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Terror trials, congressional races, and weed missteps

Today we take a look at attacks and ad watches from the Senate race in Pennsylvania, Congressional districts in Utah and South Carolina, and conclude with a hazy ad on marijuana legalization in California.

FactCheck.org corrects a false claim in Pennsylvania:

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.


In the race for Utah's second Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson released an attack ad against Republican challenger Morgan Philpot and local NBC affiliate KSL produced an ad watch to examine the claims:

So what's the truth behind claims like one this ad makes: "Did you know Philpot missed 233 votes while in the Utah Legislature?"

That claim is true, with an explanation. Because of scheduling and meetings at the Legislature, many House lawmakers miss votes all the time: Philpot claims he has one of the best voting percentages. A staff member of the Utah House says that missing 233 votes over four years is, "not bad."

But Matheson's ad goes on: "Morgan then quit the Legislature mid-term, moved to Michigan, but kept his Utah taxpayer-paid health care."
At a news conference, Philpot insisted both claims are false: Public records show he actually quit a month prior to the end of his term.


The Charlotte Observer looked at a handful of ads from the South Carolina's fourth Congressional District where Democratic Rep. John Spratt is playing defense against Republican Mick Mulvaney. The Observer added some context to attack lines on the effectiveness of the stimulus that have been used by Republicans in in a number of races>

As chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of House leadership, Spratt is a ripe target for critics of federal spending. The "failed stimulus" is a common theme of Republican and conservative attacks across the country. Versions of this NFIB ad are running in other states.

Experts disagree on the effect of the stimulus, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in August that said the stimulus bill has lowered the unemployment rate by up to 1.8 percentage points and increased the number of people working by as many as 3.3 million.


On the ballot initiative front, the Fresno Bee examined an ad advocating for the passage of Prop 19 in California, which would legalize marijuana. A few of the claims were accurate, while others went up in smoke:

McNamara's contention that it is easier for a teen to buy pot than beer may not provoke much of an argument in California. Yet his claims Proposition 19 will generate billions in tax revenue and put drug cartels out of business are topics of major dispute. The State Board of Equalization last year said legalizing pot could generate as much as $1.4 billion for the cash-strapped state. But that estimate was based on a $50-per-ounce pot tax - proposed in legislation - that is not included in Proposition 19. In fact, the initiative doesn't specify any taxes. It leaves those decisions up to local governments and the Legislature. And any pot tax revenue may already be in jeopardy.

By Justin Bank  | October 26, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ad of the day: Brown gets Whitman to endorse him (sort of)
Next: Campaign statements on Fiorina hospitalization

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Posted by: chmmrx | October 27, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chmmrx | October 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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