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More Regulatory Rhetoric

A new attack ad targeting three Democratic senators and one Republican criticizes "hidden taxes on … pensions and retirement accounts" in the financial regulation legislation being considered by Congress, and urges the senators to "vote against this phony financial reform."
The ad gives a false impression. The Senate bill doesn’t contain the tax mentioned in the ad.

The ad is the work of a less-than-transparent group calling itself "Stop Too Big To Fail," which says its $1.6 million ad buy is targeting senators in Nevada,

California Governor’s Race, and More on Health Care

In episode 8 of the FactCheck Radio podcast, we look at a false and misleading ad attacking GOP candidate Meg Whitman in the California gubernatorial race, and we debunk more claims about the health care law.
(Click the play button below to listen to the podcast. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

 
For more on the stories discussed in this episode see:
California Dreaming  April 15
More Malarkey About Health Care  April 19

A False Hit on Critz

We’ve written about misrepresentations in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s attack on Tim Burns, the GOP candidate in the Pennsylvania 12th. Being equal-opportunity fact-checkers, we can’t let a false attack ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee in this race slip by without mention.

The hit on Democratic nominee Mark Critz says that "Congress and liberals like Mark Critz didn’t listen" when "Americans said no to government-run health care." Now, we could go into all the claims the ad makes about the new health care law,

A 3.8 Percent “Sales Tax” on Your Home?

Q: Does the new health care law impose a 3.8 percent tax on profits from selling your home?
A: No, with very few exceptions. The first $250,000 in profit from the sale of a personal residence won’t be taxed, or the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple. The tax falls on relatively few — those with high incomes from other sources.

Support FactCheck.org in the 2010 Webby Awards

Dear readers:
For three years running, we have been voted the best political site on the Web in the annual Webby Awards competition. These awards, which have been called the Oscars of the Internet, represent a welcome show of support for our mission: holding politicians accountable for factual accuracy.
We’d love to keep our streak going — hence this message. The Webby Awards have two segments: the judges’ award and the People’s Voice prize. The latter is where you come in.

The Bailout Bill?

Does the financial regulatory bill put an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts? Or does it "institutionalize" them? Viewers of the Sunday political talk shows and recent C-SPAN clips from the Senate floor might well be wondering, as Democrats (the "end of bailouts" crowd) and some Republicans (the "institutionalize" camp) have made these contradictory claims.
No piece of legislation can guarantee that a future Congress won’t allow the federal government to prop up a failing financial institution. But claims that this bill makes taxpayer-funded bailouts a permanent fixture are misleading,

Another False Tax Attack (And One That’s Just Deceptive)

There they go again.
Earlier this month, we called out Democrats for falsely accusing a Republican House candidate in Hawaii of pledging to protect tax breaks for sending jobs overseas. All he did was sign a pledge not to raise taxes. Now a Democratic candidate is making the same false claim against his opponent in another special election in Pennsylvania.
For Democrats, misrepresenting an opponent’s anti-tax position as an anti-jobs position is getting to be a bad habit.

Sunday Replay

During his first appearance on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on April 18, Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts claimed that the financial regulatory bill could potentially cost insurance companies in his state 25,000 to 35,000 jobs. But the freshman senator has failed to provide any support for the claim, and we have been unable to find any elsewhere.
Brown didn’t provide the source of the estimate when host Bob Schieffer inquired about it. And our calls to the senator’s office haven’t been returned.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of April 13-April 19

This week, readers sent us comments about religious exemptions, fine print and colloquial language.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

More Malarkey About Health Care

We’ve seldom seen a piece of legislation so widely misrepresented, and misunderstood, as the new health care law. We stopped counting the number of articles and items we turned out on the subject after the total reached 100. Some of that is understandable. The debate went on for more than …