Painter Wants Debates, Not TV Ads, In Race With Sen. Smith By Bill Sorem | June 28, 2018 LikeTweet EmailPrint More More on Campaign Finance Subscribe to Campaign Finance Bill Sorem Former Republican Richard Painter says he has asked for debates with Sen. Tina Smith (DFL-MN) multiple times. “So far no go. I will fly to Washington to debate her if she doesn’t have time to come here.” Painter lost the DFL endorsement to Smith earlier this month but is running against her in the primary. He sees debates as a way to fight the influence of money in politics. “Then instead of running a bunch of TV ads, which really don’t say anything, you’d have candidates actually debate the issues.” Smith was appointed to the office when Senator Al Franken resigned earlier this year. Painter is taking his campaign to people who will vote in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) August 14th primary. He met with about 60 voters at Minnetonka City Hall on June 26. The winner of the primary will likely face Republican Karin Housley in the November general election. Painter on Polymet He spoke with The UpTake after his presentation on the Polymet plan to extract copper nickle from sulfide ore near the Boundary Waters. “We do taconite mining which is iron mining, and that’s our mining tradition on the iron range. It’s not called the copper nickle range. And that’s for a reason. We haven’t tried this before and it’s potentially an environmental catastrophe.” Painter says Polymet is a complex web of companies with questionable environmental records with financial ties to Russian Oligarchs. Support this story and all the stories from The Uptake. Donate.