MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Don't believe everything you see

Oct. 1, 2018  |  Geno Fragnito

I have some good news and some bad news about the upcoming elections. I’ll start with the good news. The Aug. 14 primary election has passed and narrowed the field to one candidate per party.

Now the bad news: For the next six weeks, watching the local news or your favorite television program will be a different experience until after the election. You can expect to see more political ads than you’ve seen in years past.

The frequency and intensity of the ads will continue to increase until the general election on Nov. 6. Media outlets will sell as many ads as they can fit into a 24-hour cycle. You may even be thinking, “With all the political ads on television, can they possibly have time for regular programming?”

How did we get here? Minnesota finds itself in a somewhat unique situation this year and, as a result, we will see an unprecedented amount of money spent on political races in our state. Four of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts are considered competitive, meaning the elections results could play a role in deciding the majority party in the United States House of Representatives.

Some spending will be by the candidates trying to tell their story. A majority of the advertising will be done by outside, independent interest groups trying to paint a positive or negative picture of a candidate. This advertising will also have an indirect effect on state and local level elections.

Some campaign advertising content will be true, some partially true, some may be misleading and some may be false. That’s why you shouldn’t decide to vote for someone without doing your own research and verifying the statements that are made in favor of or against them.

Whether you’re a person who votes regularly or never votes, it’s important to remember our elected leaders set the rules the profession must follow every day. Why would you not want to engage them in conversation and share your knowledge and expertise as a trusted adviser?

The CPA profession prides itself in making informed decisions based on knowledge of a situation and verifiable facts. You would never make a tax or audit decision based on a television or radio advertisement or an unsolicited postcard that appears in your mailbox.

Do your homework -- research the candidates, make an informed decision and vote on Nov. 6.

Topics: Legislative

Geno Fragnito

Geno Fragnito is the MNCPA’s government relations director, advocating on behalf of the CPA profession. His days consist of last-minute meeting changes, building relationships with lawmakers, helping CPAs navigate state government, and putting in more than 15,000 steps per day walking the halls of the Capitol. Geno unwinds with a little golf and traveling with his family. If he weren’t a lobbyist, Geno would perfect his cast and be a professional fisherman. Geno can be reached at 952-885-5550 or gfragnito@mncpa.org.

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