For months, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota has been going after Republican gubernatorial Tom Emmer. Now the union and Democrat-supported group is splitting its focus.

"No matter which Tom you pick you still end up with Tim," the ad says.

The ad bashes Independence Party's Tom Horner equating him with Horner and linking him to Tim Pawlenty. (Note: the DFL went after Pawlenty, too, in their ad released today.)

The message of the ad is clear: Tom Horner, a former Republican, is just a Republican and Democrats would do well to stay away.

The subtext may be slightly more nuanced: Dayton is doing well enough against Emmer but his supporters are a bit concerned that Dayton support could leak over to Horner.

The ad says that Emmer would support "huge cuts to our schools." Emmer would spend $13.8 billion on schools in the next two years, which is $500 more than they are currently getting from the state but the same amount they currently have to spend because the current budget includes $500 million from the federal government.

Schools are actually anticipated to need about $14.4 billion in the next two years to keep up with projected increases. Emmer has said that since he would spend more than the state is currently spending it is not a cut. He has not specified how the schools' program spending would change if they received the $13.8, not the $14.4 they are expected to need.

The ad also intimates that Horner wants to slash school budgets. Alliance for a Better Minnesota makes it based on a TPT exercise the station put candidates through in which Horner put 41 percent of the state budget into education rather than 43 percent, as it is now.

But Horner has stressed that he would increase funding for state universities and colleges and has said he would fully fund the projected $14.4 billion need.

Here's the ad:


Here's the transcript:

It’s a classic shell game. 
When Tim Pawlenty steps down as governor Tom Emmer and Tom Horner would be more of the same.
Emmer supports tax breaks for corporations and huge cuts to our schools.
But look so does Tom Horner
Horner says he’s independent but he would give tax breaks to corporations while raising the sales tax on middle class families.
Don’t be fooled by the shell game.
No matter which Tom you pick you still end up with Tim.