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Old 09-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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The Rumor / FactCheck Thread

I have a TREMENDOUS amount of Fact check. One of the few, non partisan places that dares to point out the flaws in both sides.

A friend forwarded me this email from the McCain Camp today:

Quote:
Friends,

You've surely seen the shameful attacks Senator Obama and his liberal allies have launched against our vice presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin.

Even before our national convention, the Obama campaign dispatched what The Wall Street Journal called a "mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers" to Alaska to dig up dirt for their personal attacks on Governor Palin and her family. FactCheck.org has called the attacks on Governor Palin, "completely false" and "misleading." However, the Obama Democrats continue to launch these attacks, hoping you'll never find out the truth.

These misleading, offensive attacks must be stopped. That's why we're asking you to follow this link immediately to give any amount you can afford - whether it's $25 or $250 - to McCain-Palin Victory 2008, a joint committee we have formed to ensure we can respond to these shameful attacks and elect our reform ticket from top to bottom on Election Day.

We are rapidly responding to the Obama Democrats' attacks on Governor Palin and you can help by following this link right now to give $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to McCain-Palin Victory 2008.

Your support is critical to our Party's effort in exposing these false attacks. Thank you.

Sincerely,
The McCain-Palin Victory 2008 Team

P.S. If you are offended by the outrageous attacks on Governor Sarah Palin from the Obama campaign and their liberal allies, we urge you to follow this link immediately. The McCain-Palin Victory 2008 committee is working day and night to elect our reform ticket and reject these false attacks. Please show your support with a generous donation. Thank you.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because the McCain-Palin Campaign is participating in the presidential public funding system, it may not receive contributions for the any candidate's election. However, federal law allows the McCain-Palin Campaign's Compliance Fund to defray legal and accounting compliance costs and preserve the Campaign's public grant for media, mail, phones, and get-out-the-vote programs. Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 will go to the Compliance Fund, and to participating party committees for Victory 2008 programs.


Please visit this page if you want to remove yourself from the email list.

I do not want to go down the road of wether or not people think blogging has any impact on a campaign. I believe we are entering an age when the blogosphere is and will be used to help or hurt a candidate.

What I wanted to point out was Fact Check has responded to McCain's email

[Quote]

Quote:

McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding
September 10, 2008
Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn't come from Obama.
Summary
A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama's attacks on Palin "absolutely false" and "misleading." That's what we said, but it wasn't about Obama.

Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background." The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to "dig dirt."

Update, Sept. 10: Furthermore, the Obama campaign insists that no researchers have been sent to Alaska and that the Journal owes them a correction
FactCheck.org: McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding

Here are the falshoods that Fact Check has disputed:

Quote:
Sliming Palin
September 8, 2008
False Internet claims and rumors fly about McCain's running mate.
Summary
We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.
She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.

She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.


Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.


Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."
We'll be looking into other charges in an e-mail by a woman named Anne Kilkenny for a future story. For more explanation of the bullet points above, please read the Analysis.

Correction: In our original story, we incorrectly said that a few of the claims we examine here were included in the e-mail by Kilkenny. Only one of the claims – about the librarian's firing – was similar to an item in that e-mail. We regret the error.
Analysis
Since Republican presidential nominee John McCain tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, information about Palin's past has been zipping around the Internet. Several claims are not true, and other rumors are misleading.


No Cut for "Special Needs" Kids


It's not true, as widely reported in mass e-mails, Web postings and at least one mainstream news source, that Palin slashed the special education budget in Alaska by 62 percent. CNN's Soledad O'Brien made the claim on Sept. 4 in an interview with Nicolle Wallace, a senior adviser to the McCain campaign:

O'Brien, Sept. 4: One are that has gotten certainly people sending to me a lot of e-mails is the question about as governor what she did with the special needs budget, which I'm sure you're aware, she cut significantly, 62 percent I think is the number from when she came into office. As a woman who is now a mother to a special needs child, and I think she actually has a nephew which is autistic as well. How much of a problem is this going to be as she tries to navigate both sides of that issue?

Such a move might have made Palin look heartless or hypocritical in view of her convention-speech pledge to be an advocate for special needs children and their families. But in fact, she increased special needs funding so dramatically that a representative of local school boards described the jump as "historic."

According to an April 2008 article in Education Week, Palin signed legislation in March 2008 that would increase public school funding considerably, including special needs funding. It would increase spending on what Alaska calls "intensive needs" students (students with high-cost special requirements) from $26,900 per student in 2008 to $73,840 per student in 2011. That almost triples the per-student spending in three fiscal years. Palin's original proposal, according to the Anchorage Daily News, would have increased funds slightly more, giving intensive needs students a $77,740 allotment by 2011.

Education Week: A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

Unlike many other states, Alaska has relatively flush budget coffers, thanks to a rise in oil and gas revenues. Funding for schools will remain fairly level next year, however. Overall per-pupil funding across the state will rise by $100, to $5,480, in fiscal 2009. ...

Carl Rose, the executive director of the Association of Alaska School Boards, praised the changes in funding for rural schools and students with special needs as a "historic event," and said the finance overhaul would bring more stability to district budgets.

According to Eddy Jeans at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, funding for special needs and intensive needs students has increased every year since Palin entered office, from a total of $203 million in 2006 to a projected $276 million in 2009.

Those who claim that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent are looking in the wrong place and misinterpreting what they find there. They point to an apparent drop in the Department of Education and Early Development budget for special schools. But the special schools budget, despite the similar name, isn't the special needs budget. "I don’t even consider the special schools component [part of] our special needs funding," Jeans told FactCheck.org. "The special needs funding is provided through our public school funding formula. The special schools is simply a budget component where we have funding set aside for special projects," such as the Alaska School for the Deaf and the Alaska Military Youth Academy. A different budget component, the Foundation Program, governs special needs programs in the public school system.

And in any case, the decrease in funding for special schools is illusory. Palin moved the Alaska Military Youth Academy's ChalleNGe program, a residential military school program that teaches job and life skills to students under 20, out of the budget line for "special schools" and into its own line. This resulted in an apparent drop of more than $5 million in the special schools budget with no actual decrease in funding for the programs.

Not a Book Burner


One accusation claims then-Mayor Palin threatened to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. Actually, Palin never asked that books be banned; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication. The librarian was fired, but was told only that Palin felt she didn’t support her. She was re-hired the next day. The librarian never claimed that Palin threatened outright to fire her for refusing to ban books.

It’s true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla’s librarian, on at least two occasions, three in some versions. Emmons flatly stated her opposition each time. But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla’s local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin "was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons' position would change if residents were picketing the library. Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons' story, telling the Chicago Tribune that "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?' "

Palin characterized the exchange differently, initially volunteering the episode as an example of discussions with city employees about following her administration's agenda. Palin described her questions to Emmons as “rhetorical,” noting that her questions "were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city." Actually, true rhetorical questions have implied answers (e.g., “Who do you think you are?”), so Palin probably meant to describe her questions as hypothetical or theoretical. We can't read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library or whether she simply wanted to know how her new employees would respond to an instruction from their boss. It is worth noting that, in an update, the Frontiersman points out that no book was ever banned from the library’s shelves.

Palin initially requested Emmons’ resignation, along with those of Wasilla’s other department heads, in October 1996. Palin described the requests as a loyalty test and allowed all of them (except one, whose department she was eliminating) to retain their positions. But in January 1997, Palin fired Emmons, along with the police chief. According to the Chicago Tribune, Palin did not list censorship as a reason for Emmons’ firing, but said she didn’t feel she had Emmons’ support. The decision caused “a stir” in the small town, according to a newspaper account at the time. According to a widely circulated e-mail from Kilkenny, “city residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter.”

As we’ve noted, Palin did not attempt to ban any library books. We don’t know if Emmons’ resistance to Palin’s questions about possible censorship had anything to do with Emmons’ firing. And we have no idea if the protests had any impact on Palin at all. There simply isn’t any evidence that we can find either way. Palin did re-hire Emmons the following day, saying that she now felt she had the librarian’s backing. Emmons continued to serve as librarian until August 1999, when the Chicago Tribune reports that she resigned.

So what about that list of books targeted for banning, which according to one widely e-mailed version was taken “from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library Board”? If it was, the library board should take up fortune telling. The list includes the first four Harry Potter books, none of which had been published at the time of the Palin-Emmons conversations. The first wasn't published until 1998. In fact, the list is a simple cut-and-paste job, snatched (complete with typos and the occasional incorrect title) from the Florida Institute of Technology library Web page, which presents the list as “Books banned at one time or another in the United States.”

Update, Sept. 9: We have revised this section dealing with accusations that Palin wanted to ban books from Wasilla's library to include more detail about what transpired at the time.


Closet Secessionist?


Palin was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party – which calls for a vote on whether Alaska should secede from the union or remain a state – despite mistaken reports to the contrary. But her husband was a member for years, and she attended at least one party convention, as mayor of the town in which it was held.

The party's chair originally told reporters that Palin had been a member, but the official later retracted that statement. Chairwoman Lynette Clark told the New York Times that false information had been given to her by another member of the party after she first told the Times and others that Palin joined the AIP in 1994. Clark issued an apology on the AIP Web site.

The director of Alaska’s Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai, confirms that Palin registered to vote in the state for the first time in May 1982 as a Republican and hasn’t changed her party affiliation since. She also told FactCheck.org that Palin’s husband, Todd, was registered with AIP from October 1995 to July 2000, and again from September 2000 until July 2002. (He has since been registered as undeclared.) However, the AIP says Todd Palin "never participated in any party activities aside from attending a convention in Wasilla at one time."

There is still some dispute as to whether Sarah Palin also attended the AIP’s 1994 convention, held in Wasilla. Clark and another AIP official told ABC News’ Jake Tapper that both Palins were there. Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla two years later. The McCain campaign says Sarah Palin went to the 2000 AIP convention, also held in Wasilla, “as a courtesy since she was mayor.” As governor, Palin sent a video message to the 2008 convention, which is available on YouTube, and the AIP says she attended in 2006 when she was campaigning.


Didn't Endorse Pat Buchanan


Claims that Palin endorsed conservative Republican Pat Buchanan for president in the 2000 campaign are false. She worked for conservative Republican Steve Forbes.

The incorrect reports stem from an Associated Press story on July 17, 1999, that said Palin was "among those sporting Buchanan buttons" at a lunch for Buchanan attended by about 85 people, during a swing he took through Fairbanks and Wasilla. Buchanan didn't help matters when he told a reporter for the liberal publication The Nation on Aug. 29: "I'm pretty sure she's a Buchananite." But in fact, she wasn't.

Soon after The AP story appeared, Palin wrote in a letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News that she had merely worn a Buchanan button as a courtesy to her visitor and was not endorsing him. The letter, published July 26, 1999, said:

Palin, July 26, 1999: As mayor of Wasilla, I am proud to welcome all presidential candidates to our city. This is true regardless of their party, or the latest odds of their winning. When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I'll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect.

Though no reporter interviewed me for the Associated Press article on the recent visit by a presidential candidate (Metro, July 17), the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.

Palin actually worked for Forbes. Less than a month after being spotted wearing the "courtesy" button for Buchanan, she was named to the state leadership committee of the Forbes effort. The Associated Press reported on Aug. 7, 1999:

The Associated Press, Aug. 7 1999: State Sen. Mike Miller of Fairbanks will head the Alaska campaign chairman for Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, campaign officials said. Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs.

Still, after nine years, the truth has yet to catch up completely.


No Creationism in Schools


On Aug. 29, the Boston Globe reported that Palin was open to teaching creationism in public schools. That's true. She supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor.

In an Oct. 25, 2006, debate, when asked about teaching alternatives to evolution, Palin replied:

Palin, Oct. 25, 2006: Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

A couple of days later, Palin amended that statement in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, saying:

Palin, Oct. 2006: I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.

After her election, Palin let the matter drop. The Associated Press reported Sept 3: "Palin's children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them. ... It reflects a hands-off attitude toward mixing government and religion by most Alaskans." The article was headlined, "Palin has not pushed creation science as governor." It was written by Dan Joling, who reports from Anchorage and has covered Alaska for 30 years.


That E-mail Author


Switching gears: Almost 100 readers have written to ask us if the many claims made about Palin in an e-mail written by someone named Anne Kilkenny are true. We can tell you that Kilkenny is a real person. (She was quoted by the Chicago Tribune, as we said above.) According to the New York Times, she’s a Democrat. According to Kilkenny herself, Palin “has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt at censorship."

We’re still analyzing Kilkenny’s claims, and we will be posting something on this soon.


—by Brooks Jackson, Jessica Henig, Emi Kolawole, Joe Miller and Lori Robertson
I thought this may be a great way of not derailing other threads with things which may or may not be true or false. For example, I did not like seeing it posted that Biden may or may not have cancer. The discussions always lead to on side or the other feeling that their guy may be being unjustly slandered. So maybe this is the free zone. Where we can post those selacious rumors, and look to see if somewhere out there like Fact Check, we can find a source of truth without derailing another thread? If my idea sucks, I am sorry...it was just that, and Idea.


As for the above information, I am concerned at how much the McCain camp is milking the "attacks" on Sarah in the blogosphere.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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FactCheck.org is a great site, from what I've seen.

(I actually think every rumor on that list has been raised and then 'fact-checked'--by Obama supporters in both cases--right here on FYM, although a couple resurfaced again later. So, we're not all bad!)

The blogosphere has definitely become infected with otherwise old-fashioned 'whisper campaign' politics...unfortunately, as with any whisper campaign, you're playing with fire if you equate its (often) anonymous perpetrators with the entire political party they come from.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:57 AM   #3
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FactCheck.org: Belittling Palin?

There they basically call McCain's accusations of sexism and the sexism ad full of shit.

New day, new lie by McCain. It's like the sun rising in the East.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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It's the mudslinging in Politics that I cannot tolerate. Thank goodness for the Internet and FactCheck.org though
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting this site Matt!
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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This is developing....

Quote:
NEW YORK - An independent watchdog group says that Republican John McCain's campaign aired a negative TV ad on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but a tracking company says there's no evidence of that yet.

The group Factcheck.org said Friday that the Campaign Media Analysis Group, an advertising data and analysis firm, found a negative ad from the McCain campaign airing on Denver television on Thursday. That would be a violation of the pledge both the Democratic and Republican camps took to take a one-day break from attacks and traditional campaigning.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:53 PM   #7
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PolitiFact | A service of the St. Petersburg Times and CQ

this is another site maybe worth checking out

they seem to be pretty objective
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection' - Fact Checker (WaPo)
Quote:
Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection'


"Obama has no background in economics. Who advises him? The Post says it's Franklin Raines, for "advice on mortgage and housing policy." Shocking. Under Raines, Fannie Mae committed "extensive financial fraud." Raines made millions. Fannie Mae collapsed. Taxpayers? Stuck with the bill."
--McCain video release, September 18, 2008.


The Facts

The McCain video attempts to link Obama to Franklin Raines, the former CEO of the bankrupt mortgage giant, Fannie Mae, who also happens to be African-American. It then shows a photograph of an elderly white woman taxpayer who has supposedly been "stuck with the bill" as a result of the "extensive financial fraud" at Fannie Mae.

The Obama campaign last night issued a statement by Raines insisting, "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters." Obama spokesman Bill Burton went a little further, telling me in an e-mail that the campaign had "neither sought nor received" advice from Raines "on any matter."

So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a Style section profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared on July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said 'oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,' I asked, and he said 'no.')" By Raines's own account, he took a couple of calls from someone on the Obama campaign, and they had some general discussions about economic issues. I have asked both Raines and the Obama people for more details on these calls, and will let you know if I receive a reply.

The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Franklin Raines as a close adviser to Obama on "housing and mortgage policy." If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself--and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
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CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Fact Check
Quote:
Fact Check: Did Obama 'profit' from Fannie and Freddie?


Statement:
Amid "corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Sen. Barack Obama "profited from this system of abuse and scandal. While Fannie and Freddie were working to keep Congress away from their house of cards, Senator Obama was taking their money. He got more, in fact, than any other member of Congress, except for the Democratic chairman of the committee that oversees them." —Sen. John McCain, at a campaign stop Friday, September 19, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


The Facts
Federal law forbids candidates from receiving money directly from companies. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks donations from employees of various companies. The center's list of contributions from Fannie and Freddie employees places Obama second. Ahead of him is Sen. Chris Dodd, Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. The total listed for Obama is $126,349—a tiny fraction of the approximately $390 million his campaign has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The list shows McCain has received a total of $21,550 from Fannie and Freddie employees. The list includes donations of at least $200 from those who receive paychecks from Fannie and Freddie. It also includes donations from political action committees—pooled contributions from employees. Obama decided early in his presidential run not to accept PAC contributions, but the Center for Responsive Politics' list includes all contributions for members of Congress dating back to 1989—including Obama and McCain's Senate campaigns.

The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list—using figures from the Federal Election Commission—shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000. Explaining the difference, the Center for Responsive Politics said on its Web site that it does not include members of the board of directors because they could serve on boards of various companies. Their contributions are listed along with other employees of the companies they work for. And the center says lobbyists usually represent multiple clients as well, so their contributions are listed under their lobbying firms—except in-house lobbyists, who are included in the center's list.


VERDICT
Partially true, but misleading. Donations don't come from companies. A list of employee contributions puts Obama second, but a different list including lobbyists and directors shows McCain getting more.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:56 PM   #10
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Great, almost every donater works for a company. A company with many well-earning employees such as a mortgage company obviously generates a lot of donations.

Nice try, once again.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:37 PM   #11
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The GOP playing on the Politics of Fear once again!
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:55 PM   #12
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a lone Libertarian checking in
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:36 PM   #13
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Obama's Social Security Whopper
September 20, 2008
He tells Social Security recipients their money would now be in the stock market under McCain's plan. False.
Summary
In Daytona Beach, Obama said that "if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week." He referred to "elderly women" at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support "grandmothers and grandfathers."

That's not true. The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.

Obama would have been correct to say that many workers under age 58 would have had some portion of their Social Security benefits affected by the current market turmoil – if they had chosen to participate. And market drops would be a worry for those who retire in future decades. But current retirees would not have been affected.

FactCheck.org: Obama's Social Security Whopper
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:39 PM   #14
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Scaring Seniors
September 19, 2008
Updated: September 20, 2008
An Obama-Biden ad says McCain supports "cutting benefits in half" for Social Security recipients. False!
Summary
A new Obama ad characterizes the "Bush-McCain privatization plan" as "cutting Social Security Benefits in half." This is a falsehood sure to frighten seniors who rely on their Social Security checks. In truth, McCain does not propose to cut those checks at all.

The ad refers to a Bush proposal from 2005 to hold down the growth of benefits for future retirees. Compared to the buying power of benefits paid to today's retirees, that would not have been a "cut" for anybody. It would have been a "cut" of half only in relation to benefits now promised to retirees who have yet to be born. And for average workers, that "cut" in 2075 was projected by one of Obama's own economic advisers to be 28 percent, not "half."

The ad also says McCain voted "in favor of privatizing Social Security." The term "privatizing" could give the wrong impression. McCain does support creating government-managed accounts that would allow individuals to invest some portion of their Social Security payroll taxes in widely diversified stock or bond funds.

FactCheck.org: Scaring Seniors
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #15
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Since M-P like to make this error over and over again, I figure I can post it here even though we all know it to be false:

Quote:
There He Goes Again
September 18, 2008
McCain ad misrepresents Obama's tax plan. Again.
Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama's tax plans.

The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn't proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.
It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs, funded by what he calls a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

The ad claims that Obama will tax "life savings." In fact, he would increase capital gains and dividends taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year, or singles making $200,000. For the rest, taxes on investments would remain unchanged.

The McCain campaign argues in its documentation for this ad that, whatever Obama says he would do, he will eventually be forced to break his promise and raise taxes more broadly to pay for his promised spending programs. That's an opinion they are certainly entitled to express, and to argue for. But their ad doesn't do that. Instead, it simply presents the McCain camp's opinion as a fact, and it fails to alert viewers that its claims are based on what the campaign thinks might happen in the future.

Analysis
In what has become an ongoing theme, the McCain-Palin campaign has released yet another ad that makes false claims about Barack Obama's tax plan. The ad, which was released on Sept. 18 and which the campaign says will air nationally, claims that Obama will raise income taxes and will tax "life savings, electricity and home heating oil." As we keep saying, Obama says he'll raise income taxes and capital gains taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year or singles making over $200,000. He has proposed no plans to raise taxes on either home heating oil or electricity.
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