With the political season in full swing, the various claims, spins and downright lies are getting thicker by the minute; to help those of us who can’t make a fulltime job of validating these, there is the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘FactCheck.org’, the St. Petersburg Times’s ‘Politifact’, and the Washington Post’s ‘Fact Checker’. These were created as a response to the blatant mis-information circulated during the Bush years (remember WMD’s?) One would think the existence of these non-partisan researchers would encourage truthful campaigning.
To a certain extent it has; a number of ads and statements have been corrected…..by Democrats. The Republicans, however, take notice only when the fact checkers correct their opposition. During the month of July, the Romney campaign’s statements were found to be true 31 percent of the time. His un-truths are not the only ones in town. A similar pattern of mis-representation is being practiced by Mandel ‘s campaign against Sherrod Brown, as demonstrated by his repeated claims that Ohio’s loss of jobs to China is somehow Brown’s fault.
In our local Congressional race, incumbent Johnson continues his dis-credited claim that Charlie Wilson voted to take money from medicare recipients, despite it’s being a blatant mis-representation. One is tempted to conclude the Republican candidates believe telling the same lie often enough will fool people into believing it true.
Hopefully the electorate is smarter than that, and will choose candidates who don’t have to fool you into voting for them. Barack Obama, Sherrod Brown, and Charlie Wilson can be relied on to present facts rather than dubious claims, spin and downright lies!