PORTLAND, Ore. - In this week’s “Your Voice, Your Vote,” (watch the entire show by clicking the "Play Video" button) there was discussion on The Oregonian’s PolitiFact Oregon ratings on candidate statements. Below is some more information to add context and balance that was missing from the on-air discussion.
Since Republican Rob Cornilles and Democrat Suzanne Bonamici won their respective primaries in November, PolitiFact Oregon has fact-checked (as of this writing) at least 13 specific statements the candidates have made -- five of Bonamici’s and eight of Cornilles’.
Cornilles has continued to claim that President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will cut $500 billion from Medicare despite PolitiFact's finding that the legislation won't do that. But what was not noted on "Your Voice, Your Vote" was that PolitiFact Oregon also found some of Bonamici's statements to be less than stellar when it comes to the truth.
PolitiFact found two of Bonamici’s statements that she differs from her party on business legislation, consumer protection and free trade and that she voted 98 percent of the time with Republicans in the Oregon Legislature to be false.
Two of her statements were found to be true: She was right about her opponent falsely attacking her on Medicare and Medicare Advantage. She was also right that the federal government prohibits the growing of industrial hemp in the United States.
However, PolitiFact Oregon gave her a “pants on fire” ruling for making a claim that had nothing to do with why PolitiFact Oregon gave Cornilles a “pants on fire” ruling.
In addition to finding Cornilles’ claim that Bonamici “voted for 60 tax increases” was a "pants on fire" claim, PolitiFact Oregon found his statement that he disputed a news story for two years that reported he would cut Social Security and Medicare before defense to be “mostly false.”
However, Cornilles’ claims that more than half of all tax filers pay no federal income tax and that Bonamici was the only “no” vote on a 2009 bill aimed at cracking down on drunken drivers, were both ruled to be true.
In addition, Cornilles is “mostly true” on a claim that the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal was bipartisan.
PolitiFact Oregon also found that Cornilles was “half true” on statements that Bonamici voted 98 percent of the time with her party and that Bonamici supports a plan that reduces choice for Medicare Advantage seniors.
However, Cornilles claims that Obama’s Affordable Care Act will cut Medicare by $500 billion. PolitiFact found that claim to be false and then in its most recent ruling stated that “Cornilles and Republicans nationally have refused to back off their erroneous claim that Obama’s Affordable Care Act cuts $500 billion from Medicare. As we reported in November 2011 and in October 2010, the act reduces Medicare spending by $500 billion over the next 10 years.”
So it is true that Cornilles has continued to re-state a claim that PolitiFact, an independent fact-checker, has found to be false.