A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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."

More NAFTA Nonsense

Barack Obama’s campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flier is misleading: Obama is quoted as saying that “one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio.” But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.

The Facts About ‘NAFTA-Gate’

Clinton’s spokesman says a newly surfaced memo proves that Obama’s campaign issued false denials about sending a private message to Canadian officials to disregard his criticisms of NAFTA. The Obama camp says it’s all a misunderstanding, and the Canadian embassy in Washington says it regrets the whole thing.