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DNC vs. McCain

Summary

The Democratic National Committee has produced two TV ads against McCain, hoping to soften him up while the party figures out who its own presidential nominee will be.

One ad shows selected portions of McCain’s comments that a 100-year U.S. presence in Iraq would be "fine with me." The ad uses dramatic images of war and violence, and omits any mention that McCain was speaking of a peaceful presence like that in Japan or Korea.

“Reprehensible Misrepresentation”

Summary
Conservative activist Floyd G. Brown, who had a hand in the 1988 "Willie Horton" attack ad, is seeking funds to show a new spot accusing Obama of being "weak" on Chicago gang killers in 2001 and suggesting he’d be weak on terrorism, too.  Brown bases the claim on Obama’s vote against a bill to make gang killers automatically eligible for the death penalty.
 
We find that the ad misses the mark. The anti-gang activist who sponsored the death-penalty bill tells FactCheck.org that she doesn’t consider Obama weak on crime despite his opposition to her proposal.

PAC-ing Heat

Summary

In their most recent TV ads Clinton and Obama attempt to convince Pennsylvania voters that the other is financed by lobbyists and special interests. Both ads miss the mark.

Clinton’s ad accuses Obama of insincerely promising to accept no money from PACs and current lobbyists for his presidential campaign. But she cites money he took years ago as a candidate for the Illinois state Senate and U.S. Senate, before he swore off such funds.

Misleading Pennsylvania Voters

Summary

Clinton and Obama twisted facts unmercifully as they strained to make Pennsylvania voters believe the other is offering a flawed health care plan.

An anti-Obama ad by a pro-Clinton group says her plan would "help every American" and implies his would not. In fact, Obama proposes to offer subsidized coverage, just as Clinton does.
An Obama TV ad claimed his plan would save families more money than Clinton’s, but one independent expert sees "zero credible evidence"

Giving Till They’re Blue?

Summary

It’s not uncommon for GOP candidates to accuse each other of not being Republican enough. But the fight is ordinarily over issues, such as tax cuts. In Pennsylvania, two House candidates are instead attacking each other for sending money behind enemy lines. The ads they’ve launched provide a good lesson in how politicians can mislead voters even with accurate numbers.

Chris Hackett accuses his opponent of having "a long history of supporting liberal Democrats."

Taking Liberties in Philadelphia

Summary

Clinton and Obama both strained the facts at times during their debate in Philadelphia.

Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded.
Obama said, "I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins." Actually,

Oily Words

Summary

Clinton and Obama are slamming each other and the oil companies in dueling radio ads in Pennsylvania. Both ads exaggerate and twist the facts. Both ads say, in effect, that the opposing candidate is reluctant to offend oil companies due to campaign donations. The truth is they both propose energy plans that are similar, and which the oil giants won’t like. 

Obama’s ad claims, "Clinton’s taken more from big oil and other PACs and lobbyists than any other candidate,

Winning Ugly in Wisconsin

Summary
In a Wisconsin throwdown, incumbent Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler narrowly lost his reelection bid after being hit with a barrage of deceptive attack ads. We’ve written about some of them in recent weeks.
 
Attack ads targeting the incumbent heavily outnumbered attacks aimed at the business-backed winner, Circuit Court Judge Mike Gableman. In the closing days of the campaign the ratio was roughly 2 to 1.
 
A misleading attack ad that ran hundreds of times implied that the incumbent overturned a murder conviction despite overwhelming evidence of the convicted man’s guilt.

Substance Abuse

A misleading e-mail has been making the rounds, alleging that Clinton has fewer legislative accomplishments than Obama, and that they are less substantive. We’ve had questions about it from a number of readers, and blogs have jumped into the fray. So what’s the real story on the Senate careers of the Democratic presidential candidates? We find that the e-mail is false in almost every particular

Obama’s Oil Spill

In a new ad, Obama says, “I don’t take money from oil companies.” Technically, that’s true, since a law that has been on the books for more than a century prohibits corporations from giving money directly to any federal candidate. But that doesn’t distinguish Obama from his rivals in the race.