Sunday, September 5, 2010

BACONEWS: Battle over beer 'n bacon


New skirmish in battle over beer and bacon

From CNN deputy political director Paul Steinhauser

The back-and-forth over a campaign ad Rep. Michele Bachmann recently released has become campaign fodder for both Bachmann and her opponent, State Senator Tarryl Clark.

(CNN) - Call it the food fight that won't end.

The Democrat challenging Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's sixth congressional district is headed to the state fair Thursday. No surprise there: people from across the state make an annual trek to the state fair, which runs through Labor Day.

But State Senator Tarryl Clark's visit comes just days after the Bachmann campaign went up with a television commercial which targets her Democratic challenger for voting to raise taxes on corn dogs, deep fried bacon and beer, popular cuisine at just about any state fair in the Midwest. And both candidates are using a back-and-forth over the ad for their own campaign fundraising.

"It's state fair time and you don't want to hear about politics," says a character in the ad named Jim the Election Guy. "But while you're at the fair, you should know that Tarryl Clark here voted to raise taxes on your corn dog, and your deep fried bacon, and your beer. So if you see Tarryl Clark, while you're at the fair, just ask her: What's up with voting to tax my beer."

The Clark campaign immediately fired back.

"With no record of accomplishment to run on, Michele Bachmann is back on the air with yet another attack ad," said Clark campaign manager Zach Rodvold in a statement. "Contrary to Bachmann's claims – Tarryl consistently fights to hold the line on taxes for over 95 percent of Minnesotans, and voted for deep cuts to the state budget totaling 10 percent in the last two years alone. Unlike Michele Bachmann, Tarryl voted for balanced budgets each of the last four years."

The Clark campaign is now fundraising off the ad.

"Help us fight back against Bachmann's brand of politics – make a contribution today!" says an email to supporters.

The email also claims that the Bachmann attack over raising taxes on corn dogs, deep fried bacon and beer doesn't make sense because "it was the people of Minnesota who voted to increase the sales tax – in order to fund land conservation and clean water."

Bachmann, a two term congresswoman who is a favorite of many conservatives and Tea Party activists, is also fundraising off the commercial.

"She wants to raise taxes on state fair food like corn dogs and beer! It's facts like this that make it crystal clear: we can't afford to allow Tarryl Clark and Nancy Pelosi to defeat me," says Bachmann in an email to supporters.

The Bachmann commercial also apparently included unauthorized state fair logos, which have since been replaced.

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