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Ad of the day: Dem touts voting record supporting Boehner

Republicans have been working very hard to weigh down and eventually sink Democrats with the specter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) is fighting back by touting the number of times he has voted with House Minority Leader John Boehner.

In the ad, Owens claims that a previous ad from Republican Matt Doheny is wrong to claim that Owens voted with Pelosi 93 percent of the time. Instead, Owens claims he voted with the Republican House leader 63 percent of the time.

The ad raises the obvious question: Whose side are the facts on? Is Doheny's claim that Owens voted "with Pelosi 93 percent of the time" accurate, or is Owens's claim that "he voted with the Republican leader 63 percent of the time" correct? A lawmaker can't have a voting percentage split between two parties that is over 100 percent, right? Well, they can if you fudge the numbers.

The voting statistics come from the non-profit, independent website OpenCongress.org. The ad refers to two different ways that the site calculates voting percentages for members of Congress. It is true that, according to OpenCongress.org, Owens votes with his party 93 percent of the time. It is also true that Owens and House Minority Leader John Boehner have a 63 percent voting similarity. But when you match Owens's and Pelosi's voting record, they only share an 83 percent similarity. So Owen's and Doheny are both spinning the numbers -- Owens in choosing not to mention that he votes with Pelosi 83 percent of the time and Doheny in claiming that the 93 percent voting similarity is with Pelosi as opposed to the Democratic party. (h/t Ben Smith)

Now, in other ad news:

- President Obama has taken to the airwaves again -- this time in a radio ad supporting embattled Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek in Florida. Meek is in a tight, three-way contest with Independent Charlie Crist and tea party-backed Republican Marco Rubio. Rubio shot back, via a press release, that the ad served as proof that Meek is a "reliable rubberstamp for the Obama agenda." (ht/ Mike Allen)

- On Monday we covered the DNC's latest ad going after the Chamber of Commerce with the carefully worded claim that the Chamber was financing ad buys in favor of Republican candidates with foreign money. Well, consider that claim officially debunked, thanks to FactCheck.org.

- Our colleagues over at The Fix report that West Virginia is the site of an increasingly contentious ad war. The NRSC has released a one-page ad with a picture of Democratic Governor Joe Manchin and President Obama, while Manchin is fighting back with his own ads to distance himself from the president. Politico's Ben Smith reports that, in the wake of "hicky"-gate, Manchin has been very careful to stay authentic in his words and deeds on the campaign trial. But a photoshopped image of his rival in a recently-released ad may go a step too far. The photoshopped image shows Republican John Raese (recently-endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin) and his wife (who is holding a small dog) in front of their House in Florida as the narrator says, "Then there's the fact that Raese moved his family to Florida to avoid paying West Virginia taxes." But, according to a Raese campaign aide, the original photo of Raese and his wife was taken in front of their place in West Virginia. (h/t Ben Smith)

- Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink released a two-minute video going after Republican Rick Scott. The video gives off the appearance of a criminal mini-documentary and uses news and stock footage to illustrate the fraud allegations that had been levied against Scott. (h/t The Miami Herald)

By Emi Kolawole  | October 12, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Ad of the day  
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Next: O'Donnell video: The tax man cometh

Comments

The fact of the matter is that Democrats still can't see the forest for the trees. They consistently vote for republican issues thinking that republicans will eventually see the problem with never finding anything they can support that democrats legislate. They are not concerned about how the public might be impacted ever, just whats good for republicans. Democrats will never understand the simple fact that the media will never report anything that reflect the true nature of republicans (they could care less about this country only their welfare and well-being)because that would show them up as who they really are and what they are about. The media will never give any hint of their complicity in this because then they would forever be explaining and apologizing all the back to their complicity in Florida, Ohio and the Iraq invasion!

Posted by: mcgeenate | October 12, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is that Democrats still can't see the forest for the trees. They consistently vote for republican issues thinking that republicans will eventually see the problem with never finding anything they can support that democrats legislate. They are not concerned about how the public might be impacted ever, just whats good for republicans. Democrats will never understand the simple fact that the media will never report anything that reflect the true nature of republicans (they could care less about this country only their welfare and well-being)because that would show them up as who they really are and what they are about. The media will never give any hint of their complicity in this because then they would forever be explaining and apologizing all the back to their complicity in Florida, Ohio and the Iraq invasion!

Posted by: mcgeenate | October 12, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

First, it's a shame that the media is excessively focused in describing how Pelosi and Boehner are demonized - yet many of the public don't know either one or both - and of course aren't represented by either of them. But at least we should get the math right. I note the statement in this story that:

"A lawmaker can't have a voting percentage split between two parties that is over 100 percent, right? Well, they can if you fudge the numbers..."

You don't have to fudge the numbers to exceed a total of 100 percent, because any votes on which both Boehner and Pelosi agreed would also be counted twice in an accurate vote-tallying system (just draw two intersecting circles for an illustration). In our hyper-partisan era, it may seem natural that you're either with Boehner or Pelosi on a given issue, and thus the total must sum to 100 percent, but it's both a sad commentary on the Congress as well as bad math.

This report is about as useful as the Post running a daily 'Palin Tracker' - another horse race story - while I suspect the public is hungering for some better information - they simply have too much at stake.

Posted by: WFPewen | October 12, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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