A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.

Wisconsin Judgment Day, the Sequel

In this second of our “Court Watch” series, we return to what’s become a racially charged campaign in Wisconsin to replace Louis Butler, the only black justice on the state Supreme Court, with a white, business-backed lower court judge, Mike Gableman. We look at two ads that attack Butler and find both to be misleading.

Giving Hillary Credit for SCHIP

One of Clinton’s signature claims has come under fire from political foes, quoted by the Boston Globe, who say she doesn’t deserve credit for expanding federal health insurance for millions of children. We review the record and conclude that she deserves plenty of credit, both for the passage of the SCHIP legislation and for pushing outreach efforts to translate the law into reality.

Hillary’s Adventures Abroad

Summary
On March 6 Hillary Clinton claimed that, unlike Barack Obama, she and likely Republican nominee John McCain have "cross[ed] the commander-in-chief threshold." In a CNN interview the day before, Clinton had listed five foreign policy accomplishments. We can’t determine how much behind-the-scenes work Clinton did while first lady, and she certainly took an active interest in foreign policy when her husband was president. Moreover, her time as first lady plus her longer Senate career do give Clinton more foreign policy experience than Obama.

Judgment Day in Wisconsin

Summary

Some of the hardest fought campaigns in 2008 will be to determine who sits on the highest courts in a number of states, courts where the stakes can be billions of dollars for corporations and insurance companies; millions in fees for trial lawyers; compensation for those who have been injured by negligence; or the liberty of individuals who have been convicted, rightly or wrongly, of crimes. In the past, some of those who would be state supreme court judges,

Did Clinton Darken Obama’s Skin?

Obama supporters on the Internet are agitated over the apparent darkening of Obama’s image in a Clinton attack ad.Our video team took a look. Our conclusions: The Obama frames from the ad do appear darker than other video of Obama from the same event. However, the YouTube copy of the ad, on which the bloggers base their conclusions, is darker overall than other copies of the ad. We obtained a digital recording of the ad as it actually appeared on a Texas TV station, and it is lighter.

Misleading Ads in Texas

Summary
The American Leadership Project, an independent group raising large donations to support Clinton, is running two ads in Texas praising her health care plan. One misrepresents what FactCheck.org said about her plan. Another plucks a positive phrase, movie review-style, from a decidedly mixed analysis.
The first ad says FactCheck.org said that "Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan would help every American get affordable, quality health care" while Obama’s plan would leave millions without coverage. What we actually said is that Clinton’s plan also "would leave out a million people or perhaps more."