FACT CHECK: Robertson's First Attack Ad "Partially True"

(18 News) – With our ongoing “Fact Check” series, 18 News is taking a look at Martha Robertson’s first campaign ad, and some of the controversy surrounding it.

Robertson’s first television ad of the political season hits Congressman Tom Reed on his voting record, looking to portray him as friendlier to businesses interests than to voters.

AD: “Reed created tax loopholes for big corporations and special interest campaign donors.”

The ad cites a vote on a resolution from 2013, which was the vote on Paul Ryan’s 2014 budget. Reed voted in favor of that budget, however, he did not create the “loopholes” in the budget as the ad claims. Therefore, we rate this claim as Misleading.

AD: “Then voted to raise the Social Security retirement age on us.”

Politifact took a look at this claim, and found it to be a stretch. The fact-checking site said the proposal Reed voted on was vague in language about raising the retirement age, and even if it had specific language, the proposal would have affected just a small portion of 23rd District voters. Therefore, like Politifact, we rate this claim as Half True.

AD: “Reed also voted to raise taxes on us by $2,000.”

The ad cites the 2015 Fiscal Year Paul Ryan budget for this claim. According to the Tax Policy Center, the budget would have raised taxes on middle class and working families. Because Reed voted for the budget, we rate this claim as True.

AD: “While giving tax breaks to millionaires like himself.”

The ad again cites the 2015 Paul Ryan budget, which would have given tax breaks to millionaires. However, contrary to the ad’s claim, Reed is not a millionaire. The Buffalo News reports Reed’s 2013 personal finance disclosure showed he has assets less than $650,000. Therefore, we rate this claim as Misleading.

Overall, we rate Martha Robertson’s ad as Partially True.

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