A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Our 2006 Awards

As we wait for the ballots to be counted, we look back on some of that ads that caught our attention for other reasons. We offer these FactCheck.org awards just for fun.

Accusations Fly in Senate Squeakers

Voters in Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia – three states where polls have shown the Senate candidates to be neck-and-neck – have been particularly swamped with ads.

The Whoppers Of 2006

The mid-term elections of 2006 brought an unprecedented barrage of advertising containing much that is false or misleading.

Sweeney No Sweet-Talker In Kitchen-Sink Attack

GOP Rep. John Sweeney’s ad goes after his opponent, first-time House candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, with a half-dozen accusations layered over a soundtrack that’s somehow both scary and sad. The ad tars Gillibrand with everything from taking illegal contributions to hiring a consultant tied to the Abramoff lobbying scandal to making children cry at a Sweeney rally, and more.

When Democrats Attack

Gauging by the attack ads flowing from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s House contenders are running against Exxon, Pfizer and Bush. The ads tie Republican House candidates to unpopular industries and an unpopular President. Some of these ads are exaggerations.

Sopranos Lite? Casting Menendez in a Culture of Corruption

Two of the most recent ads being aired in New Jersey by Republican Tom Kean Jr. and the NRSC stick to the recipe the Republicans have been using all season against Sen. Robert Menendez: Show the Democratic incumbent as sleazy, corrupt and possibly a criminal.

Republican Mudslinging On An Industrial Scale

Both political parties are functioning in the 2006 House races as factories for attack ads, but the National Republican Campaign Committee’s work stands out this year for the sheer volume of assaults on the personal character of Democratic House challengers.

Hurting the Troops?

Well over a dozen Democratic ads claim incumbent GOP lawmakers voted against benefits and funding for the nation’s military.

Kentucky Mudslinging: Accusations Without Evidence

Republican Rep. Ron Lewis of Kentucky attacks his opponent, retired Army Col. Mike Weaver, with an ad saying the Democrat is “not fit for duty in Congress” because of a National Guard pay-for-promotion scandal that goes back 14 years.