A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Labor Attack in Ohio Governor’s Race

The Service Employees International Union claims that GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, a former Lehman Brothers executive, "got rich, while Ohio seniors lost their pension money" in an ad that makes a weak attempt to connect Kasich to the pension losses.
It’s true that Kasich, who’s running against Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, made a hefty sum working for the financial firm in 2008, the same year it collapsed. And he admits to setting up meetings between Lehman and state pension officials.

Sunday Replay

All of the misstatements that crept into the Sunday shows this weekend (at least, all the ones we found) had to do with the economy, the topic that is most on voters’ minds as the midterm elections approach.
Beware the Third Rail
White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod made an incorrect claim — and another slightly exaggerated one — during his appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
While defending the Obama administration’s economic policies to host David Gregory,

‘Second Poorest’ Nation?

In a September 10 press conference, President Barack Obama characterized Afghanistan as "the second poorest country in the world." It’s an impoverished country indeed, but second poorest? The CIA World Factbook doesn’t think so.
It lists Afghanistan as number 210 of 227, with a per capita gross domestic product of $1,000 in 2009. That’s orders of magnitude lower than the richest country, Liechtenstein, with a GDP of $122,100 per person — but it’s much higher than the per capita GDP of the actual second poorest country,

Jerry Brown and California Taxes

A story I reported 18 years ago for CNN has recently become an issue in the California governor’s race. Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate,

Sen. Boxer and the ‘Three-Inch Smelt’

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is attacking Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California in two ads accusing her of favoring a "three-inch smelt," a freshwater fish, over water and jobs. The ads aren’t quite accurate, however.

According to The Associated Press, the ads began running Sept. 8 in Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield and San Diego. Both ads say "Boxer is famous for protecting the three-inch smelt" and accuse her of voting to "cut water" to San Diego and the Central Valley.

Bush Years Revisited in Ohio Senate Race

In the Ohio Senate race, Democrat Lee Fisher’s first TV ad of the fall campaign misrepresents Republican Rob Portman’s years in the Bush administration:

The ad is wrong when it says Portman, as President George W. Bush’s "trade czar," was responsible for "sending 100,000 Ohio jobs overseas." The 100,000 lost jobs occurred over six years, from 2001 to 2007, but Portman was U.S. trade representative for only one year, from May 2005 to May 2006.
The ad also blames Portman,

Bailouts, Taxes and Deceptive Editing

In episode 28 of our podcast, we look at misleading ads from freshman House Democrats who claim they voted against the bank bailout bill, which passed before they took office. Also, we debunk a chain e-mail about taxes, and we highlight a perfect example of how deceptive editing is used in political advertising.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Democratic Bailout Baloney  Sept. 3
More Bailout Baloney  Sept. 8
Attack on Giffords Comes Up Short 

1% Transaction Tax

Q: Is “Obama’s finance team” recommending a 1 percent tax on all bank transactions, as a chain e-mail claims?
A: No. This idea was first floated in 2004 by one House member, who says it would replace the federal income tax and eliminate the national debt. So far it has gone nowhere.

Attack on Giffords Comes Up Short

An attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by a group called Conservatives for Congress hoodwinks viewers with selectively edited clips from a House hearing earlier this year.
The TV ad, which has been running in the Tucson market, lampoons the Arizona Democrat for asking Gen. David Petraeus about the military’s use of alternative energy sources such as hydro and solar power in Afghanistan. The question "left Gen. Petraeus almost speechless," the ad’s narrator says. Petraeus, who at the time was Commander of the U.S.