Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 | 2 a.m.
The Sun examines the political commercials to determine what’s fair and what’s not.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and state Sen. Dina Titus have released new ads targeting Rep. Jon Porter, the incumbent in the 3rd Congressional District. The ads share a similar theme: a vote for Porter is an endorsement of the Bush administration. Titus’ ad — the last of her campaign — quickly moves the focus to some of the issues she says she would stand for in Congress: cutting taxes, protecting savings and lowering the cost of health care.
Here’s a look at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ad.
The Script: “If you think George Bush’s economic policies have been right for Nevada, that it’s right to cut veterans’ benefits who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, that it’s right to give Wall Street billions in tax breaks while the middle class gets left behind, send Jon Porter back to Washington. But if you want change in Washington, change the people you send there. Because Jon Porter’s been wrong for Nevada.”
The Video: With text matching the script, the ad first shows a Polaroid-like photo of Porter and Bush arm-in-arm, smiling and waving. Then photos of service members, followed by one of a Wall Street sign, a big house and then a cocktail party. Up next is a photo of Porter next to a shot of the Capitol. It ends back on the first photo of Porter with Bush.
The Reality: Since 2002, Porter has voted in favor of policies supported by the president 68 percent of the time, according to a recent Congressional Quarterly study that looked at roll call votes during both of Bush’s terms up to the Oct. 3 recess. In 2004, he voted with Bush more than 90 percent of the time. So far in 2008, that number has dropped to 47 percent. The share of Porter’s votes that are with his party has declined as well, from a high of 94 percent in 2003 to 76 percent in 2008.
Although it is true that Porter supported government budget proposals that have cut veteran benefits, he was also an original sponsor of the new GI Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. And though it is true Porter supported legislation that gave corporations tax breaks, he also voted for a bill that ended in a net tax increase for oil companies. So although both claims are accurate, they don’t reflect Porter’s full record.