A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Social Security: (Mostly) in Their Own Words

Call it senior scare. In race after race, Democrats running for Congress are using their opponents’ criticisms of Social Security against them — sometimes accurately, and sometimes not: Rep. Steve Kagen’s ad accurately quotes Reid Ribble …

Who Killed Food Town?

In Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur misrepresents the facts when she accuses her Republican rival, Rich Iott, of running Food Town supermarkets "straight into the ground" after taking over as CEO of the company from his father. Her ad attacks Iott for "closing neighborhood stores and costing 5,000 people their jobs." But Food Town thrived with Rich Iott as CEO, and the job losses occurred three years after the company was sold to a larger chain and Iott was no longer in charge.

NRCC’s Dim Ad on Bobby Bright

In a strained attempt to portray Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright of Alabama as a puppet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the National Republican Congressional Committee makes an interesting claim: "Bobby Bright voted with Nancy Pelosi over 70 percent of the time." That’s entirely true, but context is everything: Bright’s low score ranks him next to last in party loyalty.

The ad, which first aired Sept. 12, is one of several released by the NRCC this week that use Pelosi as a foil.

Bush Years Revisited in Ohio Senate Race

In the Ohio Senate race, Democrat Lee Fisher’s first TV ad of the fall campaign misrepresents Republican Rob Portman’s years in the Bush administration:

The ad is wrong when it says Portman, as President George W. Bush’s "trade czar," was responsible for "sending 100,000 Ohio jobs overseas." The 100,000 lost jobs occurred over six years, from 2001 to 2007, but Portman was U.S. trade representative for only one year, from May 2005 to May 2006.
The ad also blames Portman,

AFSCME’s Big, Brazen Attack

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees is spending more than $1.5 million on ads that attack Republican congressional candidates in Michigan and Nevada. The big ad buy from the labor union also comes with some grandiose …

A Bitter Battle in the Bayou

The primary in Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District has turned exceptionally nasty in the final days, with the top two Republicans airing harsh attack ads against each other that contain false and misleading claims. Most notably, former state House …

Sunday Replay

This week’s look at the Sunday talk shows features former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — who was found guilty Aug. 17 of making false statements to the FBI. He appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to discuss his trial. Did Blagojevich make any false statements to Fox host Chris Wallace? In our judgment, yes, more than one.

He claimed a key witness was given immunity, but he’s contradicted by multiple news accounts of that witness swearing under oath that he got no immunity.

Outside Ads Mislead in California

In the race for California governor, outside groups supporting Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown are airing new TV ads that mislead voters. An independent group financed by labor unions distorts Whitman’s record as president and chief …

DSCC Wrong on Toomey’s Wall St. Experience

A Democratic Party ad says Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was a "Wall Street wheeler dealer" trading in financial products that "wound up nearly destroying our economy." We find that to be false.
The ad also falsely claims that Toomey "wrote the law" that it blames for weakening government oversight of Wall Street. Toomey, a former congressman, did have a hand in the legislation, but he was by no means its principal author.

 

Toomey’s Stimulus Charge Doesn’t Add Up

Republican Pat Toomey’s new ad in the Pennsylvania Senate race states that the $862 billion stimulus package "gave us record debt without creating jobs." He’s wrong on both counts.

The ad, which was released Aug. 10, criticizes Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak for a number of his votes that prove, the ad claims, "Washington is failing." It says: "Bailouts, takeovers, a stimulus that gave us record debt without creating jobs. Congressman Joe Sestak voted for all of it."