A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Spotlight On: Jeanie Fusaro

When Jeanie Fusaro received a constituent mailer from her congressman about what’s going on in Washington, she thought: “They think we’re stupid because we’re seniors. They didn’t think we’d do our homework.”
Fusaro, 66, was particularly skeptical of the letter’s statement that reports “predict higher unemployment for the next two years.”
“That automatically incites people,” Fusaro said.
The unemployment claim was one of several misleading statements we found in the mailer Fusaro sent to Spin Detectors.

Bogus Bipartisan Claims

In a mailer to constituents, a Republican congressman claims 27 “bipartisan bills” have passed the House but “hit a brick wall” in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But most of the bills are not very “bipartisan.” A majority of House Democrats voted against all but five of the 27 proposals, sometimes overwhelmingly. One of these “bipartisan bills” had the support of only four Democrats, and another had the support of just eight.
The mailer — sent out by Georgia Rep.

Spotlight On: Hugh Haines

Hugh “Spike” Haines said his math background can explain why he gets so angry during the political debates and television ads.
“Things don’t add up,” the 74-year-old said. “I was a math major. And the thing that disturbs me is the lack of facts.”
Haines, who said he’s a registered Republican, recently cast his mathematical gaze on statements made by Republican Congressman Dan Lungren of California, whose congressional district is just outside Haines’ hometown of Sacramento.

Cloudy Contraception Costs

Is the Obama administration correct when it claims its contraception mandate will be “cost neutral” for insurance companies? Or are the critics right when they say Catholic institutions will pay a hidden cost in the form of higher premiums when their insurers are required to give “free” contraceptives …

Santa Rita Super PAC

A “super PAC” backing Rep. Ron Paul for president. It was created by a Paul donor and fundraiser.