Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FACT CHECK: Ducey Running Ad Heavy On Election Day; "Desperate"

I rarely see any morning TV, but I made it a point to turn it on this a.m. in order to see what ads were still running.  Between the gym at 5:00 and now, I have seen Doug Ducey's ad titled "Andrei Cherny: Desperate" four times.  While it was put up on YouTube nearly a month ago (Oct. 7), this was the first time I had logged it.

The hybrid negative/positive ad starts with "Andrei Cherny launches a desperate and false attack." Also, on the screen, is featured a still of the Cherny ad with the Arizona Republic headline clearly visible.  The headline states: "Treasurer candidate Ducey didn't pay '08, '09 tax." 

The ad goes on to state "the truth" about Ducey: that he is an "honored businessman" who created hundreds of Arizona jobs.  That he is endorsed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Republic.

It then turns on Cherny: alleging that he was a California political insider who authored Obama's failed economic plan.  Finally, that Cherny's investment plans for Arizona are "risky" and "possibly illegal".

Claim (1) Cherny's desperate and false attack: Ducey is obviously referring to Cherny's ad which has been running for several weeks (though I have not - yet - seen it today).  Arizona's Politics Fact Checked that ad a month ago, and gave it a grade of "C-"; it was not false, although I challenged its methodology to come up with its estimate of the "cost to taxpayers" of defaulted Cold Stone Creamery franchises and placing all of the liability in Ducey's column.  Not quite the "false attack" Ducey's ad boldly claims.

Ducey's claim is made even worse by the combination of the narration and the visual: the only part of the Cherny ad that Ducey shows is the TRUE claim that Ducey had not paid his property taxes.  Ducey has even admitted that that happened, and was a mistake.  By using that still from the Cherny ad (rather than the "cost taxpayers $53 million" image), Ducey is making a false (and desperate?) attack.
       GRADE: "F"

Claim (2) Honored businessman who created hundreds of jobs, endorsements: He has been honored and he has helped create jobs.  He has received those endorsements.
       GRADE: "A"

Claim (3) Cherny is California political insider who authored Obama's failed economic plan:  I could find no evidence to support that Cherny is a "California political insider";  in fact, he lost a race for the California Assembly before moving here to marry and raise a family.  He has claimed to have co-authored Obama's plan, while asserting that the ideas were obviously Obama's.
       GRADE: "C"

Claim (4) Cherny's plans are "risky" and "possibly illegal":  Ducey's ad uses his Arizona Republic endorsement for these terms for Cherny's suggestion to safely invest some of state government's monies in companies that benefit the state economy.  The Republic's editorial writers are certainly not qualified to make such legal judgments, but Ducey is free to use them in his ads.  (Interestingly, in that same endorsement, the Republic does note that Ducey failed to pay his taxes - see claim #1.)  Nevertheless, it is somewhat misleading to make the suggestion that Cherny would be able to make an illegal shift in investment policy.
       GRADE: "B"

OVERALL GRADE:  Because the negative attacks are much more heavily weighted in this ad - especially Claim (1) - overall, this ad grades out at about a "D+".

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