A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Anti-Reid Ad Distorts Truth on Stimulus, Unemployment

American Crossroads — a political committee headed by former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan — once again attacks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in an ad released July 15. The new ad, titled "Really? Harry Reprise," falsely claims that Nevada received less stimulus money than all but one state.
It also misrepresents the state’s first-in-the-nation unemployment rate, making it seem worse than it is.

On stimulus funding, the ad says: "Recent data show Nevada ranks 50th in the money received from Harry’s stimulus bill."

Mobsters, Missing Money and Mysteries

In Episode 20 of FactCheck Radio, we look at misleading ads in three governors’ races. We start with allegations about mobsters and missing millions in Illlinois; explore a mysterious ad chock-full of distortions in Alabama; and we end up in Florida, where last week we saw a misleading ad from one candidate in the GOP primary, and this week we debunk misinformation from his opponent.

 
For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Loans to Mobsters,

Whitman, Unions Swap Misleading Charges

A coalition of labor unions called California Working Families for Jerry Brown has relentlessly attacked Meg Whitman since she won the Republican gubernatorial nomination June 8. Now Whitman is firing back — accusing Democrat Brown of …

Maligning Maloney by Mailer

In a flurry of mailers sent to New York’s Upper East Side Democratic voters, challenger Reshma Saujani claims that incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney has taken $2.5 million from "special interests" while she has accepted none. Um, really? What about the $220,000 Saujani has received from Wall Street, her leading source of campaign funds?

Yes, Maloney has accepted more than $2.5 million from political action committees over the course of her career ($588,561 in this election cycle),

McCollum’s Misleading Accusations

There’s more misinformation in the ugly Florida governor’s race, this time from Attorney General Bill McCollum. He claims his GOP primary opponent Rick Scott "personally" got millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds.

The ad, titled “Inner Tube,” says: “Scott tried to hide the fact that he personally bagged millions from the Obama stimulus.” That refers to $63 million in stimulus funding that went to a company named XFone, to expand broadband service to rural areas.

Jobs Jabs

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid is slugging it out with his Republican opponent Sharron Angle over the state’s dismal unemployment rate. It’s a fair fight. Their dueling ads are totally accurate. But each leaves key facts unsaid.

Angle’s 60-second ad first aired July 9, and a 30-second version is also airing. It presents a gloomy, menacing picture of the Nevada economy with shaky, blue-tinged shots of melancholy faces, accompanied by background music fit for a funeral. There is no announcer.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 6-July 12

This week, everyone liked us! Well, almost everyone.
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

Call this one the Axelrod Edition. President Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, was on three of the political talk shows on July 11, and we found that he strayed from the factual straight-and-narrow several times in talking about the oil spill, border security and other issues.
We also found Republican congressman Brian Bilbray overstating support for an immigration bill and Attorney General Eric Holder repeating a claim we’ve critiqued before about how many terrorism trials have taken place in the civilian justice system.

Mystery, Drama, Deception in Alabama

The big question in the final days of Alabama’s runoff election for the GOP gubernatorial nomination isn’t just who is going to win the tight race between Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley. It’s the mystery of who’s behind a largely bogus TV ad attacking Byrne. …

Loans to Mobsters, Ties to BP? Kirk’s Attack Ads Go Too Far

Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is attacking his Democratic opponent in the Illinois race for the U.S. Senate with two ads that go beyond what the facts support. The ads make unsupported claims about the role Giannoulias played at his family’s troubled bank and strain  to tie him to BP, among other dubious statements.
Kirk released the new ads less than a day after he apologized for embellishing his own military record.
Bank Shot
According to one of the ads,