Whether you think it's fair or not, the questions we posed needed to be answered.
We know that the race in the 3rd CD has heated up as well. Check out Mn Blue for a great post!
Minn Post even covered the fray on Friday.
"According to her, I'm a Republican and I'm a deadbeat without a job," Madia says of the way the campaign tone has changed in the last few days. "I'm a little surprised. I don't really know what to say. Politics, I guess. But it's not my style. I think it disrespects the voters.''
Bonoff launches the attack
To turn around Madia's clear lead, Bonoff has turned up the heat. This week, DFLers in the 3rd received a mailing that claimed Madia had been a Republican until recently, that he "has a history of denouncing unions" and that his "past positions on education differ from today.''
"She makes it sound like I was saying some of these things just yesterday,'' Madia says in response.
In fact, he did support John McCain for president in 2000, though, while in the Marines, he supported John Kerry and has actively supported DFL candidates ever since.
Madia suggests it's rather silly for DFLers to put down former Republicans, given the fact that any DFLer who is endorsed will need to woo some disenchanted Republicans if the DFL is to end a half-century slump.
And he did write some rather tepid stuff about unions for the Minnesota Daily in 1996, when professors were threatening to organize.
"Unions are more interested in politics than kids,'' was one of the things he wrote then. In another piece, Madia was critical of the NEA, calling it the "single biggest impediment to educational reform.''
What of that vile stuff?
"I was 18 years old when I was writing that,'' says Madia. "People do change as they grow older.''
Bonoff is unapologetic about the changing tone of the campaign. This is the fourth quarter of the campaign, she says, and she's trailing.
"I'm not nervous, I'm not afraid, I'm driven,'' she says. "I do believe I am the candidate who can win this district, and I believe it's important that we do win this district, because I believe this campaign is about the fact that this nation is in trouble. We must change directions.''
To buttress her claim that she's the candidate who can win, Bonoff often refers to a poll that was commissioned by her campaign a few weeks ago. The poll shows that in head-to-head competition, Bonoff leads Paulsen, 44-40. The same poll shows that Madia trails Paulsen, 43-40.
Given margins of error, the poll shows everything to be pretty much a dead heat. And actually, no one is more excited about the results than Madia.
"I know they released it to show that I couldn't win,'' he says. "But the way I see it is that I'm the guy who nobody's heard of yet and I'm already within three points of the Republican. We're thrilled.''
I am curious whether or not leadership stepped into the fray in the 3rd and scolded Bonoff for the "circular firing squad" work she's pushed forward in the race.
Or, is it fine for the anointed candidate to hurl accusations forward, while the challenger must stay clean?