Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Democratic state Sen. Dina Titus is running an ad attacking her opponent, Republican Rep. Jon Porter, for his support of the president’s policies.
The Script: “Had enough? Enough lost jobs. Enough foreclosures. Enough lost savings. Jon Porter is part of the problem. He sided with Bush to give corporations tax breaks to send jobs overseas, to let big oil keep gas prices high, and for lax regulations that created our financial crisis. Every election Jon Porter smears his opponent and then returns to Washington to do more of the same.”
The Video: Opens with a montage of darkly obscured images — two women, a man in a hard hat, a mother and child outside a house with a bank-owned-for-sale sign and an elderly couple — and the word “enough.” Next is a photo of Porter smiling and waving next to George Bush and the text: “90% with Bush” and “jobs overseas.” Then, a photo of Bush pointing to Porter and the phrases: “high gas prices” and “financial crisis.” Next is another photo of Porter and Bush and the camera zooms in on Porter’s face and the word “enough.”
The Reality: One goal of the ad is to link Porter with the current economic crisis, which was caused by a variety of factors that cannot fairly be pinned on one congressman.
The claim about corporate taxes is a reference to the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act, a sweeping bill that repealed a law the World Trade Organization had ruled was an illegal export subsidy. Although the bill gave substantial tax breaks to U.S. corporations with overseas operations, whether this led to a loss of American jobs is debatable, and it is unfair to claim Porter voted for the act “to send jobs overseas.” The bill was a response to European trade sanctions imposed on American exports.
The ad makes a vague claim that Porter supported high gas prices. The campaign cites Porter’s votes against measures that would have made diesel and gasoline fuel price gouging a federal crime, but that is not the same as voting “to let big oil keep gas prices high.” Economists on both side of the aisle have said these kinds of bills would do little to reduce fuel prices.
Holding Porter responsible for the regulatory standards of the financial industry is also unfair. For starters, the major deregulation acts being blamed for the crisis — the Commodities Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — were signed into law before Porter was elected to Congress.