Crossroads GPS: “Simple”

Armed with misleading claims and a clip of Heidi Heitkamp playing softball, Crossroads GPS alleges she “will go to bat for the Obama agenda,” while Rep. Rick Berg is the “independent voice” North Dakota needs in the Senate. Of course, Congressman Berg’s voting record does not reflect that supposed independence – but it does include two votes for the exact Medicare savings GPS attacks Heitkamp for supporting. The ad’s claim that Heitkamp wants to “hit job creators with higher taxes” fares no better under scrutiny.

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60 Plus Association: “Why Did We Fire Dan Maffei In 2010?”

The 60 Plus Association reminds voters of Dan Maffei’s support for the Recovery Act and health care reform prior to his defeat in the 2010 election. They also present those policies in a deeply misleading light, when the facts show the Recovery Act worked and the Affordable Care Act will save us money. As a kicker, 60 Plus attacks Maffei over Medicare spending reductions that his opponent, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), voted for twice when they were included in GOP budgets.

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Crossroads GPS: “Taxing Tammy”

Crossroads GPS accuses Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) of being “far left of Obama and Pelosi” and “too extreme for Washington,” citing her support for a budget proposal introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The budget in question emphasized higher taxes for the wealthy, but also proposed to spend less than the president’s plan and would have eliminated the deficit faster than the GOP alternative introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “CA-10: Jose Hernandez”

The Chamber of Commerce spent $100 million in insurance company funds trying to defeat the Affordable Care Act in 2009-10, and their 2012 ads indicate they’re not over that loss yet. An ad attacking former astronaut Jose Hernandez, candidate for California’s 10th Congressional District this year, relies on trite misinformation about the law. Beyond misrepresenting the Medicare and tax provisions of the ACA, the Chamber also ignores a crucial reality: Hernandez’s opponent, Rep. Jeff Denham, voted for the same Medicare savings for which they attack Hernandez.

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The Week In Conservative Attack Ads

After last week’s wave of House ads, conservative outside groups focused most of their attention on the Senate this week. Of the 14 ads we fact-checked, eight of them targeted Senate hopefuls (five from Karl Rove’s Crossroads groups and three from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), compared to only two hitting House candidates (both from the Congressional Leadership Fund). We also answered presidential ads from Restore Our Future, Americans for Job Security, and American Future Fund. Finally, Americans for Prosperity joined the conservative campaign to oust three Florida Supreme Court justices.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Failed To Protect Medicare”

The Chamber of Commerce’s attack on Bill Nelson’s Affordable Care Act vote holds up better in the vacuum the ad presents than it does in the real world. In reality, the law doesn’t cut Medicare benefits and extends the life of the program by eight years. Also in reality, Nelson is running against a congressman who not only voted for the same Medicare savings, but supported the Republican Study Committee’s “Paul Ryan budget on steroids.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Heidi Heitkamp – More Government Isn’t The Solution”

The Chamber of Commerce subtly suggests that former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp is a Washington insider who helped pass health care reform, without mentioning that her opponent has been in Congress for two years. The subtext might not be so interesting if the ad weren’t centered around Medicare spending reductions. Congressman Rick Berg voted for those same measures twice, while Heitkamp’s voted for them zero times. And while the Chamber misrepresents the Medicare and tax impacts of the Affordable Care Act, that’s no surprise; the group spent $100 million lobbying against it earlier in President Obama’s term.

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American Action Network: “Dangerous”

The American Action Network reaches all the way back to the 1970s to accuse Rick Nolan (D-MN) of supporting the end of Medicare. But Nolan’s opponent, Rep. Chip Cravaack, voted to “essentially end” Medicare in 2011, in a GOP budget that also retained the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare savings, over which AAN attacks Nolan. Furthermore, the bill Nolan supported forty years ago would have replaced Medicare with universal coverage for all Americans – which was the dominant school of thought among health care reformers of the era.

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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.”

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American Future Fund: “Janesville”

American Future Fund is regurgitating Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) claim that the closure of a General Motors factory in his hometown proves President Obama’s economic policies failed. The timeline of events does not support AFF and Ryan’s claim, as the plant’s closure came under President Bush. More importantly, AFF and Ryan both omit some of then-candidate Obama’s 2008 comments to Janesville auto workers: Obama stressed the plant would have to retool its assembly line to make fuel-efficient cars rather than SUVs and trucks, because GM and the larger auto market were all shifting sharply in that direction. Indeed, Ryan lobbied GM throughout 2008 to retool the Janesville plant, while also claiming that government action could lower gas prices and help save truck assembly plants. Market forces and chronology render AFF’s ad highly dishonest.

Read more after the jump.