Crossroads GPS: “Your Vote”

Crossroads GPS attacks Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) over her support for the Affordable Care Act, claiming the law “raises taxes on the middle class” and cuts over $700 billion out of Medicare spending. But the health care law won’t raise taxes on most Americans, and finds Medicare savings without cutting current benefits. What’s more, the House Ryan budget passed by the House GOP contained those same savings – and Heitkamp’s GOP opponent, Rick Berg, voted for that bill.

Read more after the jump.

Romney’s “47 Percent” Comments Reflect Conservative Dogma

The Mother Jones video of Mitt Romney telling his donors that the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax are entitled, dependent “victims” is consistent with the nominee’s preference for addressing inequality “in quiet rooms.” But this is no mere pander to wealthy Republican donors. In the Obama era, conservatives have fully embraced the notion that those who owe no federal income tax must have more “skin in the game.” That means raising income taxes on the bottom 47 percent of earners.

In August of last year, the Wall Street Journal labeled this soak-the-poor idea “the new Republican orthodoxy.” Indeed, Republican leaders, movement activists, and powerful conservative institutions have pushed for “skin in the game,” for higher taxes on the bottom half of the income distribution.

Read more after the jump.

American Action Network: “Neighbor”

American Action Network tries to paint California congressional contender Jose Hernandez as a carpetbagger, attacks him for having a tax lien placed on his business, and criticizes his support for the Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Act. But Hernandez grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and lived there most of his life, only leaving in 2004 to pursue a career as an astronaut. Meanwhile, the tax lien on Hernandez’ business – a restaurant run by his wife – was lifted in August 2011.

Read more after the jump.

American Action Network: “Sides”

Minnesota ranks third in nonfuel mining revenues, but to hear the American Action Network tell it, the EPA and congressional candidate Rick Nolan are smothering the state’s mining industry in its sleep. AAN’s ad, “Sides,” misrepresents Nolan’s opposition to GOP legislation on environmental regulations, and sidesteps some nasty facts about a proposed mining project near the Minnesota Boundary Waters. The mining company received the lowest possible rating from the EPA for its original proposal in 2010, and has been unable to meet water safety standards for the project ever since.

Read more after the jump.

The Week In Conservative Attack Ads

We added eight ad checks this week, with conservative outside groups focusing their fire on the Nevada, Virginia and Ohio Senate races. Only two of them didn’t come from Crossroads GPS: an obscure group called the Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition lobbed tired Recovery Act claims at Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) opponent, and the American Future Fund turned Paul Ryan’s Republican National Convention lie about a Wisconsin auto plant into a 60-second spot.

Crossroads GPS hit Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) with the standard misleading Medicare attacks (“Laughable” in Nevada and “Football” in Ohio), but got a bit more creative in Virginia. The group released two versions of an ad called “Teeth” that attacks Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) over education funding, and alleged in another that his support for the congressional debt ceiling deal meant he “supports cutting what matters: our jobs.” Karl Rove’s behemoth also launched two presidential ads, taking an Obama quote out of context in Nevada and scrambling to defend Mitt Romney’s tax plans in “Broke.”

Read more after the jump.

Rep. Cantor: “Traditonal Marriage” Is “More Successful At Allowing For That Pursuit Of Happiness”

At the Values Voters Summit on September 14, 2012, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) stated:

CANTOR: Now, pursuit of happiness. We all know, as do most Americans in their hearts know, that the way for us to allow the pursuit of happiness is through individual effort, it is not through government program. And that is why we believe in traditional marriage. Because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope. Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness and that is why we stand tall and stand proud for traditional marriage.

American Action Network: “Radical Ideas”

An American Action Network ad hits physician David Gill, the Democratic congressional candidate in Illinois’ 13th district, over his support for the Recovery Act, Solyndra, and for a single-payer health care system. But the stimulus helped stave off a deeper economic recession; the Solyndra loan was part of a program constructed to withstand some defaults; and AAN’s claims about Gill’s health care positions are highly misleading.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “Broke”

Crossroads GPS calls President Obama “dishonest on taxes,” claiming that the Affordable Care Act imposed a “huge tax increase” on the middle class while Mitt Romney’s tax plan will cut middle-class taxes by 20 percent. But the health care law does not raise taxes on most Americans, and it actually provides tax relief for millions. Moreover, despite Romney’s rhetoric, his plan would require significant middle-class tax increases in order to remain deficit-neutral, which he insists it will.

Read more after the jump.

Values Voters Summit Speakers Warn Of “Sexual Anarchy,” Sharia, And Hitler-Like Policies

This weekend, social conservatives are gathering in Washington, DC for the annual Values Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council. The event will feature speeches by conservative lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, as well as prominent leaders in the social conservative movement. People for the American Way put together a helpful primer on several controversial speakers who will take the stage. Here are just some of the extreme views that will be represented.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

Perkins: “It’s Disgusting” That Obama Supports Telling Kids With A “Perversion” That “It’s Okay To Be Immoral.” According to a letter from Tony Perkins: “The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and many White House staffers recorded and posted ‘It Gets Better’ videos on the first-ever White House web page devoted exclusively to the so-called LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) ‘community.’ Can you imagine George Washington, Ronald Reagan, or any other president telling school children that it’s okay to be immoral and that they’ll eventually feel better about it? It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that ‘lifestyle.’” [Perkins Letter via, 8/18/11]

Perkins: Lawmakers Who Vote To Repeal DADT Will Have “The Blood Of Innocent Soldiers On Their Hands.” From Tony Perkins’ “Washington Update” on December 15, 2010: “How many brave men and women are liberals willing to sacrifice so that homosexuals can flaunt their lifestyle? The only reason for changing the present policy is if it would help the military accomplish its mission. So far, no one has produced a single reason how it would. Until then, the Senate has to ask itself: Do they want the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands just to appease the political base of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)? If they can live with that, then they’re unlike any human beings I’ve ever met.” [Tony Perkins’ Washington Update via, 12/15/10]

Read more after the jump.

Meet The Man Behind The Claim That Obama ‘Gutted’ Welfare Reform

Following a July 2012 Health and Human Services memo offering states a chance to apply for waivers that would allow them more flexibility in complying with welfare’s work requirements, conservatives began claiming that President Obama had ‘gutted’ the 1996 welfare reform law and waived all work requirements associated with receiving assistance. This is false. Currently, activities that fulfill work requirements are narrowly defined by changes made during the law’s 2005 reauthorization, and the waivers would let states try out new approaches to moving welfare beneficiaries towards stable employment while maintaining the principle that recipients must be progressing towards work. Yet the allegation remains popular among conservatives, thanks largely to the efforts of the Heritage Foundation’s in-house welfare expert, Robert Rector.

In the past two months, Rector has published at least 16 items on the subject of welfare reform, including the July 12 blog post cited in Mitt Romney’s now-infamous television ad that provoked a storm of fact checks. Given his role in promoting the attack on the administration, Rector’s record deserves a closer look.

Rector was involved in crafting the 1996 welfare reform law and has spent more than two decades arguing that Americans who live in poverty are not truly “poor” because they own “modern amenities,” such as vehicles and household electronics. To bolster his position, Rector has cited statistics showing that impoverished Americans are “more likely to be overweight” than better-off Americans and outright denied that poverty is “harmful” to children. The clear intent of these claims is to undermine the logic behind the safety net. In fact, Rector has stated explicitly that welfare is based on the “idiot premise” that more resources will cause poor Americans to “behave more like middle-class people.”

Read more after the jump.