Pawlenty’s campaign asks DFL to pull ad. DFL says no

Governor Pawlenty is asking the DFL to quit running a TV ad that says Pawlenty allowed sex offenders into a nursing home. You can view the ad here. Pawlenty’s campaign spokesman Brian McClung says the campaign sent a letter to the DFL Party asking them to stop running the ad:

The DFL ad is patently false and we are calling on the DFL to stop running the ad immediately. Knowingly running a false political ad is a violation of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 211B and may result in a gross misdemeanor.

The assertions in the ad are not supported by the newspaper articles cited. In addition, the Pawlenty Administration did not send multiple sex offenders to the Concordia Care Center and no sex offender placed by the Pawlenty Administration sexually assaulted or sexually abused other residents.

DFL Party spokeswoman Jess McInstosh says the party will keep running the ad. She issued this response:

“The claims made in the ad are disturbing, yet accurate.

“During the Pawlenty administration, the Department of Corrections sent at least two convicted sex offenders from prison to be housed in nursing homes. We are not talking about elderly, infirm men who had served their sentence and returned to society before needing care. These men were in their 20’s and 40’s and coming straight from jail.

“One man fondled a mentally ill woman after she told him to stop and allegedly sexually assaulted her to the extent that she had to be admitted to a hospital for medical treatment. The other man engaged in such disturbing stalking behavior that he was sent back to prison for it. Both of these men were admitted to the nursing home under Governor Pawlenty’s watch and the abuses happened during his administration.

“We understand why the Governor would object to this ad – it raises serious concerns about his ability and willingness to protect the Minnesotans who need it the most.”

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The issue will be kept alive for another day. Governor Pawlenty has scheduled a Wednesday news conference with Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion and Dru Sjodin’s mother to unveil Minnesota’s new non-compliant sex offender website.

  • Bill Prendergast

    I don’t understand the Pawlenty administration’s argument here.

    The Pawlenty administration goes after Hatch with accusations of dishonesty, and the Hatch people come back with facts that show their ad is accurate, as far as it goes. So who is the voter to side with; the guys who have the facts, or the guys who just make accusations?

    Hatch broke the Concordia molestation story–on MPR, as I recall. If he hadn’t called the media’s attention to the Pawlenty policy, would the Pawlenty administration still be sending sex offenders to nursing homes?

    I know that KSTP television gave the ad a C minus for accuracy, but they didn’t really dispute any of the substantive accusations in the ad. All they did was point out that Democratic administrations in other states had also housed sex offenders in nursing homes, and that the Ventura administration had also housed a sex offender in a nursing home.

    I fail to see how any of that gets the Pawlenty administration off the hook, in terms of responsibility for protecting the innocent and helpless from convicted sex offenders.