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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Down-to-the-Wire Deceptions

Attack ads, and the misinformation that comes with them, continue to swamp the airwaves. In fact, spending on ads in these midterm elections could top $3 billion, said Evan Tracey, whose Kantar Media-owned Campaign Media Analysis Group tracks political ads running nationwide. That cracks the $2.7 billion spent in 2008 – when a presidential race as well as the usual congressional ones were eating up airtime.
A brief rundown of some misleading assaults we’ve found in the last few days:
DSCC Hits Murkowski
Among other things,

Midterm Whoppers and Court Races

In episode 35 of our podcast, we give you a wrap-up of the biggest whoppers of the midterm campaigns. And we tell you about a few attack ads in state Supreme Court races.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Whoppers of Campaign 2010  Oct. 26
Health Care Spin — Again  Oct. 28
Court Watch: Mudfest 2010  Oct. 28

Stimulus Jobs in China?

In a bit of political payback, several Republicans are running false or misleading TV ads accusing their opponents of shipping jobs to China — a charge that Democrats have frequently and often incorrectly leveled against Republicans. …

Court Watch: Mudfest 2010

Millions of dollars are pouring into races for slots on state Supreme Courts, where the winners will make decisions about the lives and liberty of individuals, the fates of major corporations and other weighty matters. Unfortunately the TV ads …

Health Care Spin — Again

As the election draws near, some conservative groups are making ever-wilder claims about the new health care law: An elderly man in a Crossroads GPS ad makes the death-panel-esque claim that the law “threatens our lives.” The 60 Plus Association …

NRSC Eliminates the Positive

Making an endorsement seem like a condemnation isn’t an easy deception to pull off — but the National Republican Senatorial Committee has done it.

In an ad attacking Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the NRSC uses a series of highly selective quotes from a Denver Post piece: Bennet is “fighting for Obama … Obama and the Democrats overreached … helping to stick future generations with trillions in debt … lavishing billions on corporate bailouts and takeovers.”

Tortured ‘Terror Ties’ in West Virginia

In a TV ad based on innuendos and half-truths, a GOP challenger accuses his Lebanese American opponent, Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, of taking campaign cash from “a convicted terrorist” and “a group with terror ties.”

Rahall is a Presbyterian whose grandparents immigrated from Lebanon. The ad by his Republican opponent, Spike Maynard, first aired Oct. 20 in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. It also claims Rahall is "bad for America," attempting to tie Rahall to terrorism using the classic guilt-by-association fallacy.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Oct. 19-Oct. 25

This week, readers sent us comments about Harry Reid’s record, the FairTax, vote caging and robocalls.
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.

Whoppers of Campaign 2010

Midterm elections are an embarrassment of riches for fact-checkers — this year more than others. With Democrats fighting desperately to keep control of the House and Senate, and a torrent of money from corporations and other undisclosed …

Sunday Replay

This week, we find guests on the Sunday public affairs shows making false statements about disclosure of political funds, whether a Senate candidate pushed to have terrorists tried in his home state or favored letting states ban private health insurance, and whether middle-income families would pay more if the Bush tax cuts were extended for everybody.
Rove’s Lame Claim
Republican strategist Karl Rove misled viewers of CBS’ "Face the Nation" with a false claim that labor unions aren’t disclosing where they get the millions they are spending in the 2010 elections.