Crossroads GPS: “Forgot”

Crossroads GPS once again attempts to portray Heidi Heitkamp as corrupt, this time in an ad that relies on citations from a right-wing radio host’s website and a Rupert Murdoch-owned editorial page. Crossroads claims Heitkamp engaged in a “pay to play” scheme with “an out-of-state trial lawyer,” but the reality is both less interesting and less insidious than Crossroads suggests. Heitkamp and several other state attorneys general negotiated a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies following years of litigation conducted by private law firms. Those firms did not charge up front for thousands of hours and millions in costs, in exchange for a percentage of any payout they succeeded in winning for the states. Heitkamp’s office did not pay attorney Jack McConnell for his work on the settlement, but he receives a portion of the percentage the states agreed to pay his firm. And while GPS’ biased source claims she ducked questions about the matter, Heitkamp was quite willing to speak to reporters at an actual newspaper in the state.

Read more after the jump.

Americans For Prosperity: “Stop Wasteful Spending”

An ad from Americans for Prosperity declares that Washington could “learn a lot from Wisconsin” about “how to tighten their belts,” presumably a reference to Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union “budget repair” bill. The ad criticizes Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) over the national debt, citing her support for the Affordable Care Act – which, in fact, reduces deficits. In reality, the main drivers of the debt are Bush policies, including tax breaks for the wealthy that Baldwin opposed, and revenue losses from the Great Recession.

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Gaffney: ATR’s Norquist Is “Working For A Bunch Of Islamists” And “Fragging His Own Team”

On the August 15 edition of his radio show, Center for Security Policy founder and president Frank Gaffney made the following comments about Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist’s support for cuts to defense spending:

And Grover, obviously, is less concerned about the national security, shall we say. I believe that he’s been working for a bunch of Islamists for a long time, which may further explain what he’s doing here. But at the very minimum he’s got his eye exclusively on the taxes issue. And Jim, I guess what I’m really worried about is, to the extent you have somebody in Republican circles fragging his own team, as Grover Norquist is doing, it can only benefit the opponents and the people who are trying to bring about this train wreck. And maybe that, again, is in the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood – I certainly don’t think it’s in the interests of the United States.

Americans For Prosperity: “Has President Obama Earned Your Vote?”

Americans for Prosperity softens its usually harsh tone with an ad that features former Obama supporters explaining why they are disappointed with the president’s performance. However, the ad still features several misleading statements that echo common attacks on President Obama’s record from AFP and other conservative groups.

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Crossroads GPS: “With A T”

Crossroads GPS is running an ad in Wisconsin, titled “With A T,” emphasizing the trillions of dollars added to the national debt since Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) took office. But while Crossroads focuses on Baldwin’s support for the “failed” Recovery Act, which helped prevent an even more devastating economic collapse, President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and the recession fueled the increase in debt over the last decade. As a member of the House, Baldwin voted against the tax cuts Bush passed in 2001 and 2003.

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Crossroads GPS: “Cost”

A Crossroads GPS ad attacks Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine for supporting the sequestration defense cuts, but Kaine has made it clear that he wants to find a deal to avoid the cuts and has even laid out a specific proposal. In reality, the deal Kaine supported was a bipartisan plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default on our loans – a deal that also created a committee to propose a deficit reduction strategy and imposed sequestration as an incentive to avoid failure. That panel ultimately failed because its Republican members refused to consider tax increases, even after Democrats offered several concessions on spending cuts.

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Crossroads GPS: “Doing”

Even though Ohio’s unemployment rate has fallen for 11 straight months, dropping more than 3 percentage points from its recession-driven high, Crossroads GPS suggests that the state’s economy is getting worse and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is responsible. To support its case, the conservative group distorts the facts about two policies Brown supports – health care reform and ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans – and attacks him for supposedly backing an energy bill he ultimately opposed out of concern for Ohio jobs.

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Crossroads GPS: “Pledged”

An ad from Crossroads GPS continues the group’s quest to distort Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine’s record as the state’s governor. The truth is that amid a highly political fight over how to fix Virginia’s transportation issues, Kaine proposed to raise revenue while Republicans wanted to borrow more money. When the recession hit, Virginia’s revenues dropped off, but Kaine cut billions and finished each two-year budget cycle with the books balanced. And Kaine didn’t, as the ad states, pledge “no new taxes” – he pledged to keep tax increases designed to fund transportation upgrades from being used to plug other budgetary holes.

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Crossroads GPS: “Cost You”

Crossroads GPS starts its latest attack on Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) by asking why the debt has increased since Jon Tester took office, and then provides all the wrong answers. Contrary to the ad’s claims, Bush policies and the recession have driven the increase in debt since Tester took office, and the Affordable Care Act actually reduces deficits. Crossroads also misrepresents Tester’s vote to extend middle-class tax cuts as a ‘tax hike’ on small businesses.

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Crossroads GPS: “No Dice”

Crossroads GPS accuses Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) of supporting “billions in wasted spending projects that didn’t help Missouri,” citing as evidence Recovery Act grants that went to California, Vermont, and Texas. However, those three projects cost less than $30 million combined, and the Recovery Act funds were distributed all across the country to help turn the economy around. The ad further misleads by blaming McCaskill, instead of costly Bush policies and the recession, for driving up the debt.

Read more after the jump.