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FactChecking the North Carolina Senate Race

The North Carolina Senate race pits incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan against Republican challenger Thom Tillis. While the two campaigns have aggressively attacked each another, they’ve had a lot of help from outside supporters as well.

Obama’s ‘Economic Advisers’

Q: Are three former Fannie Mae executives "economic advisers" to Obama?
A: No, claims made in a chain e-mail are false. Jim Johnson advised on non-economic matters but quit after a week. Franklin Raines says he took a "couple of calls" but was never an adviser. We find no evidence Tim Howard ever had a connection to the Obama campaign.

Oversimplifying the Fiscal Crisis

It’s finger-pointing time again, with each candidates blaming the other for the financial crisis. McCain called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the “catalyst” for the crisis and blamed Obama for failing to sign on to a bill to rein in the FMs. Obama countered that it’s a culture of deregulation and lack of oversight that caused the problem.
We’ve been here before. Both candidates have a point: Democrats really have fought regulation of the FMs and McCain has in fact been in favor of deregulation.

McCain in the vanguard of mortgage reform?

Sarah Palin says that McCain sounded the alarm on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago. Our colleagues at PolitiFact questioned that claim, calling it “barely true.” Palin’s referring to a bill that would have increased oversight on Fannie and Freddie. McCain signed onto that bill as a cosponsor, but PolitiFact says it wouldn’t have lessened the current economic crisis. And in our recent article about assigning blame for the economic crisis, we add that by the time McCain added his name to the bill,

Who Caused the Economic Crisis?

Summary
A MoveOn.org Political Action ad plays the partisan blame game with the economic crisis, charging that John McCain’s friend and former economic adviser Phil Gramm “stripped safeguards that would have protected us.” The claim is bogus. Gramm’s legislation had broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Clinton. Moreover, the bill had nothing to do with causing the crisis, and economists – not to mention President Clinton – praise it for having softened the crisis.

Obama’s Connection to Raines

Before the McCain-Palin campaign tried to link Sen. Barack Obama with political heavyweights in Chicago, the campaign claimed that Obama was being advised on the economy by Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO.
In an ad titled “Advice,” the McCain campaign makes the claim that “Obama has no background in economics.” Then it asks the question, “Who advises him?” The answer, according to the ad: “The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for ‘advice on mortgage and housing policy.’

McCain’s cloudy crystal ball

Confused about whether John McCain really predicted the fall of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? We don’t blame you. The McCain-Palin campaign says he did, and as proof, they point to a 2006 speech in which McCain exhorts his colleagues to vote for legislation he cosponsored, legislation that would have regulated the misbehaving mortgage giants. The Obama campaign says he did not and point out that McCain said in 2007 that he didn’t see the crisis coming.

Freddie, Fannie and Barack – Corrected

Turns out, our initial post “Freddie, Fannie and Barack” was erroneous. We’ve struck out the incorrect sections from our earlier post.
We said originally that Obama was the fourth largest recipient of donations from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That’s wrong. Our post was drawn from data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site, OpenSecrets.org. But the data we used were incomplete.
We talked to a spokesperson from the Center for Responsive Politics who told us that looking at all election cycles since 1989 (the first year for which CRP has data),

Freddie, Fannie and Barack

Update, Sept. 19: Portions of this post were based on incomplete data. We have struck through the incorrect sections. Please see here for our corrected account. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In a Sept. 16 stump speech in Vienna, Ohio, Republican presidential nominee John McCain went after Barack Obama, his Democratic counterpart, charging that Obama can’t possibly hope to change Washington. After all, McCain said, Obama is a big part of the problem.