But when Mike McFadden, who is seeking the GOP party’s endorsement to challenge Sen. Al Franken in the general election, sent out a fact-check challenging Franken’s first ad of the campaign season, we couldn’t resist.
Franken’s ad features a local business owner and touts Franken’s efforts to train workers for more technologically demanding jobs.
Here’s what McFadden’s press release said:
“The ad highlights Franken’s ‘Community College to Career Fund Act,’ a bill that hasn’t received a single hearing in the Democrat led Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.”
It goes on to say:
“The ‘Workforce Investment Act of 2013,’ which includes similar language to Franken’s bill, has yet to receive a vote on the Senate floor.”
There’s truth to McFadden’s claims, but they also deserve context.
Franken’s ad feature’s Top Tool owner Elizabeth Abraham, who said that “today, we’re having a hard time finding skilled workers.”
“[Franken] is working to connect community colleges with manufacturers, to help businesses to fill the high-skilled jobs open right now,” Abraham said.
McFadden says Franken’s legislative efforts so far haven’t gone far in the Senate, and he’s correct.
The Community College to Career Fund Act, which would provide job training grants, is sitting in a Senate committee.
Nevertheless, Franken successfully had a similar proposal added to a broader bill aimed at improving the workforce. That bipartisan bill called the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 still hasn’t come up for debate on the Senate floor.
But this isn’t an unusual situation. Every year, hundreds of bills never make it to the Senate floor let alone out of committee.
UPDATE: Franken spokesperson Alexandra Fetissoff said the ad is meant to highlight something Franken is currently working on.
“Sen. Franken knows that the skills gap is posing a significant problem for Minnesota businesses, and that closing the gap means more Minnesotans will be employed, which is why he’s working to pass the bill—that’s the whole point of the ad,” she wrote in an email. “There will be plenty of time to talk about the things Sen. Franken has accomplished in this campaign – and we will do that—but Minnesotans need to know what he is working on now and will continue to work on if elected to a second term.”
McFadden’s claim is accurate.
Tom Erickson, spokesperson, Mike McFadden for Senate
Alexandra Fetissoff, spokesperson, Al Franken for Senate