A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Oct. 30-Nov. 5

This week, readers sent us comments about jobs, apologies and keeping politicians honest.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

The 2012 FactCheck Awards

It’s that special time of year again when campaigning is over (finally!) and the voting has begun. On Election Day we can stop being so serious about fact-checking false or deceptive claims and have some fun handing out imaginary hardware to those political ads that caught our eyes for other reasons.

Obama’s Numbers, Updated

In the interest of timeliness and accuracy, we are issuing an updated version of “Obama’s Numbers,” our collection of key measures of the president’s time in office. A few things have changed since we published our original version Oct. 8 — some for better, and some for worse.

The number of jobs has increased substantially with the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example. There are now about 580,000 more people employed than when Obama took office,

The Final Attack Ads

Both sides in the presidential race are making one last push for votes with false and distorted claims on television, radio and even in text messages:

A liberal super PAC’s radio ad in Ohio twists Mitt Romney’s words by having him say six times: “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” He actually said: “I’m not concerned about the very poor; we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”
A conservative super PAC falsely claims in a TV ad that President Obama’s health care law “creates an unaccountable new board that can cut Medicare benefits with no notice —

Does Tagg Romney ‘Own’ Ohio Voting Machines?

Q: Does Mitt Romney’s son Tagg own Ohio’s electronic voting machines?
A: There’s no evidence of that. A spokesman for Tagg Romney’s private equity firm states that it has no stake in Hart InterCivic, a supplier of voting machines in two of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Campaign Funny Business

An ad from the Romney campaign mocks President Obama’s proposal to create a “Secretary of Business,” but misrepresents the president’s proposal.
The ad says that “his solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.” But in fact, Obama’s plan actually seeks to consolidate more than a half dozen agencies, trim the federal workforce by as many as 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save $3 billion. In short, it specifically seeks to reduce bureaucracy.
According to the narrator in the video: “Barack Obama says he may appoint a Secretary of Business.

Hawaiian Whopper

An ad by Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle in the Aloha State is telling a real whopper — about us.
Her ad says that FactCheck.org rated a claim made by her opponent as “the worst political deception of the year,” and it shows our logo with a headline reading “Whopper of the Year.” The fact is we have never run a headline saying that, and have never singled out any one political falsehood as the worst.