September 17, 2012

Truth Test: Republican ad fails to get facts, period

It attacks two Senate candidates: independent Angus King over a loan he didn't benefit from and Democrat Cynthia Dill over bills that died before affecting taxpayers.

By Michael Shepherd
Staff Writer

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TRUTH TEST is a regular feature of MaineToday Media's campaign coverage in which we cast a critical eye on the truthfulness of advertising and public comments by political candidates.

 all Election 2012 Truth Tests.

We rate this statement false.

"Dill gave taxpayers the bill with her liberal policies."

As the voiceover says this, two Dill-sponsored legislative bills are cited at the bottom of the screen.

Sure, Dill's liberal. But there's a problem: Both bills cited by the Republican Senatorial Committee were killed. Their swift deaths, without even a roll call vote, made it difficult for them to give taxpayers the bill for anything. That makes this claim outright dishonest.

One of the bills, L.D. 469, would have mandated out-of-state retailers not required to collect sales tax to notify Maine purchasers of their obligation to pay sales tax in Maine.

The other bill, L.D. 826, would have allowed municipalities to impose their own sales tax of 3 percent or less by local referendum. The revenue would have been split three ways: 50 percent would go to the municipality, 25 percent to the county the municipality is in and 25 percent to the state's General Fund.

Verdict: There's a good chance these Dill-floated laws would have been unpopular in many circles. But you can't blame Dill for costing taxpayers money when bills you're blaming her for didn't come close to passing.

We rate this statement false.

"Democrat Dill supports Obama's tax increases and Obama's stimulus."

Dill supports President Obama on almost every political issue she's been asked about. This claim is true.

We asked her campaign about her support for Obama's plans in an overarching way.

"Yes, I supported the Obama stimulus plan that rescued the economy from the brink of Bush-era financial collapse," Dill said in a statement. "And I do support Obama's proposal to end tax breaks on people earning more than $250,000 per year."

Verdict: It's no surprise that Dill supports these policies, as she's an avowed progressive.

We rate this statement true.

The first statement of fact, involving King, isn't borne out by the Republican Senatorial Committee's sourcing, and information we gathered on the subject finds it can't pass muster. Their shoddy sourcing on Dill costing taxpayers money is just as bad, citing dead bills Mainers don't have to worry about. Their last statement, about Dill's support of Obama, is true and certainly no news flash.

We rate this ad mostly false.

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:

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