Budget votes and mistaken identify
News organizations, big and small, from California, Ohio, and New York noted factual missteps in political ads over the weekend.
The San Francisco Chronicle runs down what it labels the most "egregious" errors from campaign ads throughout the cycle. At the top of the list, a case of mistaken identify:
For sheer boneheadedness, it'll be tough to top Cory Gardner's attack ad against Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey of Colorado. Gardner accuses her (accurately) of voting with the congressional leadership on the vast majority of votes. But then he picks out a specific one -- "voting for the most fiscally irresponsible budget in history." It's true that Rep. Markey voted for the budget, but it was Ed Markey of Massachusetts, not Betsy. She voted against it. Oops!
The Columbus Post Dispatch supplied a little perspective for a radio attack ad that included a four-year-old audio clip from Democrat Rep. Zack Space:
The audio of Space saying "Unemployment is not a problem in southeastern Ohio" is from a March 2006 interview Space did with a group of bloggers. Space went on to win his seat in the fall. But in the interview Space also said the problem is that many southeastern Ohio residents work hard but get paid too-low wages. At the time unemployment rates were dropping statewide and in southeastern Ohio, though rates remained higher there than the statewide average. It was also a time when Democrats were campaigning to raise the minimum wage, which is what Space says he was focusing on in that comment.
Politifact offers up a roundup of their ad watches from the three way Senate race in Florida between Democrat U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, Republican former state House speaker Marco Rubio, and Republican-turned-Independent Gov. Charlie Crist. Among other findings, they noted that Meek's math could use some work:
In defending his position against extending tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year, Meek flubbed his math in claiming that "middle-class families throughout America (would) have to pay $6,000 per year to pay for" tax cuts for the wealthy.
He's off by a factor of 10, at least.
The Watertown Daily Press in upstate New York reported that:
Rep. William L. Owens continued to hammer on his Republican opponent's Wall Street connections Friday by accusing Matthew A. Doheny of using offshore tax havens to get rich -- and helping to stick New Yorkers with an $8.4 billion tab.
But for the Plattsburgh Democrat to be right, he needs his audience to assume certain elements he can't conclusively prove.
| October 25, 2010; 2:36 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency
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