Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FACT CHECK FOLLOW-UP: AG Candidate Rotellini Continues To Misuse Endorsements

UPDATE (9/30): Within 5 hours of e-mailing a link to this post to the Rotellini campaign, both the website's "Supporters" page and the Facebook page were scrubbed to eliminate the two primary-only endorsements.  More details:

One of the things that bothers me even as Fact Checking has - thankfully - become more prevalent over the past few years is when campaigns/candidates IGNORE the fact checkers publicly calling them out on their falsehoods or misrepresentations. If anything, it got worse in the last election cycle and the trend is showing signs of continuing.

So, Arizona's Politics is going to try to do its part to continue holding false-tellers' feet to the fire. We will try to follow-up on the most egregious misrepresentations to see if and how they have been remedied. If you have any suggestions for this series, please comment below or e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com.

Two weeks ago, Arizona's Politics posted a Fact Check on AG candidate Felecia Rotellini's active mis-use of an endorsement by the Arizona Republic.  The Republic endorsed her AND Tom Horne in the Democratic and Republican primaries, respectively.  The Rotellini campaign used the Republic endorsement in a post-primary e-mail touting her as the "Community's Choice For Arizona".  Her website's endorsement page also noted that she was endorsed by the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce - even though that, too, was for the primary only.  She received a grade of "F" for the false and misleading active mis-use of the primary-only endorsement of the state's largest newspaper.

It was time to follow-up on the subject.  Lo and behold, the endorsements page* does still list the Tucson Chamber's endorsement - interviews with the Chamber for a general election endorsement were scheduled for last week and no general election endorsement has been made.  But, worse than that, the Rotellini Facebook page is actively touting the Republic's endorsement. Her "Donate" page comes up as the default, and boasts "Along with the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, Felecia has over 40 endorsements including the Arizona Republic...."

Another "F" grade, for failing to remove the misleading endorsements.

As is our practice, Arizona's Politics will contact the Rotellini campaign and request that they correct all campaign materials which contain primary-only endorsements.  We will be happy to publish information indicating that the Facebook page and the website have been cleaned up.

*On September 15, the "supporters" page was NOT linked on the home page of the site - though it was linked in the e-mail at issue; on September 29, the "supporters" tab is front-and-center on the home page.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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