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Putting the “Check” back in Factcheck: The News Journal is Shoveling Puckey for Coons

26 Sep

If you want to meet the real Chris Coons this election season, you might want to think twice before relying solely on The News Journal.  In a recent so-called “political fact check” piece, The News Journal overexerted itself to find that–lo! and behold!–Coons is MOSTLY a man of his word while his opponent is “horse puckey” (actual quote….let me save you the search–puckey is serious-journalism speak for “dried animal feces”).

Let’s get a second opinion, shall we?

  • Is Coons being honest in his campaign?The News Journal doesn’t have to look very far to see how many “big ones” Coons has been telling recently…Hint for the News Journal Editor: look at your own reporting. (see News Journal articles referenced here, here, and here for just a flavor of Coons’ contradictions and tall tales).
  • Is Coons’ opponent a “puckey?”:  The example for Coons’ opponent comes from an email to supporters that details how Mike Castle voted to gut the “Pledge Protection Act of 2005” by supporting an amendment to no longer give solid protection for the Pledge but leave it vulnerable to activist judges on the Supreme Court. The email is clearly about Mike Castle’s AMENDMENT vote, but when the vote tally (that even had a corresponding link to the AMENDMENT vote!!!) was included at the end of the email, there was a typo that referred to “bill” instead of “amendment.” The analysis of the email is 100% accurate, and the typo did nothing to change the true and factual point.

Why in the world did The News Journal pick out of the ether some tame example to judge Coons’ ability to speak [mostly] truth?   What motivated The News Journal to put a deceptive spin on the example for Coons’ opponent that is factually true but has an obvious typo?

We are faced with one of two conclusions: (1) The News Journal is in the tank for Coons or (2) The News Journal has a tank of manatees that selected the examples written on idea-balls then place them in a basket for News Journal staff to fish out and write their “fact-check” piece.

Factchecking Coons

26 Sep

Coons just released a new campaign ad making some interesting claims.  How about we do a little fact-checking of our own, shall we?

  • Chris Coons only offers more of the same: The ad claims Coons has a plan to change Washington. I think someone forgot to give Coons the memo about the plan:

CHRIS COONS: “I Think We Need A Democrat Who’s Going To Stand With Our President And Our Vice-President.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Corner Eatery, Dover, DE, May 12, 2010)

COONS: “I’m Someone Who Would Broadly Support The Agenda Of Our President. … Somebody who is willing to work in responsible partnership with an administration that I think made the right choice on health care, on the stimulus, on the jobs bill.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Newark Free Library, Newark, DE,  May 10, 2010)

  • Coons hired lobbyists that would have violated his original lobbyist ban proposal: The ad claims Coons will propose a plan to prohibit senators from ever becoming lobbyists:

Coons’ Original Plan Would Have Also Barred Senior Staff For Lobbying For Five Years. “Coons proposed a lifetime ban on members of the Senate from lobbying their former colleagues, and support for a 5 year lobbying ban on senior Senate staff.” (Chris Coons, “Delaware US Senate Candidate Chris Coons Proposes Lifetime Ban on Senator Turned Lobbyists,” Press Release, August 13, 2010)

“In His Role As County Executive, Coons Hired Johnson, Madigan (Later Peck, Madigan) To Lobby For The County. Several Of The Principals At The Lobbying Firm Worked Immediately Prior As Senior Staffers.” (Ginger Gibson, “Castle Campaign Criticizes Coons For Lobbying Position, Payments,” The News Journal’s Dialogue Delaware Blog, August 17, 2010)

  • Coons Accepted Campaign Donations From Lobbyists Working For The County: Even though the Coons ads wants you to think he is on a crusade against lobbyists, the deep pockets he has been shaking down tell a different story:

Jonathon Jones, A Partner At Peck, Madigan, And Tom Carper’s Former Chief Of Staff, Has Donated At Least $2,400 To Chris Coons’ Senate Campaign. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed August 11, 2010; Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov, Accessed September 26, 2010)

Jones Joined The Johnson, Madigan/Peck, Madigan Firm In 2006, The Same Year He Ended His Stint As Carper’s Chief Of Staff. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed August 11, 2010)

Coons Has Received At Least $3,000 From Lobbyists. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed September 26, 2010)

  • Coons Would Vote For Harry Reid To Serve Another Term As Leader of the Senate: The ad makes a bold statement, “If we don’t have a Congress that works for us, we ought to make a change.”  That sounds GREAT…but Coons’ own mouth directly contradicts any hope of change he wants you to believe he stands for.

COONS: “My First Vote Would Be For Harry Reid To Be The Leader, And To Support, In General, The Administration’s Agenda.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Candidate Forum, Wilmington, DE, May 17, 2010)

  • Coons Is Bought and Paid for By the Old Democrat Leadership: While the ad suggests Coons will “move in a new direction” and “the people we send to Washington are still part of Delaware,” is is painfully obvious where Coons’ loyalties actually lie:

Coons Has Received At Least $162,900 From Senate Democrats’ PACs, Including $10,000 From Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund. (CQ MoneyLine, www.cqmoneyline.com, Accessed September 26, 2010)

Harry Reid Called Coons His Favorite Candidate, And His “Pet.” “‘I’m going to be very honest with you — Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He’s my pet. He’s my favorite candidate,’ Reid said.” (J. Taylor Rushing, “Reid: Coons, ‘My Pet,’ Will Win,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, September 15, 2010)

“A” for effort, but this is one campaign ad that just won’t fly.

Coons vs. Coons – He is his own worst campaign ad.

26 Sep

Boy, what 4-years of Coons can make!

2005: Coons Called The County’s Economic Health “Fundamentally Sound.” “While the county’s economic health is ‘fundamentally sound,’ Coons said, there’s been a widening gap between expenses and revenues in the past several years. His proposals would help avoid a projected $152 million shortfall by 2009.” (Angie Basiouny, “NCCo Exec Proposes Reining In Spending,” The News Journal, March 30, 2005)

2009: “‘We’re 18 Months From Being Out Of Money — Unable To Operate, Not To Use The “B” Word,’ Coons Said, In A Reference To Bankruptcy. ‘That’s where we are, and it’s at a time when many families are struggling, and they’re looking to government to help them.’” (Jeff Montgomery, “Sobering Challenges Reflected In Speeches,” The News Journal, January 22, 2009)

I wonder if the AP will ever fact-check Coons’ recent claim that he “restored his county to financial health and is ready to do the same for the federal government.”  If he is going to do to the country what he did to the poor folks in New Castle County, I think I’ll pass.