Ending Spending Action Fund: Says Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s "wealth has surged while in public office."
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., insists an ad running against her is so blatantly false that her campaign asked a station to take it down. Meanwhile, the makers of the ad, the conservative group Ending Spending Action Fund, told us the ad is "100 percent accurate." Sounds like a job for PolitiFact. The ad, a 60-second spot, claims that New Hampshire families are struggling, but "Shaheen’s wealth has surged while in public office." The ad goes on to say that "news reports raise questions about Shaheen’s family profiting from her votes in Congress, a shady stock deal and a ...>> More
Bloggers: "Over 73% of all donations raised (from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge) are going to fundraising, overhead, executive salaries, and external donations."
By now, there are very few Americans who haven’t heard of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" -- the social media-driven campaign during the summer of 2014 to dump ice water on your head as a way of raising awareness of the neuromuscular disease ALS and promoting donations to the ALS Association, which funds medical research and support programs for those who have the disease. The effort has led to at least $94 million in donations to the ALS Association -- a jolt of extra funding for a group that last year spent a comparatively modest $26 million. But ...>> More
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: Says Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land "said guaranteeing equal pay for women who do the same job as men is not a good idea."
Terri Lynn Land, the Republican Senate candidate from Michigan, doesn’t think women should have guaranteed equal pay, says the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The committee recently released an ad attacking Land, who is running against Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in a tight race for Michigan’s open Senate seat. The ad takes clips from one of Land’s own videos -- where she says that as a woman, she knows more about women’s issues than Peters -- and alternates them with claims about Land’s positions on women’s issues. Such as: "Terri Lynn Land said guaranteeing equal pay for ...>> More
Peter King: The United States had "allies lined up" for air strikes in Syria and then Obama "pulled the rug out."
Sunday marked the one-year point from President Barack Obama’s Aug. 31, 2013, Rose Garden address seeking congressional approval to conduct air strikes in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Twelve months later, the situation in Syria remains a troubling international crisis, amplified by the growing presence of the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, throughout the region. Across all five major Sunday political shows, Republicans — and even some Democrats — criticized the administration’s response to the unrest, with many politicians and pundits leaching on to Obama’s remark Thursday that "we don’t have a strategy yet" for dealing with ...>> More
Burger King: After merging with Tim Hortons of Canada, Burger King is "not moving. … Our headquarters will remain in Miami" and "(we) will continue to pay all of our federal, state and local U.S. taxes."
When Burger King, the American fast-food icon, announced a deal to join forces with the Canadian coffee-and-donuts giant Tim Hortons, the reaction was swift. Burger King, it turned out, would become part of a Canadian parent company, potentially resulting in significant savings on what it pays in U.S. taxes -- a maneuver known as a corporate tax "inversion." Politicians, and ordinary Americans, cried foul. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, urged customers to bring their fast-food cravings to two companies that have long operated from Ohio -- Wendy’s and White Castle. "Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way,’ " Brown said ...>> More
Bernie Sanders: "In 1952, the corporate income tax accounted for 33 percent of all federal tax revenue. Today, despite record-breaking profits, corporate taxes bring in less than 9 percent."
As politicians and commentators were criticizing decisions by companies to shift their corporate headquarters overseas in order to cut their tax bill to Uncle Sam, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., created a shareable meme to illustrate how much corporate tax collection has plunged over the past few decades. The meme says: "Want to better understand why we have a federal deficit? In 1952, the corporate income tax accounted for 33 percent of all federal tax revenue. Today, despite record-breaking profits, corporate taxes bring in less than 9 percent. It’s time for real tax reform." A reader asked us to ...>> More
Mark Pryor: Says Tom Cotton "voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola."
While it’s highly unlikely that Ebola will make it to the United States, the pandemic has wormed its way into one of the most contentious U.S. Senate races -- in Arkansas. Despite the fears of many Americans, experts on infectious diseases -- including the Centers for Disease Control -- say there is a very, very low likelihood that the United States would experience an Ebola outbreak. Compared to west Africa, America has well-resourced health care services, as well as federal programs and agencies dedicated to preventing public health crises in the United States. But ...>> More
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: "Cory Gardner is sponsoring a bill to ban all abortions right now."
Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who’s running to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, is finding his stance on abortion targeted by another Democratic attack ad. We previously rated a Udall claim that Gardner "championed" an effort to ban birth control in Colorado as Half True. The latest 30-second spot, aired by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, features a handful of women criticizing the Colorado Republican’s pro-life stance. "Why do guys like Cory Gardner think it’s any of their business to tell women what do?" one woman asks. Another calls Gardner’s positions "extreme," after a narrator says Gardner would "ban ...>> More
John McCain: Says he holds the record for "most appearances on '<em>Meet the Press'."</em>
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has a few pointers for Chuck Todd, who takes the helm of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sept. 7. On Aug. 27, McCain appeared on MSNBC’s the Daily Rundown as part of Todd’s weeklong send-off. "I called to congratulate you and as the person who has the most appearances on Meet the Press, I’d be glad to give you a lot of advice and counseling, including the best gotcha questions of the week," McCain said. "And I have one other suggestion, we should change the name from Meet the Press to Meet the World’s Foremost Political ...>> More
Chain email: Says Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad chartered a plane to remove 124 young illegal immigrants from his state and take them back to Honduras.
The surge in unaccompanied minors coming from Central America to the U.S. border with Mexico may have moved off the front pages in recent weeks, but it’s still a hot topic on the Internet. A reader recently sent us a chain email that lauds Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, for purportedly standing up to President Barack Obama’s decision to send more than 100 unaccompanied minors to Iowa. According to the email, Branstad quickly chartered a jet for the immigrant children and flew them all back to Honduras. Spoiler alert: This adventure story is pure fiction. Here’s the text of ...>> More
Supporters of Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., say giving tax breaks to yacht and jet owners is one way that her opponent has shown he is out-of-touch with the state’s average families. In the North Carolina race for U.S. Senate, much of the debate has focused on Republican candidate Thom Tillis’ actions as a state leader. In 2013, the North Carolina government received national attention for a wave of conservative legislation. The Republican-dominated General Assembly -- with Tillis as speaker of the House -- passed laws increasing voter ID requirements, lowering business regulations, upping restrictions on abortion providers, tightening education spending, trimming ...>> More
Facebook posts: Police in the United States are allowed to use tear gas even though it "has been classified as a chemical weapon and banned in international conflict since 1993."
Law enforcement officers in Ferguson, Mo., have used tear gas extensively in the wake of the police-shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American. The conflict in Ferguson led one PolitiFact reader to ask us to check the accuracy of a social-media meme now circulating that addresses the legality of tear gas. The meme -- posted by the group OurTime.org, an advocacy group for young Americans -- said, "Tear gas has been classified as a chemical weapon and banned in international conflict since 1993. Why is its use allowed by U.S. police forces?" The post had garnered 143,000 likes, ...>> More
Alison Lundergan Grimes: Says of Mitch McConnell, "What can happen in 30 years? A senator can become a multi-millionaire in public office."
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, thinks her opponent has been in office way too long. Grimes released a new ad last week that blasted McConnell for his 30-year tenure in Washington. McConnell -- the expected Senate majority leader if he defeats Grimes and the GOP wins enough seats in November -- is running for his sixth term. The ad says that one of the side effects of staying in office too long is that a senator can become a multi-millionaire and lose sight of the needs of average constituents. "What can ...>> More
Last week, PolitiFact Texas gave a Mostly False rating to a claim by Gov. Rick Perry that Congress is "on a five-week vacation," noting that even if lawmakers take some days off, they continue to attend to their districts by holding town halls and other meetings. Not long after that fact-check appeared, a reader wrote in to ask us why we hadn’t taken President Barack Obama to task for using the same terminology to describe the congressional recess. We missed Obama’s comment the first time around, so we’ll check it here. In his weekly address on ...>> More
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: Says Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst "would privatize Social Security."
The news networks may be focusing on protests in Ferguson, Mo., the rise of the extremist group ISIS in Iraq and the spread of the Ebola virus in west Africa. But on television screens in the heartland, the fiscal future of Social Security is attracting significant notice, at least where campaign ads are concerned. We recently checked claims by a Democratic House candidate and a Republican-aligned advocacy group that told less than the full story about where members of Congress stand on the question of raising the retirement age for receiving Social Security. Now we’re looking at a ...>> More
With heavily armored vehicles stationed in the streets and law enforcement officers dressed in camouflage, many have dubbed Ferguson, Mo., a "war zone." After a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown Aug. 9, much of the conversation has focused on race relations, and the interactions between police and the community. There’s also been criticism of local police forces using military-style equipment and generally giving the appearance of conducting a military operation. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., weighed in on this topic in a Time magazine column, where he said big government’s to blame ...>> More
Crossroads GPS: While "Arkansas seniors depend on Social Security and Medicare," Sen. Mark Pryor supports an overhaul so they "couldn’t get Social Security until they turn 68 or 69."
The idea of raising the retirement age is popping up in one of the nation’s hottest Senate races -- and not in a positive way. Crossroads GPS, a Republican-aligned group, has launched a television ad in the race between incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton. A portion of the ad says, "Arkansas seniors depend on Social Security and Medicare. It’s troubling that Sen. Mark Pryor said we should overhaul Social Security and Medicare. On Social Security, Pryor suggested raising the retirement age." The ad then cuts to a 2011 interview of Pryor saying, "...>> More
Ending Spending Action Fund: "In six years, (U.S. Rep. Gary) Peters introduced zero bills that became law."
A group founded by conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts, who spent millions to help Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, is on the air in Michigan where there’s a heated race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. Ricketts’ group, Ending Spending Action Fund, launched an ad Aug. 13 that attacks the record of Rep. Gary Peters, the Michigan Democrat hoping to succeed Levin. Peters is running against Republican Terri Lynn Land, former Michigan Secretary of State. "Can you think of a single thing he’s accomplished?" a narrator asks in the 30-second spot. A clock ticks. "In six years, ...>> More
Martha Robertson: Says Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., "voted to raise the Social Security retirement age on us."
The possibility that Congress could cut back on Social Security has long been a potent weapon in the campaign ad wars. Recently, the theme emerged again in a congressional race in western New York state. It came up in a television ad created by Martha Robertson, a Democratic Tompkins County legislator who is challenging the Republican incumbent, Rep. Tom Reed, in New York’s 23rd district, a sprawling region bordering Pennsylvania known as the Southern Tier. Among other things, Robertson’s ad charges that Reed "voted to raise the Social Security retirement age on us." Policy experts have long suggested ...>> More
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made the rounds on the Sunday political talk shows on Aug. 17 to discuss the ongoing turmoil in his state stemming from the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man shot and killed by a white St. Louis suburban police officer. In addition to discussing the reaction from the community and law enforcement agencies, Nixon was also grilled on his own response to the outcry. On This Week, Martha Raddatz told Nixon, "People are angry with you, personally. Your press briefings have been town halls, people venting their anger, wondering where you were early on. ...>> More