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The mayoral TV ad wars have begun

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: June 26, 2013 - 5:11 PM

Updated at 4:51 p.m.

A candidate for mayor has bought the first TV ad time of the 2013 city elections, and it's probably not who you think.

Dan Cohen, a former alderman and City Council president, has purchased $8,800 worth of air time on WCCO, according to the station's political file.

"The people were denied a vote on Vikings stadium funding," Cohen, who is running as an independent, says in one of two ads. "The politicians adopted a pull-tab plan that has failed and left a $350 million hole in the bucket.

"We need a downtown casino in Minneapolis. Otherwise, we're going to have to pay for the first mistake with a second one. More taxes on us. It's time the people were finally heard."

Records show that his ads are running during "This Morning," "Face the Nation" and the evening news.

Cohen has purchased a total of 14 spots, the last airing this Sunday (they began on June 17).

Additionally, Cohen purchased an ad in the Star Tribune this April that took up a good portion of a page. It said "I believe that Minneapolis needs a downtown casino. The Legislature needs to start the process. Otherwise we're all going to pay more taxes. And that's not all."

Cohen famously sued the Star Tribune in the 1980s for publishing his name after he was promised anonymity. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor and Cohen wrote a book, "Anonymous Source," about the experience.

His second spot jabs at the Star Tribune for not revealing how much Ryan Companies is paying to purchase the newspaper's land around the new Vikings stadium.

"The Star Tribune tells us they stand for the people's right to know," Cohen says. "But when it comes to the people's right to know how much they sold their Viking real estate for, their answer is an undisclosed sum. It's time for this outfit to practice what it preaches. I can't make them do it, but I sure can hold their feet to the fire."

Expect more ad buys as the race heats up. The battle for the helm of City Hall is the most prominent political fight in Minnesota this year.

Here are the two spots:

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