September 19, 2012

Truth Test: Senate candidates tell falsehoods at debate

Republican Charlie Summers, Independent Angus King and Democrat Cynthia Dill all made inaccurate claims during Monday's debate in Lewiston.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The first multimedia debate in the race for Maine's open U.S. Senate seat was held Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 at the Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston. Candidates from left: Angus King, Independent, Charlie Summers, Republican, and Cynthia Dill, Democratic.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

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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.

Spokesman Jim Demartini said though the number of employees at Bath Iron Works is fluid, approximately 280 Lewiston residents usually are working there at a given time. They had more than 5,500 total employees in 2011, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The two health systems, St. Mary’s Health Systems and Central Maine Medical Center, are on top of a Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council list of the largest employers in the area.

Systemwide at St. Mary’s, spokesman Russ Donahue said 630 Lewiston residents are employed. In CMMC’s system, a spokesperson said approximately 470 city residents were employed.

We rate this statement false.

Dill: “I think we need to recognize that under President Obama’s administration, we’ve had the highest production — highest domestic production — of oil and gas for decades.” (49:40)

Last year, the Obama administration trumpeted a relative high in domestic oil and gas production. In a 2011 press conference, Obama said in 2010, “American oil production reached its highest level since 2003.”

That’s not “decades.” Even when you take higher 2011 numbers, they’re the highest since 2003, but that’s not yet a decade.

In 2011, domestic production of crude oil, which corresponds to other statistics on oil and gas production, surpassed 2 trillion barrels for the first time since 2003, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Domestic production had been on a slide from 1991 through 2008, when the numbers started to tick back up.

The total for 2011 was slightly lower than the 2003 total, meaning Dill was way off on her “decades” claim. In fact, if you compare 2011’s total with all numbers pre-2003, the last time we produced so little oil was 1950.

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