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Campaign Watchdog: Andy Barr’s ‘Obamacare’ claim mostly false

The Herald-Leader will routinely check the accuracy of statements made by candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

The statement: “Washington is a mess. And it’s endangering programs like Medicare. Obamacare makes the problem even worse. It cuts $500 billion out of a system that is already broken. If we do nothing, the Medicare trust fund will be bankrupt in 12 years.”

— Andy Barr, Republican congressional candidate, in a recent TV advertisement

The ruling: Mostly False

The facts: Lexington Attorney Andy Barr is trying for the second time to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles in Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

The future of Medicare, a federal government health program primarily for people age 65 and older, has become a major issue in the race. Each candidate claims the other is endangering the future of the entitlement program, the cost of which is projected to increase from $560 billion in 2010 to just over $1 trillion by 2022.

Campaign Watchdog: Chandler is Half True on Barr’s Medicare stance

The Herald-Leader will routinely check the accuracy of statements made by candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

By John Cheves – jcheves@herald-leader.com

The statement: “Andy Barr wants to privatize Medicare. I hear it will raise costs for seniors to six to seven thousand dollars more a year to cut taxes to help the wealthy.”

— Todd Gardner of Carlisle in a campaign ad for U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles

The ruling: Half True

The facts: Barr, a Lexington lawyer, is Chandler’s Republican challenger for the second consecutive election. In June 2011, while announcing his candidacy, Barr told Politico that he would have voted two months earlier for a House budget plan sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., chairman of the House Budget Committee and now the GOP vice presidential candidate.

Campaign Watchdog: Beshear’s claim about Restoring America’s ads mostly false

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.


The statement:
“These ads attacking Steve Beshear are not just misleading, they are in clear violation of Kentucky law, and the court ordered them off the air as an illegal attempt to influence the election and help David Williams.”

— Gov. Steve Beshear
‘s re-election campaign, in a television commercial that started airing Thursday

The ruling: Mostly false

The facts: Beshear’s new TV ad misleadingly implies that an outside political group’s commercials were taken off the air because their content was illegal.

Campaign Watchdog: Claim that P’Pool improperly billed state half true

By Beth Musgrave
bmusgrave@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The statement: “As a lawyer, Todd P’Pool was twice cited for improperly billing state government.”

— Bluegrass Committee for Justice and Fairness, a third-party political group supporting Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, in a television commercial

The ruling: Half true

The facts: As Hopkins County attorney, Republican candidate for attorney general Todd P’Pool bills the state for hours he works enforcing Kentucky’s child-support collection laws.

Campaign Watchdog: Claims about Beshear’s record on pardons half true

By John Cheves
jcheves@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The statement: “When Steve Beshear became governor, one of his early actions was to grant pardons to convicted felons. Governor Beshear has granted partial pardons to at least eight convicted murderers and 14 rapists, allowing them to vote and even run for office.”

— Restoring America, an outside group supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, in a television commercial airing this week.

The ruling: Half true.

The facts: The commercial misleadingly implies that Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has pardoned criminals and set them free from prison.

Campaign Watchdog: Claims about Williams’ spending, pension are half true

By John Cheves
jcheves@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check claims made by the candidates and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The statement: “For 26 years in Frankfort, David Williams has spent millions in taxpayer dollars on office renovations and perks for himself … and repeatedly voted to increase his own taxpayer-funded pension, now worth over $1 million, while trying to cut the pensions of other state workers.”

— Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear in a television ad this week attacking David Williams, his Republican challenger.

The ruling: Half true.

The facts: David Williams, the state Senate president, oversaw an expansion of legislative offices at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort over the past decade. Williams and other legislative leaders approved $1.7 million in 2003 to acquire additional space and $639,000 in 2006 for further improvements to Senate offices, including Williams’, such as new woodwork, furniture and electronics.

Claim that Beshear supports EPA’s coal regulations false

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

The Herald-Leader will fact-check claims made by the candidates for governor and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The statement: “Beshear supports Obama’s EPA plans that will drive out our coal jobs by driving up our energy costs.”

— Restoring America, a group supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams, in a television ad this week attacking Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

The ruling: False

The facts: Throughout this fall’s campaign for governor, Republican nominee David Williams has tried to tie Gov. Steve Beshear with Democratic President Obama, who is unpopular in the state.

Claim that Beshear took money from utility companies false

The Herald-Leader will fact-check claims made by the candidates for governor and their surrogates leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

The statement: Gov. Steve “Beshear has mastered the art of the payoff, pocketing hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from energy and utility companies. Yet Beshear appoints public service commissioners who set our utility rates.”

— Restoring America, a group supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams, in a television ad this week attacking Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

The ruling: False

The facts: Restoring America, an independent political expenditure group based in Ohio, is accusing Beshear of breaking the law in its latest ad, but there’s no proof to substantiate the claim.

Claims about unemployment increase during Beshear’s term true

Throughout this year’s campaign for governor, the Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates.

The statement: “Kentucky has lost 94,000 jobs” and “Kentucky’s unemployment’s up 75 percent.”

Bluegrass Prosperity, a group associated with the Republican Governors Association, in a television ad this week in support of Senate President David Williams’ bid for governor.

The ruling: True

The facts: The ad focuses on Kentucky job losses during the administration of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 8.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky’s unemployment rate in December 2007, when Beshear took office, was 5.6 percent. In May 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, an increase of 75 percent.

Similarly, in December of 2007, the number of unemployed in Kentucky was 112,470. In May of 2011, the number of unemployed was 207,013. The difference between 207,013 and 112,470 is 94,543.

However, higher unemployment has not been unique to Kentucky.

In December 2007, the national unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. It was 9.1 percent in May 2011, an increase of 82 percent.

The unemployment rate last month in Kentucky was 9.6 percent, the lowest since 9.2 percent in January 2009.

– Jack Brammer

Campaign Watchdog: Beshear’s budget-cutting claims mostly true

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

The statement: “Then, I slashed spending by over a billion dollars, creating the smallest government in 20 years.”

— Gov. Steve Beshear in a television ad this week about fiscal responsibility.

The ruling: Mostly true

The facts: Beshear, who will face Republican Senate President David Williams in the Nov. 8 general election, has been forced to make eight “appropriation reductions” since he took office in December 2007.