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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Congress Did Not Raise Its Pay, Deny Seniors Increase

Chris Cates, a Republican congressional candidate in Georgia’s May 11 special election, says in a new TV ad that Congress voted to give itself a pay raise, while denying senior citizens on Social Security a cost-of-living increase. He’s wrong on both counts.

In “Fed Up,” an ad that started running May 3, Cates gives a litany of complaints about Congress, including that it has “gold-plated health insurance” (a matter of opinion, but members of Congress receive the same health care plans as federal workers ),

Whitman Ad Misfires

A Meg Whitman ad falsely accuses her opponent in the California GOP gubernatorial primary of presiding over a spending increase of nearly 14 percent in the department he headed as state insurance commissioner. The true increase is half that.

The smackdown between Whitman and Steve Poizner has tightened up in the weeks since we found big factual problems in one of Poizner’s ads last month. Both candidates are straining to cast themselves as "real" Republicans and to label the other as a RINO –

Healthreform.gov’s Positive Spin

A federal government website designed to help Americans understand the new health care law isn’t always helpful — or in some cases even accurate.
Take this question in the Q&A section for “small businesses."

Q: Am I required to offer insurance to my employees?
A: No. There is not a so-called “employer mandate” in the legislation.

That’s true if your definition of "small business" only covers firms with 49 or fewer employees; there’s no requirement that they provide coverage.

A Big Webby Win for FactCheck

We’re very happy to announce that FactCheck.org has won the 2010 Webby Award (also known as "the Oscars of the internet") in the Politics category. Thanks to your votes, we also won this year’s Webby People’s Voice award. This is our second Webby — we also won in 2008 – and it’s the fourth year in a row that we’ve won a People’s Voice award. FactCheckED was also a People’s Voice winner in 2008, in the Education category.

Ethics Attack Misses Mark

Ethics increasingly has become an issue in the final weeks of the hotly contested special election in the 12th congressional district in Pennsylvania. Republican candidate Tim Burns has been running a television ad saying Democrat Mark Critz “was investigated …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of April 27-May 3

This week, readers sent us comments about taxes on home sales, czars and tweeting
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.

Sunday Replay

Immigration and the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico crowded out most other subjects on the May 2 Sunday talk shows, and we found trampled facts in both areas.
 Immigration Face-Off on ‘Face the Nation’
Arizona’s tough new immigration law sparked a heated exchange between Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth on CBS’ "Face the Nation." Hayworth, who is hoping to defeat Sen. John McCain in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary,

Day of Prayer Proclamation, Right on Schedule

On April 29, we wrote that there was no evidence that President Obama would cancel the National Day of Prayer and that, in fact, the White House had announced plans to recognize it. Still, we received skeptical e-mails over the weekend from people who had heard a recycled rumor claiming Obama wasn’t going to acknowledge the day.
Today, one e-mailer complained about the phrasing in a quote we had cited, in which the chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force,

General Motors’ Debt

Q: Did General Motors repay its TARP loan from the Treasury with other TARP money?
A: Yes. GM repaid the loan portion of the automaker bailout ahead of schedule, with interest. It used TARP money it had already received but hadn’t spent. And taxpayers are still stuck with GM stock that isn’t worth what was paid for it.