A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Day 2: More Convention Canards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On the second night of their convention, Democrats misled viewers with claims about Republican economic and social policies. Among the convention canards:

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said the Republican platform would “take away a woman’s right to choose even if she is a rape victim.” The GOP platform strongly opposes abortion, but is silent on exceptions — leaving that up to the states.
The president of Planned Parenthood said Romney and Ryan “are committed to ending insurance coverage for birth control.” That’s not true.

Muslim Prayer Service at the DNC?

Q: Is the Democratic National Convention hosting a Muslim “Jumah” prayer service after rejecting a Catholic cardinal’s offer to lead a prayer?
A: No. A Muslim group scheduled an event that was independent of the convention at a city park. The cardinal is leading the convention’s closing prayer.

Spin Detectors: Help Us Monitor the Conventions

Political conventions are like shopping malls of political spin — one-stop bazaars brimming with suspect claims from politicians. And we want you to do a little window-shopping for us this year.
Spin Detectors is asking readers to help us monitor both political parties in Tampa and Charlotte.
Robert Farley, FactCheck.org’s deputy managing editor, is on the scene in Tampa. And Managing Editor Lori Robertson will be covering the Democratic convention in person in Charlotte. So, you don’t have to be there.

Winning? Super PAC Compares Republican to Charlie Sheen

In a new TV spot called “Tiger Blood,” a Democratic super PAC compares a Florida Republican Senate candidate to party boy actor Charlie Sheen. Winning? Not really.
The video ties together a shocking list of allegations against Connie Mack IV, and most are true. But when closely examined, there’s less here than meets the eye.

The ad says Republicans call Mack “the Charlie Sheen of Florida politics.” One Republican said that. And he was one of Mack’s primary opponents and later dropped out of the race.

Spotlight On: Michael James

Michael James said he had to pull over his car when he heard Rush Limbaugh in a radio ad endorsing Missouri’s lieutenant governor.
Limbaugh claimed his old friend Peter Kinder “banned taxpayer-funded travel for politicians” when he led the state Senate.
“It sounded outrageous,” James said. “Obviously politicians have to travel. And they don’t do that with their own money if it’s official state business.”
James uploaded the ad to Spin Detectors. We found Limbaugh’s claim went too far.

Rush’s Ruse in Missouri

In a campaign-funded radio ad to Missouri voters, Rush Limbaugh claimed the state’s lieutenant governor “banned taxpayer-funded travel for politicians” when he led the state Senate. Not really.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is Limbaugh’s friend, spearheaded a moratorium on paying travel expenses for state senators, not all “politicians.” The ban affected only out-of-state travel and failed to affect taxpayer-funded travel within Missouri, which is a far greater cost.
Furthermore, the ban expired after one year.

Spotlight On: Chris Masoner

Chris Masoner went to law school. He’s familiar with the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
So, a recent campaign mailer failed to fool him. The flier claimed a proposed amendment to Kansas’ Constitution would have allowed residents “to vote to opt-out of Obama’s new health care law.”
“It’s just not true,” Masoner said.
Masoner, 39, of Lenexa, Kan., sent the campaign mailer and a similar one from the same group to Spin Detectors.

Mailers Mislead on ‘Obamacare’ Opt-Out Amendment

A conservative group misleads Kansas voters in campaign mailers that claim a failed proposal to amend the state’s Constitution would have allowed residents to opt-out of “Obamacare.”
No state law can do that. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause explicitly states that federal law is the “supreme Law of the Land.”
The proposed Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment, like several similar state proposals and laws, declared that no law can compel Kansans to buy health insurance or require them to pay a fine for lacking it.

Senator Mangles Facts on Drilling Moratorium

In an email to constituents, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana claims “the Obama administration shut down the entire offshore oil and gas industry” after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That’s not true.
The administration halted the drilling of all new wells for one month. And the Interior Department issued a months-long moratorium on deepwater drilling. New safety requirements also slowed down the permitting process for shallow-water drilling.
But existing offshore wells continued to pump out natural gas and oil.

Spotlight On: Burton ‘Bud’ Gotshall

Burton “Bud” Gotshall knew the Republican primary race in his Florida congressional district was going to get ugly. The proof arrived in his mailbox this week.
Gotshall received a campaign mailer from veteran Rep. John Mica, who is running against freshman Rep. Sandy Adams because of congressional redistricting. Mica has been in Congress for 20 years. Adams is aligned with the tea party and has the support of Sarah Palin.
Mica’s mailer accuses Adams of being someone President Barack Obama “counted on”