A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fiscal Cliff Air Wars

The presidential election ended last month, but the partisan air wars continue with competing fiscal cliff ads from the conservative Crossroads GPS and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Most of what is in the ads falls into the realm of opinion, but we found a couple points to quibble with in each.

The DCCC ad claims “tea party House Republicans are holding the middle class hostage to get more tax cuts for millionaires,” but nearly six out of seven who would face tax increases under President Obama’s plan do not earn $1 million a year.

Crossroads Colors Kaine’s Cuts

Two ads from Crossroads GPS paint incomplete and misleading pictures of Tim Kaine’s support for cutting education and defense spending.

One ad says that “when Tim Kaine proposed harsh funding cuts for Virginia schools, one Democrat called it ‘a kick in the teeth.’ ” It’s true that the top official in one wealthy county did that — when the then-Virginia governor proposed a one-year delay to a scheduled change that would have prevented cuts for two-thirds of the state’s poorest school districts.

Crossroads Ad Craps Out

Is President Barack Obama down on Vegas? A new ad, running in Nevada, from a pro-Romney group employs a shortened quote from Obama that makes it seem as if he was telling people not to visit and spend money in the tourism hub. Not exactly.
Making a point about belt-tightening in tough times, Obama told a crowd in New Hampshire in 2010, “You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Crossroads Changes Plane False Attack

After yanking an ad with a false claim off the air in North Dakota, Crossroads GPS is back with an amended version that is technically accurate, but still grossly misleading.
The original ad claimed that Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp “spent taxpayer dollars on private planes” while she was the state’s attorney general. That wasn’t true. The planes were donated by the federal government.
The amended version, which started running Aug. 10, says she “allowed staff to fly a taxpayer-funded plane.”

‘Obama’s Promise,’ Part II

And now, the rest of the story on that misleading “Obama’s Promise” ad from Crossroads GPS.
Besides the almost totally false claim that we covered earlier, the ad also:

Claims the president broke a promise to help homeowners facing foreclosure, when in fact 5.9 million have received assistance.
Gives a somewhat darker picture of the mortgage foreclosure situation than the facts warrant.
Exaggerates the number of persons likely to lose employer-sponsored health coverage under the new health care law.

A Bogus Tax Attack Against Obama

The latest multimillion-dollar attack ad from Crossroads GPS claims President Obama  broke a promise to not increase taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. That’s almost entirely false.
The truth is that Obama repeatedly cut taxes for such families, first through a tax credit in effect for 2009 and 2010, and beginning in 2011, through a reduction in the payroll tax that is worth $1,000 this year to workers earning $50,000 a year.

Bogus Oil Claims by Crossroads GPS

Crossroads GPS is accusing the Obama administration of “bad energy policies” causing “prices we can’t afford.” But the Republican-leaning group makes some false and exaggerated claims.

It says the president “limited development of American oil shale.” Actually, production of petroleum from shale formations is booming. What the administration slowed down were plans for experimental development of ways to produce oil by heating kerogen-rich rocks, something that is years away from becoming commercially feasible.
The ad claims Obama lobbied to “kill”

Wind Spin

The wind-power lobby is spinning the facts in a $1.4-million TV ad campaign aimed at extending a lucrative tax break worth billions to the industry. Its ads claim that Congress is “threatening new taxes” targeting wind power, which isn’t true. No “new taxes” are envisioned. Instead, Congress is …

Crossroads GPS Twists Facts in Senate Ads

Crossroads GPS distorts the facts in TV ads that attack two Democratic Senate candidates for their roles in the Wall Street bailout and the federal health care law: The well-heeled conservative group says Elizabeth Warren was appointed to oversee how tax dollars were spent for bank bailouts …

The Fall TV Season’s Senate Air Wars

The November elections are still nearly a year away, but the TV air wars over Senate seats have officially begun in earnest. The balance of power is up for grabs, and outside groups are pouring millions into ads attacking candidates in key Senate races. The biggest plays have come from Crossroads GPS …