"At worst, they're misleading..."
November 2, 2006 09:14 AM
... so says the Enquirer, in their analysis of Victoria Wulsin's campaign ads. The ad in question is Wulsin's "You Deserve Better" spot, which is the one that begins with Jean Schmidt's "cut and run" floor speech, and then accuses her of voting "against veterans' health benefits" and "homeland security funding."
The problem is that Jean never voted against veterans health benefits or against homeland security funding. As the Enquirer explains,
The only justification for the statement that Schmidt voted against veterans' health benefits was her support of the $2.8 trillion federal budget. The 2007 spending plan called for an increase in veterans' health care spending in 2007, followed by reductions after that - though such decisions are always revisited in future budgets and appropriations bills.
In other words, there was no reduction in veterans health benefits at all. As for homeland security,
On security, Wulsin cites seven roll-call votes on amendments, totaling $257.8 million, to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006. All were sponsored by Democrats, and all but one lost on largely party-line votes. One exception: the Democratic-sponsored Lynch Amendment, which added $50 million for rail security, received enough Republican votes to pass. Schmidt voted against it.
But those amendments didn't increase homeland security funding at all; in fact, they would have diverted established homeland security spending to other areas - nuclear-detection devices in ports, local disaster coordination, investigations of the handling of Hurricane Katrina and even global- warming studies and "breakfast with firefighters" programs.
In other words, Wulsin claims that Jean Schmidt voted against homeland security because she didn't support seven Democrat-sponsored pieces of legislation that redirected--but did not increase--homeland security spending.
[An aside: How telling is that the Democrats think that homeland security funds should be spent on global-warming studies and "breakfast with firefighters" programs?" Is that how Victoria Wulsin would defend us from terrorist threats? With global warming studies and "breakfast with firefighter programs"?]
But back to the ad. Jean Schmidt never voted to reduce veterans health care benefits. And she never voted against homeland security funding.
UPDATE: Tom Blummer over at BizzyBlog has noticed the same thing, and strong criticizes the Enquirer's coverage of this story.
UPDATE NO. 2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is also on the case.