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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Who Killed Food Town?

In Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur misrepresents the facts when she accuses her Republican rival, Rich Iott, of running Food Town supermarkets "straight into the ground" after taking over as CEO of the company from his father. Her ad attacks Iott for "closing neighborhood stores and costing 5,000 people their jobs." But Food Town thrived with Rich Iott as CEO, and the job losses occurred three years after the company was sold to a larger chain and Iott was no longer in charge.

Obama, Ohio Jobs and Bailout Bonuses

In episode 29 of our podcast, we debunk a claim made by President Obama about Afghanistan, dueling ads about jobs in the Ohio Senate race, and an Arizona ad that makes an overblown assertion about executive bonuses and the stimulus.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
'Second Poorest' Nation?  Sept. 13
Bush Years Revisited in Ohio Senate Race  Sept. 10
A Record Jobs Loss?  Sept. 16
Bailout Bonuses Are Back  Sept. 16

NRCC’s Dim Ad on Bobby Bright

In a strained attempt to portray Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright of Alabama as a puppet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the National Republican Congressional Committee makes an interesting claim: "Bobby Bright voted with Nancy Pelosi over 70 percent of the time." That’s entirely true, but context is everything: Bright’s low score ranks him next to last in party loyalty.

The ad, which first aired Sept. 12, is one of several released by the NRCC this week that use Pelosi as a foil.

A Record Jobs Loss?

Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman is attacking his Democratic opponent, Lee Fisher, for the loss of jobs in Ohio. Portman’s ad claims that under Fisher’s watch — he’s lieutenant governor — the state lost "a record number" of jobs "to other states." But this supposed "record" is based on statistics that go back only to 2004.

Ohio’s employment picture is certainly an issue in this race, and in addition to his lieutenant governor duties, Fisher was also the director of the state’s Department of Development for two years.

Bo’s Private Plane?

Q: Did President Obama have his dog, Bo, flown to Maine in his own private jet for the family vacation?
A: No. The family and staff took two small jets because the airport couldn’t accommodate the usual presidential plane. Bo flew with several staffers.

Bailout Bonuses Are Back

A TV ad in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District and a mailer in Ohio’s 15th both accuse Democratic candidates of voting to give out huge Wall Street bonuses. That’s way overblown. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill, included less stringent restrictions on bonuses than those in an earlier version of the legislation, but that’s hardly the same as handing out bonuses.

The Arizona ad, funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee, says that Rep.

Fish Stories

Even when a fisherman catches a big one, the fish tends to grow each time the story is told. Politicians are like that, too, especially when Election Day approaches. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave us recent examples of that kind of hyperbole. Pelosi improved on reality, when she claimed Bush created fewer jobs in eight years than Democrats have done in eight months. And Obama exaggerated the GOP’s stalling tactics,

Reign Maker

We rarely give much attention to hyper-local races like state auditor. But we couldn’t resist this object lesson, from Massachusetts auditor candidate Guy Glodis, in why politicians need to check not only their claims but their spelling:

(Originally posted at Blue Mass Group)
Glodis meant, presumably, that he would rein in spending. But a candidate willing to commit to ruling the roost when it comes to fiscal profligacy at least makes for a nice change.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Sept. 7-Sept. 13

This week, readers sent us comments about Social Security, the fictitious 1 percent transaction tax, Nevada’s Joe Heck and holding parties’ feet to the fire.
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.

False Claim on Pell Grants in Indiana

A Democratic incumbent in Indiana falsely claims his Republican challenger wants to abolish the popular federal Pell Grant program for needy college students. Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is running for reelection in Indiana’s 2nd District, based his charge on a questionnaire Republican Jackie Walorski submitted to a conservative group. But that questionnaire doesn’t even mention the Pell Grant program. 

The ad, titled “College,” first aired Sept. 9. It begins ominously: “Who will help your family afford college?”