More False Ads From Democrats

Today, PolitiFact Rated Sen. Mark Pryor’s New Ebola Ad As “Mostly False”

image

PolitiFact: Pryor’s Ad “Ignores Critical Facts That Would Give A Different Impression, So We Rate It Mostly False.” “A Pryor for Senate ad said, ‘Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola.’ Cotton voted against one version of a 2013 pandemic and emergency preparedness bill. However, Cotton voted for the final version, which Pryor also supported. The bill easily became law. The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.” (Lauren Carroll, “Pryor Says Cotton Voted ‘No’ On Pandemic Prevention Bill, Ignores Cotton’s ‘Yes’ Vote,” PolitiFact, 8/28/14)

  • Pryor’s Ebola Ad Has Been Called “Scare-Tastic” And Made For “Saturday Night Live.” “WashingtonPost.com called the commercial ‘scare-tastic political advertising.’ And MSNBC’s program Morning Joe aired the entire 30-second commercial before blasting it. ‘Good Lord … Seriously?’ asked host Joe Scarborough. ‘Is this a Saturday Night Live ad?’” (Bill Bowden and Claudia Lauer, “Ebola Ad On Cotton Accurate, Pryor Says,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/28/14)

Earlier This Week In North Carolina, Multiple Fact Checkers Found That The Senate Majority PAC’s New Ad Was False

image

In North Carolina, PolitiFact Gave The Latest Ad From Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC A “False” Rating. “A Senate Majority PAC ad said, ‘Thom Tillis gives tax breaks to yacht and jet owners.’ North Carolina lawmakers, under Tillis’ leadership, overhauled the state’s tax code in 2013. But they left in place a 23-year-old tax break for boats and aircraft in tact. By using the word ‘give,’ the statement suggests Tillis created the tax breaks, which he didn’t. Because the ad turns inaction into action, we rate this claim False.” (Lauren Carroll, “Ad Says Senate Candidate Thom Tillis Gave Tax Breaks To North Carolina’s Yacht And Jet Owners,” PolitiFact, 8/26/14)

image

WRAL Also Gave The Senate Majority PAC Ad “A Red Light” Due To “Leaky Logic.” “Due to the leaky logic behind the yachts and jets claim, we give it a red light.” (Mark Binker, “FACT CHECK: Did Tillis Give Tax Breaks To Yacht Owners,” WRAL, 8/27/14)

  • According To WRAL, Senate Majority PAC “Displayed A Willful Disregard For The Truth.”  “Stop right there. Our fact checking has raised serious problems with the statement in question. The speaker in question either displayed a willful disregard for the truth, made an accusation without a basis in fact or has gotten their math very wrong.” (“Red Light, Green Light, Fact Check: A Guide To How We Make Our Calls,” WRAL, 3/28/14)
     

Trouble In The Hawkeye State For Democrats

USA Today Headline: “Poll: A Deadlock In Iowa’s Key Senate Race” (Susan Page, “Poll: A Deadlock In Iowa’s Key Senate Race,” USA Today, 8/27/14)

A USA Today/Suffolk University Poll Finds The Iowa Senate Race “Deadlocked,” Despite Early Campaign Forecasts That Claimed Democrats “Were Favored.” “The Senate race in Iowa, one of a handful likely to determine whether Republicans can seize unified control of Congress in November, is deadlocked. Literally. A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of 500 likely Iowa voters, taken Saturday through Tuesday, finds 201 supporting Democrat Bruce Braley and 200 supporting Republican Joni Ernst in a contest in which Democrats initially were favored. Ernst has made it a too-close-to-call race thanks in part to a sly TV ad about her skill in castrating pigs and some Braley verbal gaffes.” (Susan Page, “Poll: A Deadlock In Iowa’s Key Senate Race,” USA Today, 8/27/14)

And The Poll Finds Widespread Disapproval For Obama And ObamaCare

Only 42 Percent Of Iowans Approve Of The Job Obama Is Doing As President, While 52 Percent Disapprove. (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

  • Only 36 Percent Of Independents In Iowa Approve Of The Job Obama Is Doing As President, While 58 Percent Disapprove. (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)
  • Only 20 Percent Of Undecided Voters In Iowa’s U.S. Senate Election Approve Of The Job Obama Is Doing As President, While 65 Percent Disapprove. (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

51 Percent Of Iowans View Obama Unfavorably, While Only 46 Percent View The President Favorably.  (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

  • Only 38 Percent Of Independents Viewed Obama Favorably, While 55 Viewed The President Unfavorably. (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

When Asked If ObamaCare Was Good Or Bad For Iowa Generally, 46 Percent Responded That It Was “Generally Bad,” While Only 40 Percent Said It Was “Generally Good.” (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

49 Percent Of Independents In Iowa Said ObamaCare Was “Generally Bad,” While Only 33 Percent Responded That It Was “Generally Good.” (USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, 500 LV, MoE 4.4%, 8/23-26/14)

Another Senate Majority PAC Ad, Another False Rating

Today, PolitiFact Gave The Latest Ad From Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC A “False” Rating. “A Senate Majority PAC ad said, ‘Thom Tillis gives tax breaks to yacht and jet owners.’ North Carolina lawmakers, under Tillis’ leadership, overhauled the state’s tax code in 2013. But they left in place a 23-year-old tax break for boats and aircraft in tact. By using the word ‘give,’ the statement suggests Tillis created the tax breaks, which he didn’t. Because the ad turns inaction into action, we rate this claim False.” (Lauren Carroll, “Ad Says Senate Candidate Thom Tillis Gave Tax Breaks To North Carolina’s Yacht And Jet Owners,” PolitiFact, 8/26/14)

Senate Majority PAC Has Already Been Called Out By FactCheckers For A False Attack In North Carolina

In May, WRAL Fact Check Gave Senate Majority PAC Ad The “Red Light,” Claiming The PAC’s Ad Was “Misinterpreting An Analysis … And Making A Statement That Is Unsupported By The Facts.” "But in its zeal to win the argument and the election, Senate Majority PAC is misinterpreting an analysis of the 2013 tax plan and making a statement that is unsupported by the facts. The director of the center whose report is the basis of the 80 percent claim says it is an inaccurate use of their analysis. At the end of the day, the 80 percent claim is simply not right. We give this ad, and any other that repeats this claim, a red light." (Mark Binker, “Fact Check: Did GOP raise taxes on 80 percent in NC?” WRAL, 5/16/14)

  • The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker Gave Three Pinocchios To Senate Majority PAC’s False Attack Ad: “Senate Majority PAC Should Have Checked The Facts Before Rushing On The Air With This Ad.” “On its face, it is pretty absurd to think that a tax reform bill that cut rates and eliminated tax loopholes ended up raising taxes on 80 percent of the people in the state. Broadly speaking, the wealthy do appear to gain more from the 2013 tax overhaul, but they also pay the lion’s share of income taxes. And 39 percent of the people appear to face a tax increase, including some of the wealthiest people in the state–not 80 percent, all at the bottom. Our old adage applies: If a factoid sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Senate Majority PAC should have checked the facts before rushing on the air with this ad.” (Glenn Kessler, “Senate Majority PAC’s Faulty Tax Math In The N.C. Senate Race,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 5/14/14)

WHEN IT COMES TO RELEASING FALSE ADS, REID’S SENATE MAJORITY PAC IS THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

Reid’s Senate Majority PAC Has Become One Of The Most Successful Super PAC’s In Spreading False Accusations. “Even as Democratic Party leaders denounce billionaire Republicans Charles and David Koch for filling the airwaves with misleading commercials, they’re also playing with the facts. … Reid’s stamp is on some of the most successful Democratic outside groups. Susan McCue, his former chief of staff, runs the Senate Majority PAC, and Reid has solicited money on its behalf. The super-PAC raised $26 million through the end of May for the November 2014 elections with the help of billionaires such as former money manager Tom Steyer, financier George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.” (Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz, “Democrats Griping About False Ads Respond With Deception,” Bloomberg, 6/18/14)

Read More

The ObamaCare Money Pit Deepens

A New Report From The Department Of Health And Human Services Inspector General Found That 20 Federal Contractors “Were Paid More Than Their Original Estimates” For Work On The ObamaCare Website, Exceeding “$1.7 Billion In Value.”  “The federal government paid at least 20 contractors more than their original estimates for work on constructing HealthCare.gov and the rollout of ObamaCare, according to an official review released Tuesday. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general (IG) found that federal contracts on the rollout exceeded $1.7 billion in value.” (Elise Viebeck, “20 O-Care Contractors Exceeded Estimates, Review Finds,” The Hill, 8/26/14)

  • HHS Inspector General: “Seven Companies Are Due To Receive More Than Double Their Initial Estimates.” “Seven companies are due to receive more than double their initial estimates, the IG report stated.”(Elise Viebeck, “20 O-Care Contractors Exceeded Estimates, Review Finds,” The Hill, 8/26/14)
  • “The IG Review Is Perhaps The First To Sketch The Financial Consequences Of The Technical Problems That Nearly Killed Healthcare.Gov And Several Other Exchanges Last Fall.” (Elise Viebeck, “20 O-Care Contractors Exceeded Estimates, Review Finds,” The Hill, 8/26/14)

Prior To Being Fired, CGI Federal, The Firm That Led The Implementation Of ObamaCare, “Generated Bills On Various Contracts Exceeding $250 Million.” “Other firms like CGI Federal, which led the implementation effort before being fired earlier this year, generated bills on various contracts exceeding $250 million as of February.” (Elise Viebeck, “20 O-Care Contractors Exceeded Estimates, Review Finds,” The Hill, 8/26/14)

  • After Receiving An Initial Contract For $93 Million, CGI Federal “Could Ultimately Receive More Than $200 Million.” “In one case, while a 2011 contract was estimated to be worth $93 million at its awarding, CGI Federal could ultimately receive more than $200 million for that agreement.” (Elise Viebeck, “20 O-Care Contractors Exceeded Estimates, Review Finds,” The Hill, 8/26/14)
  • CGI Group “Wasn’t Severely Punished” For Bungling The Construction Of The ObamaCare Website, And Was Only Docked $267,000 For Not Meeting Its Contract. “The site was built primarily by CGI Group Inc. (GIB/A) of Montreal. While top Obama administration officials publicly blamed CGI for not meeting the terms of its contract, the company wasn’t severely punished, losing only about $267,000 of their fees, Wood is scheduled to testify.” (Alex Wayne, “ObamaCare Web Cost Approaches $1 Billion As Fixes Needed,” Bloomberg, 7/30/14)

The Price Tag Of The ObamaCare Website Continues To Increase

According To The Latest GAO Estimates, The Cost Of ObamaCare’s Website Is Approaching $1 Billion, At $840 Million And Rising. “The budget to get the site ready for the next round of enrollments, starting in November, jumped to $840 million as of March, according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s a $163 million increase since December.” (Alex Wayne, “ObamaCare Web Cost Approaches $1 Billion As Fixes Needed,” Bloomberg, 7/30/14)

Read More

As Joe Biden Comes To Town, Pat Quinn’s Embattled Campaign Sinks Even Lower

Today, Vice President Joe Biden Is Traveling To Chicago Where He Will Attend A $15,000 Per Head Fundraiser In Chicago To Help Save Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D-IL) Floundering Campaign. “Vice President Joe Biden hits Chicago on Monday as 2016 presidential politics are percolating … Biden’s day trip to the city is to headline fundraisers for Gov. Pat Quinn and the House Democratic political operation and to pitch a minimum wage increase with Mayor Rahm Emanuel … © Biden’s day trip to the city is to headline fundraisers for Gov. Pat Quinn and the House Democratic political operation and to pitch a minimum wage increase with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.” (Lynn Sweet, “Biden Hits Chicago For Fundraisers For Quinn, House Dems,” Chicago Sun-Times, 8/24/14)

Biden’s Visit Comes On The Heels Of A Terrible Weekend For Quinn

This Weekend, The Chicago Tribune Reported That Federal Investigators Had Subpoenaed The Emails Of Quinn’s Former Chief Of Staff Regarding Quinn’s Failed Anti-Violence Initiative. “A Federal grand jury subpoenaed emails of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff and two other onetime top aides as a criminal probe into a botched $54.5 million anti-violence grant program continues ahead of the November election.  The subpoenas, disclosed by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune open records request, shows the grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin, who served as Quinn’s chief operating officer and later as his chief of staff until departing state government last September.” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “Feds Subpoena Emails Of Quinn’s Ex-Chief Of Staff,” Chicago Tribune, 8/23/14)

  • Federal Investigators Also Subpoenaed Quinn’s Former Deputy Chief Of Staff And Quinn’s Former Senior Advisor On Social Justice Issues. “Besides ex-chief of staff Lavin, prosecutors sought emails involving Andrew Ross, a former deputy Quinn chief of staff who was elevated after the governor’s 2010 election victory to the post of chief operating officer. Ross left government for the private sector in March.  Also subpoenaed were the emails of Billy Ocasio, a former 26th Ward alderman who served as Quinn’s senior adviser on social justice issues. Ocasio, who worked for the Illinois Housing Development Authority after Quinn’s election, left state government last year.” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “Feds Subpoena Emails Of Quinn’s Ex-Chief Of Staff,” Chicago Tribune, 8/23/14)

Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program Employed The Alleged “Mastermind” Of A Chicago Burglary Ring. “When Gov. Pat Quinn invested millions of state dollars into his now-tainted Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, one aim was to steer kids away from crime while putting a little spending money in their pockets.  Shaquille Wilson allegedly didn’t get that money the way Quinn’s administration envisioned when rolling out the 2010 anti-violence program with a promise of ‘economic opportunity’ for young people in the city’s most violent neighborhoods. During the program’s first full year in 2011, Wilson underwent NRI-funded mentoring through a West Side legal advocacy organization, the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, and was given a state-funded, part-time job to tout a message of anti-violence in North Lawndale, state records show.  But in December of that year, Wilson, then 17 and a student at Westside Holistic Leadership Academy, was arrested and accused of being part of a burglary ring that hit six homes in Riverside and North Riverside, state and court records show.  One state record described Wilson as the ‘alleged mastermind’ of the crimes, though the young man’s lawyer aggressively denies that characterization and insists his client, whose case is pending, is innocent.” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “Another Blunder For Quinn Administration’s NRI Program?,” Chicago Sun-Times, 8/23/14)

Last Week, A Report By The Illinois Executive Inspector General Released Found Widespread Illegal Patronage Hiring At The Illinois Department Of Transportation Under Quinn. “Gov. Pat Quinn failed to rein in patronage abuses at the state transportation agency after replacing now-imprisoned Rod Blagojevich, and Quinn’s directors repeatedly hired politically connected workers in violation of the rules, the state’s top ethics investigator found.  Hundreds of people were hired into a special ‘staff assistant’ position without having to go through strict personnel procedures under rules designed to keep politics out of most state hiring, according to a confidential report by Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza obtained by the Tribune.  The rules have been in place since before Blagojevich took office in 2003, but many of those improper hirings at the Illinois Department of Transportation happened under Quinn’s Democratic administration, the report said.” (Ray Long, “Report Slams IDOT Political Hiring,” Chicago Tribune, 8/22/14)

  • The Illegal Hiring “Jumped Significantly” Under Quinn’s Administration. “The Meza report said 255 people were hired in the ‘staff assistant’ category from 2003 through 2013 but that the number of politically connected people picked for the job jumped significantly in 2010 and 2011, the years Quinn ran for and then began his first full term as the state’s chief executive. He moved up from lieutenant governor in January 2009, when legislators impeached and tossed out Blagojevich for corruption.” (Ray Long, “Report Slams IDOT Political Hiring,” Chicago Tribune, 8/22/14)
  • The Former Secretary Of The Illinois Department Of Transportation Said Quinn’s Office Recommended The “Vast Majority” Of Improper Hires. “In a blow to Gov. Pat Quinn, his former transportation secretary has accused his office of pushing ‘the vast majority’ of improper political hires in her agency even though an ethics report released Friday shied away from blaming the governor’s office.” (Dave McKinney, “Ex-IDOT Boss Blames Gov’s Office For Majority Of Improper Hires,” Chicago Sun-Times, 8/22/14)

Read More