last because of GOP resistance to the raises. Oh, Ricky, like Hillary, you just never learn; oh what a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive the public….again.

  4. Kally Waters says:

    Nolan is one of those career politicians who has been in so long that he thinks we serve him.

    1. bulldog says:

      It always surprise me a little how many people are anxious to demonstrate their ignorance of a topic they choose to comment on. Nolan was in politics in the 70’s, left and was an actual successful businessman and productive, positive member of the community, just returning to politics in 2012.

      So I guess Mills is your guy?


      Makes sense since you have the ultimate misogynist running your Party.

      1. Dan Mack says:

        It is horrible that a candidate is accused of making an off color joke. In fact it is more misogynistic than both the Clintons poo pooing the physical sexual abuse of women under the presidential desk. I’m sure the hundred thousand Muslim women Rick seeks to bring into Minnesota would rather be stoned to death for being r aped by a Muslim man. But, then again here in the Socialist Village we must respect and make allowances for their diversity.