The Week In Conservative Attack Ads

This week, conservatives flooded the airwaves with attacks on Democratic candidates. We fact-checked a total of 21 new ads, exceeding our total from the previous three weeks combined. The increase in volume was marked by 11 spots targeting House candidates, signaling a heightened focus on lower-level races as we approach the final stretch of campaign season.

New Players, Same Money?

Karl Rove’s groups were active as usual – American Crossroads launched a misleading attack on President Obama and Crossroads GPS targeted three Senate hopefuls – but they let some of their allies lead the charge this week.

Read more after the jump.

Center for Individual Freedom: “Busy”

The Center for Individual Freedom attacks Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler (D) for supporting the Recovery Act, bailouts, cap-and-trade, and “keeping the death tax.” The ad wrongly demonizes legislation that helped strengthen the economy (or, in the case of cap-and-trade, could have if it had passed). However, the ad’s most egregious distortion is that it ignores that Chandler recently voted with House Republicans to keep the estate tax limited.

Read more after the jump.

Center for Individual Freedom: “Burden”

An ad from the Center for Individual Freedom asks, “Don’t Nevadans already pay enough in taxes?” It then blasts State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, who is now running for a seat in the U.S. House, for supporting several tax increases. The truth is, however, that Nevada’s tax structure is deeply reliant on revenue from gaming and sales, which plummeted during the recession. In an effort to close budget gaps, avoid devastating cuts to education and services, and address longer-term structural problems with Nevada’s tax code, Horsford has backed several revenue increases, each time has coupling them with spending cuts.

Read more after the jump.

Center for Individual Freedom: “Three of Kind”

The Center for Individual Freedom mischaracterizes the effects of the Affordable Care Act to claim that Rep. Leonard Boswell’s (D-IA) voting record is bad for Iowa’s seniors. For example, the ad implies that savings included in the ACA, indeed over $700 billion, will reduce Medicare benefits. The truth, however, is that the ACA reduces future Medicare spending without cutting benefits and that seniors—in Iowa and across the country—will benefit from expanded care and reduced gaps in coverage, all without the imagined interference from government bureaucrats.

Read more after the jump.

Center For Individual Freedom: “Shelf Life”

The Center for Individual Freedom suggests that Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) broke a campaign promise by supporting the Affordable Care Act, which the group criticizes for “slashing Medicare spending by over $700 billion.” But while the health care law reduces the growth of Medicare spending, it does not cut seniors’ benefits – and it was “benefit cuts,” not overall spending, that Owens pledged to oppose. In addition, same savings were included the Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The ad also falsely calls the ACA a “government takeover” and misleads about the power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, whose members must be confirmed by the Senate and are prohibited from cutting benefits or “rationing” care.

Read more after the jump.

Center For Individual Freedom: “Same”

The Center for Individual Freedom attempts to link Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) to President Obama, citing their positions on the “failed stimulus,” increased oil drilling, and the repeal of health care reform. But the Recovery Act actually created jobs and cut taxes for millions of working Americans, while domestic energy production has increased under the Obama administration. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act reduces future Medicare spending without cutting seniors’ current benefits – and Matheson opposed the bill when it passed in 2010.

Read more after the jump.