A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Old Mud in New Mexico

A Democratic ad revives long-discredited claims of corruption and shady dealing by GOP Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico. We thoroughly debunked those same claims eight years ago. And unlike wine and whiskey, political mud doesn’t improve with age.

Trump’s Misleading Attack on Martinez

Donald Trump took several verbal jabs at Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez after she declined to attend his rally in Albuquerque. But his criticism of her effort to keep Syrian refugees out of New Mexico was way off base.

Final Week Spin

With the midterm elections now just days away, many campaigns and outside groups are making their final appeals. And, as has been the case all election season, some of the claims miss the mark.

Midterm Medicare Mudslinging

Democrats, Republicans spend nearly $50 million on TV ads that repeat old, scary Medicare claims.

Republican Mailers Mislead in New Mexico

New Mexico’s Republican Party misleads in two mailers attacking the state’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, two-term Rep. Martin Heinrich.

One mailer states that “New Mexico workers have a jobs problem.” But the state’s unemployment rate is 6.4 percent, well below the national rate, or the 8 percent figure the flier displays.
Another flier claims that Heinrich voted for the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for “everyone.” Heinrich actually supported a bill that preserved the tax cuts for everyone except high-income taxpayers.

A ‘Scandal’ in New Mexico?

In New Mexico’s governor’s race, Republican Susana Martinez accuses Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish of giving a $500 million "special tax deal" to a developer who contributed to her campaign and hired her husband as a lobbyist. But Martinez, a district attorney, uses circumstantial evidence to make her case in an ad that falsely accuses Denish of "hiding a scandal."
The evidence cited by the Martinez campaign fails to prove that Denish misused her office to help the developer get a tax break or that the tax break was connected to her husband’s lobbying job or her campaign contributions.

In N.M., Wildlife Group Mislabels Pearce

This ad says Republican Steve Pearce was "named one of the most corrupt members of Congress." We find that’s a bum rap.
The ad also falsely attacks the former GOP congressman for voting in 2005 to give "big oil giants like BP … billions in tax breaks." Pearce’s vote actually resulted in a net increase in taxes for oil and gas companies.

The ad is by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. It first aired Aug.

New Mexico and Arkansas Races

In episode 13 of FactCheck Radio, we look at a Republican ad that was condemned by the head of the GOP in New Mexico. Plus, we debunk labor union ads attacking Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and we update listeners on claims about Muslims and the health care law.
(Click the play button below to listen to the podcast. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

For more on the stories discussed in this episode,

Nonsense in New Mexico

Rep. Steve Pearce’s campaign and an independent anti-abortion group both have attacked Rep. Heather Wilson in the hotly contested race to be the Republican nominee for an open New Mexico Senate seat. But Pearce and the group run afoul of the facts. A mailer from Pearce claims that Wilson “voted for cloning that would create human embryos specifically to be destroyed for scientific research.” Actually, she voted to make it illegal to clone humans for reproductive purposes; the bill did not address embryos to be used for research, as anti-abortion groups wanted. It’s simply false to say she voted for som