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Down-to-the-Wire Deceptions

Attack ads, and the misinformation that comes with them, continue to swamp the airwaves. In fact, spending on ads in these midterm elections could top $3 billion, said Evan Tracey, whose Kantar Media-owned Campaign Media Analysis Group tracks political ads running nationwide. That cracks the $2.7 billion spent in 2008 – when a presidential race as well as the usual congressional ones were eating up airtime.
A brief rundown of some misleading assaults we’ve found in the last few days:
DSCC Hits Murkowski
Among other things,

Outside Group Attacks Sestak on Terror Trials

The Republican Jewish Coalition says it is spending $1 million in the Pennsylvania Senate race on an ad attacking Democrat Joe Sestak for wanting to hold trials of alleged 9/11 terrorists "in our backyard" in Pennsylvania. But Sestak is not advocating holding terror trials in Pennsylvania. He said he would accept them if they were to happen, because he supports civilian, rather than military, trials for terrorists.

The ad, which began airing on Oct. 20, involves the controversial decision by the Department of Justice to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,

Toss-ups: Pennsylvania Cash Attack

Two independent groups are spending heavily in the Pennsylvania Senate race, and we find both are airing TV ads that go a bit too far: VoteVets.org, a left-leaning veterans group, is up with an ad that claims Republican Pat Toomey supports letting Wall Street …

Corporate and Union Ads

In episode 27 of our podcast, we look at misleading ads from a conservative and a liberal group: Crossroads GPS, a group with ties to Karl Rove, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees labor union. Plus, we tell listeners about a greatly exaggerated claim from the education secretary about high-school dropouts.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Misdirection from Crossroads GPS  Aug. 30
AFSCME’s Big, Brazen Attack  Sept.

Misdirection from Crossroads GPS

A group with ties to Karl Rove sends viewers astray in a $2 million ad campaign attacking Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, California and Kentucky. The ads make badly misleading claims about the health care legislation …

‘Privatizing’ Social Security?

In episode 25, we debunk President Obama’s claim that leading Republicans in Congress want to privatize Social Security. Plus, we look at dueling ads from the Pennsylvania Senate race, and we tackle claims related to the controversy over the Islamic center and mosque in New York.

 
For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Obama’s (Latest) Social Security Whopper  Aug. 16
Toomey’s Stimulus Charge Doesn’t Add Up  Aug. 13
DSCC Wrong on Toomey’s Wall St.

DSCC Wrong on Toomey’s Wall St. Experience

A Democratic Party ad says Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was a "Wall Street wheeler dealer" trading in financial products that "wound up nearly destroying our economy." We find that to be false.
The ad also falsely claims that Toomey "wrote the law" that it blames for weakening government oversight of Wall Street. Toomey, a former congressman, did have a hand in the legislation, but he was by no means its principal author.

 

Toomey’s Stimulus Charge Doesn’t Add Up

Republican Pat Toomey’s new ad in the Pennsylvania Senate race states that the $862 billion stimulus package "gave us record debt without creating jobs." He’s wrong on both counts.

The ad, which was released Aug. 10, criticizes Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak for a number of his votes that prove, the ad claims, "Washington is failing." It says: "Bailouts, takeovers, a stimulus that gave us record debt without creating jobs. Congressman Joe Sestak voted for all of it."

Sunday Replay

Did someone in the White House commit a federal misdemeanor by getting involved in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary? A leading Republican House member says yes, but he’s contradicted by a former U.S. attorney general from the Bush administration.
That’s our first subject in this holiday-delayed issue of "Sunday Replay," where we regularly dissect factual claims made on weekend public affairs shows. We also fact-checked a few statements about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunday Replay

This Sunday’s collection of morning talkfests produced a few points worth noting, including distortions of Rand Paul’s use of the term "un-American," a bit of cherry-picking on job growth numbers under President Obama, a false accusation that oil companies are making "record profits," and misleading innuendo that the White House has been slow to respond to the Gulf oil crisis because of the industry’s campaign donations.
A Bit of Flag-Waving
On "Fox News Sunday,"