Campaign Watchdog: Barr ad on stimulus ‘mostly false’

October 08, 2010 | | Comments 15

MORE: Read previous Campaign Watchdog reports

By John Cheves –

The statement: “Chandler voted for the trillion dollar stimulus package that failed to create jobs in Kentucky. Reports now reveal that Chandler’s vote allowed tax breaks for foreign companies to create jobs in China. Jobs for China – and we pay the bill.”

–- Television commercial for Andy Barr, Republican candidate for Congress, attacking his opponent, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles

The ruling: Mostly false

The facts: Barr loses on his first claim because the stimulus package – also known as the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – created jobs in Kentucky.

Exactly how many jobs is a matter of fair debate. The federal government estimates 13,145 jobs in Kentucky as of the second quarter of this year, based on reports from recipients of stimulus money, including the state government, local school districts and private employers.

The hiring is scattered among hundreds of projects and places. In March, for example, R.J. Corman Railroad Group of Nicholasville hired 100 workers at $25 to $35 an hour using a stimulus grant. Two months later, in Carrollton, 15 women trained as Head Start teachers under another stimulus grant.

In response to the Herald-Leader this week, the Barr campaign defended its claim, arguing that unemployment has risen since Congress passed the stimulus last year.

However, Barr’s ad doesn’t say that unemployment has risen, it says the stimulus did not create jobs. In reality, unemployment rose despite the stimulus jobs – and for that matter, despite this year’s temporary U.S. Census Bureau jobs.

Various sources, such as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, say unemployment would have been even worse without the stimulus spending.

Barr would have been correct had he stuck with his second claim: News reports this year revealed that some stimulus money for clean energy projects went to companies with workers in China, South Korea and other foreign countries.

The U.S. Energy Department has spent billions of stimulus dollars for wind energy projects in the United States, with some of the money – ABC News put it at 79 percent – going to foreign-owned companies that make the necessary machinery for wind farms. The news stories prompted some Democrats in Congress to protest to President Barack Obama’s administration.

“It makes people lose faith in government, and it frankly infuriates me,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in February.

The American Wind Energy Association on Friday told the Herald-Leader that all of the stimulus tax credits went to projects in the United States, even if some of the companies involved are foreign-owned. Roughly half of the value of the necessary equipment was produced here, the group said.

Filed Under: Andy BarrBen ChandlerCampaign WatchdogDemocratic PartyElectionsFeaturedFederal GovernmentKY-6thRepublican Party

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  1. Bill Adkins says:

    Yet another lie from Candy Barr. Once is an accident, Candy, but twice is a habit. Candy Barr is a habitual liar.

  2. rambo says:

    so are you bill,guess you and andy are brothers

  3. Shelley Dee says:

    Sorry that you’re so insecure rambo that you have to accuse others of what you engage in on a regular basis.

  4. Phil says:

    Ask Ben how many people Rick Corman actually hired.

  5. Bonzo66 says:

    To be fair, both sides have put out commercials that have a small grain of truth to them, with a large amount of distorted information. Guess that’s what politics in this country has become in the last 50 years or so. I have my doubts that the average voter even pays attention to this crap. I’ve contended for many years that the greatest invention of the 20th century is the remote control. I’ve about worn mine out this year changing the channel when I see this type of BS coming on. I suspect that many folks out there do the same thing.

  6. ExRepublican says:

    Andy Barr lost my vote when I realized he was connected to the crooked Ernie Fletcher administration. Chandler may be a lousy congressman but I believe he is the more honest of the two.

  7. Buck Feshear says:

    The Fletcher administration wasn’t crooked. Greg Scumbo just made you think it was.

  8. chris says:

    look most of us have made up our minds who we are voting for so my advice to both canidates is stop the negative ads and focus on what your side(barr)needs to just keep explaining what the pledge is and what it will do for the voters of ky.we need to get the attention of the 5% still undeclared voters.

  9. Tommy Caudill says:

    Toxic coal sludge pollutes Ky. town 10 years later:

    If this doesn’t prove Rand Paul is wrong for KY nothing does. Can you imagine letting giant coal companies police themselves on these matters? We would all be dying at an early age from cancer and other numerous diseases. These people are just like the republican party, they care nothing about who they hurt as long as they get theirs.

  10. Chris/Avon says:

    Vote Barr……..Ditch Chandler. It’s that easy.

  11. Buck Feshear says:

    Tommy, Tommy, Tommy…

    Paul is not for letting the coal companies police themselves. He’s in favor of having state and local regulations supersede federal regulations. There is a difference but your liberal mind is unable to perceive it.

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