A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Creepy Cap-and-Trade Claims are Illusions

It’s that spooky time of year, and legislation pending in Congress to curb carbon emissions is really giving the American Energy Alliance the willies.
What’s haunting us is the group’s misuse of statistics in a new ad attacking Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for his support of the cap-and-trade approach that’s central to the major House and Senate bills.

According to the narrator: "This frightening tax will further hurt our economy, costing millions of American jobs,

Aftermath of a Court Race

Wisconsin ’08 was one of the nastiest state Supreme Court elections in modern history. Incumbent Justice Louis Butler went down to defeat after opponent Mike Gableman and business interests in the state ran slashing, misleading ads portraying him as soft on crime. We criticized the spots in several stories.
Today, Gableman, though sitting on Wisconsin’s highest court, is still fighting a legal battle over whether he lied in one of the ads that helped put him there.

AHIP on the Attack: 50 Percent of What?

Almost immediately after releasing an incomplete report on the supposed increase in premiums that the Senate’s health care overhaul bill would trigger, the health insurers’ trade group took to the airwaves with a TV ad claiming the bill would shortchange millions of seniors.

This ad, which is sponsored by America’s Health Insurance Plans, screams for context.
As we’ve written previously, it’s true that about 10 million seniors are on Medicare Advantage, as the ad says, which means they’ve chosen to get their benefits from a private insurer instead of through the fee-for-service route that 78 percent of Medicare recipients use.

McDonnell’s Distorted Attack

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell’s new ad claims that Democrat Creigh Deeds’ policies would bring $7,800 in higher taxes over four years for Virginia households. The ad would be devastating, if it were true.

Fuel for Frustration
Deeds has never proposed a "billion dollar gas tax increase," as the ad claims. It’s true that many transportation experts and legislators in Virginia have said that an additional $1 billion per year is needed to widen highways,

NY-23: Owens to Raise YOUR Taxes?

Voters in New York’s 23rd congressional district – where a special election has been forced by the appointment of former GOP Rep. John McHugh to be secretary of the Army – may be finding themselves a bit confused. Dede Scozzafava is pro-choice and has supported gay marriage, and has been endorsed by Markos Moulitsas, creator of the liberal Daily Kos blog. But she’s the Republican in the race. The conservative Club for Growth, meanwhile, is backing a third-party candidate,

Health Care Overhaul: Constitutional?

Q: Are the health care overhaul proposals that are pending in the House and Senate constitutional?
A: Legal experts agree that requiring citizens to buy something is a novel concept that has not been tested in the courts.

Playing Favorites With Chrysler Dealers?

Q: Did the Obama administration target Chrysler dealerships for closure according to their political contributions?
A: The best evidence shows that dealerships with Republican donors weren’t disproportionately targeted – auto dealers overall tend to lean overwhelmingly Republican.

Too Good to Check?

Slate writer Tim Noah ‘fesses up to, and dissects, his erroneous telling of an anecdote about an Illinois man whose insurance company canceled his coverage while he was in the middle of chemotherapy. Noah’s July 27 column – which said, wrongly, that "the delay in treatment eliminated [the man’s] chances of recovery, and he died" – was the source for President Obama’s careless repetition of the story in his health care address to Congress on Sept.

Cantor’s Gender Problem

At a press stakeout on Capitol Hill today, House GOP Whip Eric Cantor sounded bullish about his party’s success in pouring cold water on the idea of a "government option," or a federal health insurance plan that would compete with private plans. That’s fine, but he made one statement that puzzled us:

Cantor, 9/9: I think intuitively that most Americans believe that more government in health care means more rationing and more forced discrimination on the basis of gender and age.

‘No Guarantee’ — With Plan, or Without

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, whose ads we have faulted in the past, is airing a new spot that calls for dropping any federal insurance option from the health care overhaul bills.
"Despite what the president or Congress say," the narrator tells us, "their health care proposals do not guarantee you can keep your own doctor." And there’s no guarantee you won’t "wait longer for care," face "rationing," or "lose your insurance," either, she says.
Why not?