A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

The Last Ad of the 2008 Campaign?

A new Democratic National Committeeradio ad in Minnesota asks listeners to call Norm Coleman to tell him "it’s time to concede" his long-fought race against Al Franken for the U.S. Senate, and  "to stop putting his political ambition ahead of what’s right for Minnesota." Earlier this week, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Franken, giving him a 312-vote victory, but Coleman has said he will appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The narrator oversimplifies, though,

Shot off the Mark

Earlier this week Americans United for Safe Streets, the gun safety advocacy group financially supported by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, released a television ad attacking former Attorney General Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican running to be the state’s governor.

The ad features Omar Samaha, whose sister died in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, speaking to camera. Samaha says that his sister’s "killer got his guns because of a gap in Virginia’s background check," and then challenges McDonnell for not wanting to close "another loophole"

Cost of Illegal Immigrants

Q: Do illegal immigrants cost $338.3 billion dollars a year? More than the Iraq war?
A: A chain e-mail that makes this claim is loaded with errors and misleading assertions. Published studies vary widely but put the cost to government at a small fraction of that total.

Obama’s Old Campaign Group out with New Ad

Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee, was born out of the former Obama campaign infrastructure. Today, the group released its first television ad in support of — guess who? — President Obama: 

The ad says that Obama has a plan to "cut the deficit in half." But as we pointed out yesterday in our review of the president’s prime time news conference, there is more to the story. The administration’s Office of Management and Budget does indeed project that the annual federal deficit will be half of 2009’s deficit by 2013,

Targeting Obama with Bonus ‘AIG’itation

The American Issues Project, a conservative group, has released an ad attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats for the bonuses issued by American International Group after it received federal bailout funds. The ad is scheduled to run for the next week on a $500,000 ad buy.
Here’s the ad:

It shows a headline saying that "Obama Accepts Blame for AIG Bonuses," which the group’s backup says is from The Wall Street Journal. And indeed,

Obama and the Deficit

During a speech on Tuesday, President Obama promised to reduce the budget deficit:
Obama: Now, this budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue because of the massive deficit we inherited and the enormous costs of this financial crisis. We have made some tough choices that will cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term and reduce it by $2 trillion over the next decade.
To start, we want to clarify that Obama is talking about the budget deficit (the amount of money the government spends in a given year minus what it takes in),

First Salvo of 2012?

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee released an ad attacking Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina for not accepting $700 million in stimulus funds. Sanford is considered a potential Republican candidate for president in 2012.

The ad is correct to say that Sanford is "turning down millions in recovery act funds." Sanford has said that he would rather use the money available at his discretion through ARRA to pay down the state’s debt, and he requested a special waiver from the White House to do so.

U.S. Oil Reserves

Q: Are anti-drilling forces blocking access to the world’s largest oil reserve in the western U.S.?
A: The Bakken Formation touted in a chain e-mail isn’t the world’s largest oil reserve. The amount of oil it contains, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, is less than one one-hundredth of the estimate cited in the e-mail.

Picking a Big Game Fight

Back in September, we analyzed an ad from the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife that attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for "aerial hunting" of wolves. Though its facts were essentially correct, we pointed out that the Alaskan government called the hunting "predator control" and said its purpose was to keep the populations of moose and caribou high enough to sustain subsistence hunting.  A few weeks ago, we noted that the Defenders had brought back a similar ad.

Upstate Insults Continue…

Two days ago on our main site, we analyzed several ads in the special election to replace now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York’s 20th congressional district. But it looks like we missed some. Our Country Deserves Better PAC (a group we’ve chided in the past for an ad echoing claims found in false chain e-mails) has released a pair of TV spots in the district, attacking Democratic candidate Scott Murphy.
One ad says that Murphy has a "shameful record of attacking our military men and women":

The ad also says that Murphy "smeared our military in an editorial he co-wrote"