A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Felons in Elected Office

Q: Can a convicted felon serve in elected office?
A: The Constitution allows a convicted felon to be a member of Congress, even if in prison. It’s up to the Senate or House to decide who may serve. As for state offices, different laws apply in different places.

Advertising Money: McCain vs. Obama

Q: Who spent more money on advertising, McCain or Obama?
A: Overall, Obama has outspent McCain by nearly 3-to-1, but in the closing week it’s been closer to 5-to-1.

Campaign Buttons in the Voting Booth

Q: Can I wear my campaign button to the voting booth?
A: It depends on which state you live in, but the expert advice is to leave the campaign paraphernalia at home.

A Spam Metamorphosis

We’ve seen a lot of misleading spam this season claiming Sen. Barack Obama is guilty of one or all of the following:

He won’t place his hand over his heart for the national anthem.
He refuses to wear a flag pin.
He replaced the American flag on his campaign plane with his campaign logo.
He has listened to Rev. Jeremiah Wright say offensive remarks such as “God damn America.”

Now the claims have appeared in an ad from the conservative group Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

“Tiny’s” Back…

The McCain-Palin campaign announced today that it will release “its latest television ad” called “Tiny.” But it’s not the campaign’s newest ad – not by a long shot. The ad was announced and aired in August when it was also described as the campaign’s “latest television ad.”

In a press release, the campaign claims the ad was released in light of comments reportedly made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy describing Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Iran as “utterly immature”

‘Unethical?’

Summary
An ad released jointly by the McCain-Palin campaign and the RNC claims Obama "rewards his friends with your tax dollars" and calls his actions "unethical." Some of what the ad says is false or misleading. Here are the facts:

The ad claims that Obama supporter and Chicago real estate developer Allison Davis received $20 million in taxpayer money. That’s false. Davis didn’t get this money. Instead, the federal grant went to the Chicago Housing Authority,

100 Percent Negative?

Sen. Obama was somewhat misleading when he claimed 100 percent of Sen. McCain ad’s were negative. His claim is backed up only in so far as it regards a single week examined by the Wisconsin Advertising Project of the University of Wisconsin. In an Oct. 8 report, they concluded that, “during the week of September 28-October 4, nearly 100 percent of the McCain campaign’s advertisements were negative. During the same period, 34 percent of the Obama campaign’s ads were negative.”

Vets for Freedom Exercise Freedom to Mislead

The right-leaning Vets for Freedom, in an effort to drum up support for a resolution heralding “the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq,” released this ad Oct. 1 in California. The ad, which criticizes Sen. Barack Obama, represents a $2.2 million buy – the largest statewide airtime purchase by the organization to date:

But the ad is off on claims we’ve already addressed, and it’s misleading on a few new ones.
It claims that Obama “skipped 45 percent of Senate votes.”

Candidates’ Congressional Past

Q: How long have Obama and McCain been in Congress?
A: Obama has been in the U.S. Senate since January 2005. McCain joined the House in Jan. 1983 and the Senate four years later. A chain e-mail that purports to show their time in Congress give a bogus comparison.