Bush Campaign Lies

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Bush Campaign Lie #2: John Kerry has Accepted More Special Interest Money Than Any Other Senator 

In a video ad on the Bush campaign web site, a woman browsing the internet for information about John Kerry learns that Kerry has received 'more special interest money than any other senator'. This claim is based on an article from the January 31 edition of the Washington Post titled 'Kerry Leads in Lobby Money'.

First, lobbyists are only one kind of 'special interest'. For most politicians (though not Kerry), the vast bulk of 'special interest' money they receive comes from Political Action Committees (PACs), not lobbyists. When PACs are included, Kerry drops to 92nd place among all current senators in special interest money collected.

Second, the Post article itself is suspect. The first sentence of the article ends ". . . [Kerry has] raised more money from paid lobbyists than any other senator over the past 15 years, federal records show." That may be true, but Kerry has been in the Senate for 19 years. By limiting the discussion to the past 15 years, it seems that the Post is cherry-picking its data in order to get a bigger headline. Also, the total amount of lobbyist money cited ($640,000) is a cumulative total for those 15 years. Most senators haven't collected that much because they haven't been in the senate that long.

Brooks Jackson gives an even more thorough refutation of this lie, as well as another link to the Bush ad in case his campaign takes it down from their site.

And I know the point of this blog is to document Bush campaign lies, not hypocrisy, but it's worth pointing out that if the woman in the Bush ad is really upset about a candidate who accepts money from 'special interests', then she certainly won't be voting for Bush.

4:50 PM