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    Holiday Stationstores Refuse to Run Republican Ad Campaign

    Retailer does not accept political ads, and won't run anti-Democratic ad connecting the party to rising gas prices on pump monitors, the company reported.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Members of the Minnesota Republican Party developed an anti-Democratic advertising campaign connecting the political party to rising gas prices. While the advertisement was slated to run this week on at-the-pump video monitors, Holiday Stationstores refused to run the commercial.

    Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert is behind the advertising campaign and told the Pioneer Press earlier this week that his caucus hoped stations including Holiday and Speedway SuperAmerica would run the ad on their video monitors.

    The advertisement states, in part: "Who is to blame for higher gas prices? It's the Democrats at the state Capitol."

    Robert Nye, Holiday spokesman, told the paper the company has a long-standing policy against accepting political ads. "It's not as if Seifert had asked and we thought about it and we said no," Nye told the Pioneer Press. Holiday operates gas stations in Minnesota, 49 of which have at-the-pump video monitors.

    Spokeswoman for Speedway SuperAmerica's corporate parent, Linda Casey, told the paper that the company does not have television monitors at its stations.

    Yesterday, Seifert conceded that the gas station video monitor ad campaign was dead in the water.

    Seifert and his Republican counterparts have refocused their mission and plan to run the same 15 second ad on network television stations in the Twin Cities. The ads will start running tomorrow during evening newscasts.

    House Majority Leader Tony Sertich contends that the ad focuses on the gas tax, which represents only a small fraction of the increase in prices and not the gas industry profits, which run more than $100 billion a year, he told the paper.

    The controversy stems from a Minnesota Legislature vote, which transpired earlier this year calling to increase the 20 cents-per-gallon gas tax to 22 cents this spring, and to 25 cents on Oct. 1. This marks the first increase in two decades. The measure would also impose a surcharge of 3.5 cents per gallon to pay the debt service on $2 billion in road and bridge construction bonds. The Pioneer Press reported that in 2014, the tax and surcharge would be 28.5 cents.

    The paper reported that all House Democrats and six House Republicans voted for the final measure, after Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed it. All Senate Democrats and two Senate Republicans voted for it.

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