A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Conservative Group Distorts Hagel’s Record

American Future Fund distorts Chuck Hagel’s record in its latest TV ad opposing his Senate confirmation for defense secretary:

AFF says Hagel “sits on the board of a private equity firm with investments in Iran.” Hagel sits on an advisory board of Deutsche Bank, which the New York Times says is under investigation for transferring money through U.S. subsidiaries to Iran. However, unnamed U.S. officials told the Times the bank stopped such transactions in 2008 —

Did FEMA Create a Youth Army?

Q: Did the Department of Homeland Security create a “standing army of government youth” known as FEMA Corps.
A: No. FEMA Corps is a civilian operation within AmeriCorps, a federal community service program. FEMA Corps prepares and responds to disasters. Its members, ages 18 to 24, carry no weapons.

Group’s ‘Obamacare Tax Form’ Evades Facts

A conservative group misleads taxpayers on the Affordable Care Act and the Internal Revenue Service’s future role in enforcing it. Americans for Tax Reform posted a “projected” IRS tax form on its website that claims to “help families and tax specialists prepare” for new tax provisions under the health care law. But ATR makes several false claims:

The group claims taxpayers will have to disclose “personal identifying health information” to the IRS to prove they have insurance.

Spotlight On: Allen Stenger

Allen Stenger’s rule of thumb is that “statements by politicians about numbers are always wrong.”
That’s not always the case, of course, but he gave us a good example: A recent mailer from New Mexico’s Republican Party claimed that “New Mexico workers have a jobs problem.” But the flier refers to the national unemployment rate, which has been worse than New Mexico’s.
“I’m active in the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, so I knew that a mailer claiming New Mexico workers have a job problem because the unemployment rate was above 8% had to be wrong,”

Republican Mailers Mislead in New Mexico

New Mexico’s Republican Party misleads in two mailers attacking the state’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, two-term Rep. Martin Heinrich.

One mailer states that “New Mexico workers have a jobs problem.” But the state’s unemployment rate is 6.4 percent, well below the national rate, or the 8 percent figure the flier displays.
Another flier claims that Heinrich voted for the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for “everyone.” Heinrich actually supported a bill that preserved the tax cuts for everyone except high-income taxpayers.

State Amendment Scare Tactics

In a TV ad to Michigan voters, a group goes too far when it claims a proposed state constitutional amendment to protect union rights “would eliminate safety rules for school bus drivers.”
The ad also fails to tell the whole story when it claims the amendment “could prohibit schools from removing employees with criminal records.”
The 3-page ballot measure contains a provision stating that no existing or future state law “shall abridge, impair or limit” a public employee union’s rights to negotiate wages,

Obama’s Drilling Denials

In a tense exchange during the Oct. 16 debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over domestic oil and gas production on lands and in waters under the Obama administration’s control.
The facts, for the most part, are on Romney’s side.

Obama was wrong when he denied Romney’s claim that the Obama administration cut in half the number of new permits and new leases for offshore oil and gas drilling. The decrease is actually more than half.

NRCC Claims Democrat Will End Medicare

The National Republican Congressional Committee misleads in a TV ad that claims a Democratic candidate for Congress supports “eliminating Medicare entirely.”
David Gill, who is running for a House seat in Illinois, supports a universal health care plan that would cover all Americans — ending the need for a stand-alone Medicare program. The federal government would still provide coverage to seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries under the proposal.
The NRCC’s ad contains three more claims that fail to tell the whole story or are misleading.

Mailer Misleads Ohioans on Job Losses

In a mailer to Ohioans, a conservative group distorts Ohio’s job figures under President Obama and misquotes his administration about the potential for mismanaged stimulus money.
Ironically, the mailing from Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit group led by Grover Norquist, proclaims that it’s “important for Ohio to get the whole picture.”
We couldn’t agree more.

The mailer displays a 2012 newspaper headline, “Ohio second-worst for job losses.” But the article was about job losses over the last 10 years —

Obama’s Executive Orders

Q: Has President Barack Obama signed 900 executive orders, some of which create martial law?
A: No. Obama’s executive orders do not create martial law. And so far he has signed 139 executive orders — not 900.