Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party is doubling-down on claims that Republicans voted to pass legislative pay raises, even though the allegations were repeatedly proven false by several major news outlets.
In an August campaign mailer, the DFL claimed that elected officials across the aisle, such as Jim Knoblach, Dario Anselmo, and Kathy Lohmer, voted to “give legislators a 45 percent pay raise.”
5 Eyewitness News later reported that the 2017 pay raises were passed by the Legislative Salary Council, and were never even voted on by any state legislators. In fact, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt opposed the proposal, which amended the state Constitution to include legislative pay raises.
“I think there’s a large amount of danger that goes with putting legislative pay in the constitution. I did not support that approach. I didn’t think it was a good idea,” Daudt told reporters in 2017.
Both Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and The Star Tribune debunked the claims after the mailers were sent out.
“That’s not true. The new constitutional amendment stripped legislators of that authority, giving it instead to the newly created Legislative Salary Council,” The Star Tribune Editorial Board wrote in response to claims that Republicans voted for the pay raises. “House Republicans are crying foul about the DFL mailer’s criticism for good reason. None of the Republicans who served in the 2013 House, which DFLers controlled, supported placing the pay council amendment on the 2016 ballot.”
MPR criticized the DFL for “using a claim about legislative pay raises” against Republicans, “despite independent media analyses that have found the claim to be false.” MPR noted in its article that both WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV previously found that the allegations were false.
But some Democrats are standing by the mailers, including House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman, who recently published an “editorial counterpoint” in The Star Tribune.
“The record is clear: Minnesota House Republicans put themselves ahead of Minnesota families,” Hortman alleged. “Contrary to the assertion of a Sept. 5 editorial, Minnesota House Republicans went in the opposite direction when they passed a bill that funded the legislature—including legislator salaries that increased 45 percent—on the third day of the 2018 session.”
Her article was later promoted on Twitter by the Minnesota House DFL Campaign, which is seeking to gain a Democratic majority in the midterm elections.
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