Democrats aren't being subtle about who they fear most in Minnesota. Last week, House Majority PAC, which is Nancy Pelosi's PAC, put together an ad so defamatory that 2 TV stations took the ad off the air within a couple hours after getting a letter from the Mills campaign. It didn't take long for another Democrat front group to make a major ad buy using the same material as the HMP ad used. This time, the ad is officially paid for by AFSCME PEOPLE.
There's little doubt why the Democrats' smear machine is being deployed against Stewart Mills. On July 25, the Cook Political Report changed their status report on the Mills-Nolan race from leans Democrat to toss-up. That's the second change made by the Cook Political Report. The first change to the race was from likely Democratic to leans Democratic.
Democrats see Nolan as a weak incumbent in a tough year for Democrats. Nolan's position is complicated by the fact that he's trying to tiptoe through a minefield (pardon the pun) over mining. Iron Range voters demand that he be loyal to them on that issue. Environmental activists insist that he stay loyal to them.
Thus far, he's handled that tiptoe act with all the grace of a man trying to navigate his way through a minefield wearing snowshoes.
That's why Democrats have deployed the heavy artillery this early. They know that Nolan can't win this election without driving down turnout for Stewart Mills.
The ads aren't paid for by Rick Nolan but they have his implicit permission. By sitting silent while this smear campaign airs, Nolan is implicitly consenting to the Democrats' smear campaign.
It's true that candidates can't coordinate with independent expenditure groups or PACs. That doesn't mean, however, that candidates have to sit silent while his party, in this case Democrats, runs a wildly inaccurate smear campaign. It isn't illegal for candidates to display some integrity or a spine.
It's just that, in this case, Nolan doesn't have a spine or a bit of integrity. That makes him a perfect fit with Nancy Pelosi, AFSCME PEOPLE and the Democratic Party's smear machine.