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Fact-checking the new McNerney & Gill ads in CA9

The advertising war rolls on in the 9th Congressional District, where Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, is challenged by Republican Ricky Gill of Lodi.

Here’s McNerney’s newest ad:

It takes some pretty tortured logic to conclude that Gill’s adherence to the Americans for Tax Reform pledge amounts to support for companies that outsource jobs – so tortured, in fact, that nonpartisan fact-checkers such as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com long ago deemed the claim false.

Here’s Gill’s newest ad:

McNerney voted for the economic stimulus of 2009, but had nothing to do with the Obama Administration’s selection of Solyndra for the loan guarantee – under a program begun by the Bush Administration – on which it later defaulted. Also, if Gill blames McNerney and Democrats for the Wall Street bailout, he also should blame the 91 House Republicans – including now-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – who voted for it too. And pinning national problems like a stagnant economy, soaring gas and health care prices and the national debt on one congressman’s “experience” seems like a stretch; there’s plenty of blame to go around, on both sides of the aisle.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JohnW

    I don’t agree that the ad is misleading. We can debate whether companies that outsource or any tax breaks they receive deserve to be demonized. However, I think it is very fair to say that, if you sign Grover Norquist’s pledge, you are indeed pledging not to increase the tax burden of those companies by eliminating or reducing any tax breaks they receive. After all, if Gill were to vote to take away those breaks as a way to increase government revenue, Grover Norquist would definitely consider it a violation of the Pledge.

    I find that FactCheck and Politifact, in order to preserve their objectivity brand, sometimes interpret things a bit too narrowly and miss the forest for the trees.

  • RR senile columnist

    Yeah, these so-called fact checkers are suspect. In the old days, we would say they follow the pinko line—checking until the so-called facts fit their preconceptions.

  • JohnW

    I don’t think they are biased left or right. Nor do I think they are inaccurate in their analyses. And, when they get to the “Pants on Fire” level, it is generally well-deserved. My problem is that they will look at some candidate’s claim on some issue and declare it “False” based on some relatively minor point, even though the claim in its fullness is fundamentally true.