Saturday, October 4, 2008

Negative Mailing Fact Check #1

Senior citizens in District 53A just received a postcard with this information on it:

"...If it hadn't been for Representative Paul Gardner...

"Representative Paul Gardner voted AGAINST eliminating state income tax on Social Security benefits.

"He also voted AGAINST reducing the state income tax by one-half percent.

"Let's CUT Paul Gardner's income by sending him packing from District 53A."

Here's a quick fact check.

The facts: On May 5th, Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) introduced an amendment on the floor of the House (House Journal 11320) during debate of the Omnibus Tax Bill (HF3149) that would exempt Social Security benefits from the state income tax. It was never introduced as an individual bill. The expected budget shortfall created by this amendment would have been half a billion dollars in the next budget biennium, and Rep. Erickson had no plan for what part of the state budget would be cut as a result.

The second item was an amendment to the Omnibus Tax Bill (House Journal 11297) introduced by Rep. Mark Olson (I-Big Lake) on May 5th that proposed cutting all state income tax rates. Again, Rep. Olson had no plan for what part of the state budget would be cut as a result.

Background: The House Republicans regularly introduced dozens of amendments on the floor to major bills that they knew would not get passed, but they introduced them so that mail like this could be sent out at election time.

Who paid for the mailing: The Freedom Club PAC is a conservative political fund that solicits donations from some of Minnesota's wealthier residents.