Congressman Jerry Moran is running for a seat in the Kansas Senate. His newest ad, called "Truth Test", questions the record of his opponent, Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
Claim #1: "Desperate and trailing badly in the polls..."
FACT. According to our exclusive Fact Finder 12 Scientific Survey, Moran is ahead in the polls. He has 52 percent, with Tiahrt at 29 percent and 15 percent undecided. It's the Moran campaign that classifies that as desperate.
Claim #2: "Jerry Moran voted for the Bush tax cuts and for lower taxes more than 200 times".
The Moran campaign cites his voting record from 1997 to 2010. Eyewitness News contacted two separate tax watchdog groups to verify this information. Neither group keeps track of votes in this manner, so we are unable to determine whether this is fact.
Claim #3: "Todd Tiahrt, one of Washington's biggest spenders..."
FACT. According to the Taxpayers for Common Sense Earmark Database, for fiscal year 2010, Tiahrt ranks 35th out of 447 in a list of House Earmark Recipients. Jerry Moran ranks 199th. It's important to note that more than half of the earmarks awarded to Tiahrt were for projects also requested by other Kansas congressional leaders. Tiahrt's 63-million dollars went towards aviation-related projects, education and infrastructure, like the re-design of the Kellogg-235 interchange.
Claim #4 "Tiahrt voted to hide earmarks from public scrutiny."
MISLEADING. The statement is factual because Tiahrt did vote no for the House Resolution which would have required more disclosure of earmarks. But the statement is also incomplete because in a vote minutes later, Tiahrt voted in favor of a motion for earmark reform. That motion failed. Both campaigns argue this point. Read their statements below.
"Todd voted for the earmark disclosure rules but strongly opposed Nancy Pelosi's budget rules that made it easier for Washington Democrats to raise taxes and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on wasteful programs. For example, President Obama's $787 billion so-called stimulus plan was passed using Pelosi's budget rules. The record shows Todd stood with Kansas taxpayers when he opposed the tax-and-spend Pelosi rules and voted for the entire earmark reform package 21 minutes later. Congressman Moran proudly supported Speaker Pelosi's agenda to raise taxes. Kansans are tired of the Washington distortions coming from those seeking to advance their Washington careers."
- Michelle Schroeder, spokesperson for the Tiahrt campaign
"Todd Tiahrt is sounding more and more like John Kerry everyday. He was for it before he was against it. He can hide behind his Washington-speak and obscure Washington rules but Jerry Moran's record is clear — transparency and accountability. And when presented with the very same opportunity, Todd Tiahrt instead voted for Washington's interests to keep earmarks hidden from the public."
- Dan Conston, Moran campaign communications director