Leading up to the November election, 7NEWS and TheDenverChannel.com will check the accuracy of political ads.Do the ads contain facts or fiction?7NEWS checked the "facts or fiction" of a Ken Buck political ad paid for by Americans for Job Security. Buck is a Republican running for U.S. Senate.
AD: "Washington is a cesspool filled with political insiders who think more government is the solution. Not Ken Buck."FICTION Merriam Webster's dictionary defines cesspool as a "filthy, evil or corrupt place or state." Regardless of what someone thinks of the people who represent them in Washington, D.C., the above statement is an opinion.
AD: "Ken Buck stands up to the insiders in both parties. Ken Buck's conservative plan to get Colorado back to work? No to bailouts, no to debt, no to big government spending."MISLEADING 7NEWS can't exactly call this FACT or FICTION because Buck doesn't have a voting record to support the statements. Plus, in the political ad itself, there is a lot of fine print that comes and goes so quickly, it's hard to read.First, when the narrator said, "Ken Buck's conservative plan to get Colorado back to work?" there is an image of what appears to be a mailer with Buck's picture and the title, "The Ken Buck Conservative Plan For Colorado." 7NEWS made repeated phone calls and e-mails to Americans for Job Security asking it to explain the information it used to compile the ad. No one has gotten back to us. We called the Buck campaign about the image of the mailer. According to spokesman Owen Loftus, the image is not a Buck-sponsored mailer. Loftus said Americans for Job Security may have sent out the mailer using information it collected online from Buck, but he didn't know the source of the image of the mailer.When the narrator said, "No to bailouts," the term "Citation H.R. 1424" appears in fine print on the bottom of the screen. H.R. 1424 was known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Some referred to it as the bailout bill because it used up to $700 billion in taxpayer money to buy troubled assets from struggling financial institutions.While Buck may be opposed to bailouts, he has not served in Congress and has never had a chance to vote to support that.When the narrator said, "No to debt," the term "Citation H.R. 3188, H.R. 4213, H.R. 1, WH Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2011, submitted 2/1/10" appears in fine print on the bottom of the screen.
H.R. 3188 was a bill to ban federal funding for mandatory human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs. H.R. 4213 was a bill that would have extended unemployment benefits. H.R. 1 is the stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama in Denver in February 2009. WH Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2011, submitted 2/1/10 is the 2011 proposed budget. Since Americans for Job Security did not get back to 7NEWS, it's hard to figure out the intent of those citations, but they all deal with spending taxpayer money, which could contribute to debt.When the narrator said, "No to big government spending," the term "Citation H.R. 1, S. 350, WH Budget of the United State Government Fiscal Year 2011, submitted 2/1/10" appears. As noted above, "H.R. 1" is the stimulus bill. "S. 350" was the Senate version of the stimulus bill. And as noted above, the "WH Budget of the United State Government Fiscal Year 2011, submitted 2/1/10" refers to the 2011 proposed budget. Again, since Americans for Job Security did not get back to 7NEWS, it's hard to figure out the intent of those citations, but they all deal with money being spent by the government.
AD: "Yes to low taxes for job creation that helps families."MISLEADING While Buck may be for low taxes, which could help job creation and could help families, he has not served in Congress and has never had a chance to vote to support that.
AD: "Call Ken Buck, tell him to keep fighting for smaller government and policies that support taxpayers."
This statement is an opinion. However, it's important to note that the ad never tells voters to vote "Yes" for Buck or that they call his campaign office. There's a reason for that. When the narrator said the above text, the phone number for Buck's District Attorney's office appears on screen. 7NEWS wanted to know why. Even though Buck didn't pay for the ad, 7NEWS asked him."Somebody in my office contacted Americans with Job Security, asked them to change the phone number on the ad. They said they couldn't do that because that would be a violation of the federal campaign laws," said Buck. "Somebody in my DA's office called and said, 'You need to make it anything but the DA's office' and they said, 'We can't make it the campaign office (number) because it would look like coordination.'"Since it's a third party ad, by a tax-exempt group, the group cannot specifically endorse a candidate or their campaign. The Weld County District Attorney's phone number is OK for Americans for Job Security to use, but if someone calls that number they're supposed to be directed to the campaign office. When 7NEWS called anonymously on Tuesday afternoon, we were given the number to Buck's campaign office.Had the ad been paid for by Buck, it would have been required by law to use the campaign office phone number and not the Weld County District Attorney's office number.
AD: "Americans for Job Security is responsible for the content of this advertising."
Based on the latest tax records found by 7NEWS, Americans for Job Security had $12.2 million in revenue from November 2007 through October 2008.Americans for Job Security is a 501(c)6. According to the IRS, a 501(c)6 is: "an association of persons having some common business interest, the purpose of which is to promote such common interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit. Trade associations and professional associations are business leagues. To be exempt, a business league's activities must be devoted to improving business conditions of one or more lines of business as distinguished from performing particular services for individual persons. No part of a business league's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and it may not be organized for profit to engage in an activity ordinarily carried on for profit (even if the business is operated on a cooperative basis or produces only enough income to be self-sustaining). The term line of business generally refers either to an entire industry or to all components of an industry within a geographic area. It does not include a group composed of businesses that market a particular brand within an industry."