A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Cruz-a-thon, Part II

We are still reviewing the 21-hour, overnight talk-a-thon by Sen. Ted Cruz, and we found some more claims about Obamacare that are false.

State Amendment Scare Tactics

In a TV ad to Michigan voters, a group goes too far when it claims a proposed state constitutional amendment to protect union rights “would eliminate safety rules for school bus drivers.”
The ad also fails to tell the whole story when it claims the amendment “could prohibit schools from removing employees with criminal records.”
The 3-page ballot measure contains a provision stating that no existing or future state law “shall abridge, impair or limit” a public employee union’s rights to negotiate wages,

Romney’s ‘Gross’ Exaggeration on ‘Obamacare’

Mitt Romney falsely claims government will “constitute … almost 50 percent” of the U.S. economy when the new federal health care law takes full effect. But Romney gets to 50 percent by erroneously counting all health care spending — private and public — as “effectively under government control once Obamacare is fully implemented,” as his spokesman put it.
That’s nonsense — just as it was two years ago, when Rep. Michele Bachmann made a similar bogus claim.

Crossroads & Unions

Crossroads GPS greatly exaggerates the earnings of unionized government workers in a new TV ad attacking unions and Democrats, including President Obama.
The ad claims that government workers who belong to unions are paid “42 percent more than non-union workers.”  But the very study cited by the ad says the gap is only 10 percent, once geographic differences are accounted for.

The 60-second spot was launched March 9 and is set to run nationally on CNN,

Corporate-Labor Smackdown in Minnesota

Minnesota’s race for governor is pitting corporate money against money from labor unions and wealthy Democrats. So far, the misleading attack ads are all coming from the liberal side, and the corporate side is being badly outspent to boot. The Alliance for …

Clunker Claims and Cadillac Plans

The AFL-CIO is running a print ad this week arguing that "the House bill gets it right" on health care. The Senate bill? Not so much, says the labor federation.
Its beef is with the tax in the Senate Finance Committee bill on high-cost (a.k.a. "Cadillac") health care plans. Unions have come out against the tax, saying many of their middle-class members would be affected. The proposal calls for a 40 percent tax on the value of insurance benefits that exceed $21,000 a year for a family or $8,000 for an individual.

Scaring, and Misleading, Seniors Again

In what is becoming a bit of a pattern, a group that backs Sen. Barack Obama is trying to convince senior citizens that Sen. John McCain would be their worst nightmare. The AFL-CIO is distributing a mailer that claims McCain is “turning his back on retirees,” by “privatizing Social Security, taxing health care benefits” and “cutting $1 trillion from Medicare.”
Talking Points Memo reports that the AFL-CIO is sending this flyer to retirees in Indiana, North Carolina and more traditional swing states.