Friday, September 29, 2006

Tennesseans Get Déjà Vu As Corker Again Defends Dishonest Ad

Defending Bob Corker against new revelations that he’s fudged the facts on his record as mayor in his latest campaign ad, Corker’s campaign manager claimed “we obviously take very seriously getting our facts correct.” Really? That’s news to the people and media of Tennessee, who have consistently criticized Corker for running a series of false and misleading ads, both in the primary and the general election.

Corker Roundly Criticized For False Ads

False Ads Leave Corker’s Credibility “Shredded.” Following Corker’s primary win, the state’s press took him to task for a series of dishonest ads he ran against Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary. Calling his ads “bogus” and “misleading,” a Nashville Tennessean columnist said Corker was left with a “shredded reputation,” while the Tennessean editorial board said Corker had a “character issue” and a local columnist called Corker “dishonest.”

FactCheck Smacks Corker Down Three Times. The independent of the Annenberg Public Policy Center has already smacked down three Corker ads, calling them “nonsense,” “grossly misleading,” and saying they “omit relevant facts.”

Republican Allies, Including Frist, Questioned Corker’s Honesty. Though they are now backing Corker, both Hilleary and Bryant agree that Corker can’t be trusted. Bryant called Corker “the King of Lies” while Hilleary said Corker “has no regard for the truth.” Even the man Corker seeks to replace in the Senate once hammered Corker’s dishonesty. During his 1994 race against Corker, Frist’s campaign manager said Corker “is rotten on the inside. He’s traded his honor and his integrity, and it’s exactly what’s wrong with politics today.”

A History Of Corker’s Dishonest Ads

Ad: “50 Percent” – “Not True.” Corker’s latest ad touts a supposed 50% drop in crime. WPTY in Memphis, however, reports that, “Data from the FBI says that is not true.”

Ad: “Allies”– “Clever Distortion” “Omits Facts.” Earlier this month Corker teamed with the NRSC to attack Ford’s record on national security. Factcheck.Org found that the ad “omits relevant facts,” while local columnist concluded the ad was a “clever distortion” and WBIR found it was “far from complete.”

Ad: “Don’t Be Fooled” – “Not Entirely True.” WBIR in Knoxville found that Corker’s ad “Don’t Be Fooled,” which attacked Ford as a liberal, was “not entirely true” and concluded, “the record shows Ford is no true-blue liberal; in 2005, he voted more conservatively than 92 percent of his fellow Democrats in the House.”

Ad: “Choice” - “Misleading.” During the primary, Corker ran at least two ads claiming to have lowered property taxes to the “lowest level since the 1950’s” found that claim “misleading” and noted, “That does not mean that taxes went down. They did not. They rose at more than triple the rate of inflation, pushed up by rising property values and a big tax-rate increase in Corker’s first year. Far from being the ‘lowest since the 1950’s,’ as one might easily assume from Corker’s ad, Chattanooga’s property tax bills rose nearly 32.5% during Corker’s tenure.”

Ad: “Twins” – “Grossly Misleading.” Corker’s most notorious primary ad falsely accused Bryant and Hilleary of voting to raise their own pay. called the claim “nonsense” and “grossly misleading,” a Knoxville News Sentinel columnist called it a “lie.”

Ad: “Mission Trip” – “Political Winds Are Blowing.” In this ad, Corker spoke of how his 1982 mission to Haiti caused Corker to become pro-life. But if he became pro-life in 1982, why did he campaign as a pro-choice candidate in 1994? This caused Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, to note that Corker “sees the way political winds are blowing.” Tennessee Right to Life has refused to endorse Corker in the general election.

[SHREDDED: WPTY, 9/29/06; Nashville Tennessean, Daughtrey Column, 7/30/06; Nashville Tennessean, Editorial, 7/27/06; Knoxville Metro Pulse, Cagle Column, 8/3/06; FACTCHECK: Annenberg Fact Check, 7/28/06; Annenberg Fact Check, 8/01/06; Annenberg Fact Check, 9/14/06; REPUBLICANS: Bryant Release, “Kin of Lies Bob Corker Strikes Again,” 7/27/06; Nashville City Paper, 7/20/06; Chattanooga Free Press, 7/24/94; 50 Percent: Knoxville News Sentinel, 9/29/06; Allies:, 9/14/06; Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, Kimbrell Column, 9/13/06; WBIR, 9/20/06; Don’t Be Fooled: WBIR, 9/06/06; Choice: Annenberg Fact Check, 8/1/06; Twins: Annenberg Fact Check, 7/28/06; Knoxville News Sentinel, McElroy Column, 7/23/06; Mission Trip: Knoxville News Sentinel, 11/16/05; WREG Debate, 7/16/06; Chattanooga Times, 5/27/94; Knoxville News Sentinel, 7/28/94]