MINNEAPOLIS -- There is a new commercial targeting Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison that features some serious accusations.
The commercial claims that Ellison "has been anti-cop forever, cops know it," and that he "supports convicts." Political experts say that some of the accusations the group makes are misleading.
Some of the scenes depicted in the ad are from Minneapolis, such as the ones that show the burning of the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd precinct. But at least one disturbing image is actually not from Minnesota. The carjacking scene where a person is dragged out of the car is the same as video aired by our Miami affiliate of a carjacking in Florida.
At the end of that commercial is a slate that says it was paid for a group called Minnesota For Freedom. It is an organization founded last month. According to campaign finance reports, it is funded by one organization -- the Republican Association of Attorneys General, based at an address in Washington, D.C.
Last month the group gave nearly $300,000 to Minnesota For Freedom. While this is an example of how sometimes it takes some digging with these ads to figure out where the money is really coming from, WCCO checked with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, and it is all in keeping with political financing laws here.
The Republican Association of Attorneys General's website lists 30 Republican candidates its supporting across the nation, including Jim Schultz, who is running against Ellison.
Some of the accusations in the ad are more than a decade old and have been featured in other campaigns against Ellison. In the past, Ellison has dismissed these claims as old, misleading and taken out of context.
Ellison has also said the May 2020 riots need to be seen in the context of a long history of Minneapolis police misconduct.
"Claims that these ads are making are explosive and intended to push the undecided voters away from Keith Ellison. Some of them are outright wrong," political scientist Larry Jacobs said.
WCCO reached out the Republican Association of Attorneys General to get more specifics on the accusations against Ellison and have not heard back. We also have not heard back from the campaign of Schultz.
Keith Ellison's campaign did respond, saying in part, "Jim Schultz and his wealthy backers are blatantly using fear to try to divide us from each other."
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