Tuesday Truth Test, September 23rd

This week we take a look at two of the many ads the McCain and Obama campaigns have released in recent weeks.

You can see the ads and the facts we’ve found that explain just how true or false the ads are.

Let’s begin with an ad put out by the McCain camp. This one is called “Education.”

It says:

Voice Over: Education Week says Obama hasn’t made a significant mark on education

That he is elusive on accountability

A staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly

Obama’s one accomplishment?

Legislation to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners

Learning about sex before learning to read?

Barack Obama

Wrong on education

Wrong for your family

John McCain: I’m John McCain and I approve this message

That Education Week article quote is correct. But the article actually acknowledges Obama’s “unique perspective” on education.

The accountability line comes from a Washington Post editorial which explains that education policies have not fully been addressed by the candidates, including McCain, who the writer says has “not been forthcoming with any (education) plan.”

As for that public school monopoly comment, it comes from an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune. It cites an apparent flip-flop by Obama on school vouchers.

Now to the “comprehensive sex education” part. First, take a look at the bill the ad quotes. It was introduced in the Illinois Senate as SB 99. The ad says kindergartners would have learned about sex before they learned to read. Not exactly. The law would have included “age appropriate” sex ed. In the case of those young kids, they would have learned about “good touch, bad touch.” Obama did vote for the bill. However, it died in the State Senate.

I’m not so sure it’s fair to call that Obama’s “one accomplishment.” He did sponsor legislation in Illinois that was education-related. Here are some of the bills he sponsored since 2007.

The Obama camp has put out an ad called “Burden.”

It says:

Barack Obama: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message

Voice Over: Today many women work to help support their families but are paid just 77 cents to the dollar a man makes

It’s one more thing John McCain doesn’t get about our economy

He opposed a law to guarantee women equal pay for equal work, calling it too great a burden on business

McCain explains away the age gap, saying women just need more education and training

A burden on business?

How about the burden on our families?

Here are the numbers on what women earn in comparison with men.

The law in question was called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. You can read a little more about the legislation here.

McCain, and plenty of other Senators, did oppose the law, citing the potential for lawsuits against businesses. He did say women need more education and training, but but he also called it a “vicious cycle” which would make women leave their children behind while going to school or getting that training. This site says it’s unfair to say McCain doesn’t support equal pay for women, just that he did not support the legislation presented to him.

Those are a lot of facts to absorb in a 30-second advertisement. But now you can read the truth behind them and perhaps take a closer look the next time you see an ad from a candidate.

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