Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Minnesota Senate: New Group Airs Pro-Coleman Issue Ad

By Stuart Rothenberg

American Future Fund, a 501 (c) (4) group based in Iowa, will begin airing a 30-second TV ad on Wednesday March 19 praising the efforts of Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and urging viewers to call him to “thank him for his agenda for Minnesota.”

The ad opens by asserting that Coleman, who faces a difficult reelection race later this year, “teamed with Amy Klobuchar to secure $250 million in funding to rebuild the 35W bridge.”

It goes on to say that “Coleman has worked with Republicans and Democrats to make college more affordable, expand opportunities for our soldiers and National Guard returning home, and crack down on predatory lenders.”

The ad ends by calling the Republican Senator “an independent voice for Minnesota.”

The spot never identifies Klobuchar as a Democrat or Coleman as a Republican.

The ad was produced by highly regarded GOP media consultant Larry McCarthy of McCarthy Marcus Hennings for American Future Fund, which is “a multi-state issues advocacy group designed to effectively communicate conservative and free market ideals,” according to information provided by someone close to the group.

The group has not yet identified other states where it will run ads.

Among others associated with the group are pollster Jan Van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research (whose past and present clients have included President George W. Bush, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), veteran GOP legal advisor Ben Ginsberg of Patton Boggs and former Republican Governors Association (RGA) executive director Ed Tobin.

Ginsberg, at one time or another, has been counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the RGA.

The Coleman spot will run in the Minneapolis and Mankato markets. According to knowledgeable sources, the ad will run “at very significant levels” in both markets for about three weeks.