Left wing San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has been ill-used by consultants getting rich off his $100 million in campaign spending. The consultants have simply recycled and plagiarized ads from 2010 campaigns that they didn’t tell Steyer had already been debunked. As shown by a newly launched false attack ad against Joni Ernst, Steyer is being cheated.
Ernst has made a written commitment to the people of Iowa to oppose tax hikes. The Pledge prevents politicians from raising taxes.
It seems Steyer’s consultants have stooped to rehashing provably false lines of attack against candidates who have sworn off higher taxes. Steyer’s ad makes a false claim that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked by nonpartisan fact checking organizations:
Factcheck.org had this to say in 2010 about the same attack used against a candidate four years ago, in a previous election cycle:
But we find the ad to be false. The pledge only protects corporations from an increase in taxation overall. It explicitly allows elimination of any specific tax deduction or credit if matched dollar-for-dollar by an overall cut in rates. And it says nothing about jobs.
The fact check continues:
To characterize his opposition to raising taxes as protecting tax breaks that send jobs abroad is wrong. Any tax benefit can be eliminated and offset by a rate cut or by other benefits without raising taxes overall, and without violating the terms of that pledge. This attack ad is false.
But the fact that someone signed the pledge doesn’t necessarily mean they are opposed to closing loopholes for off-shore companies.
Our friends at FactCheck.org have been knocking down this claim since April, when the DCCC ran a TV ad against a Republican House candidate in Hawaii. They recently debunked the same claim in an ad in the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign.
Here’s the problem: The taxpayer pledge doesn’t prevent a signer from opposing any tax break as long as he or she finds a way to offset the resulting increase in taxes.
[The attack is] a huge leap of logic and it doesn’t prove Hurt supports the offshore loopholes. So we find the claim False.
“Tom Steyer needs to find honest and original consultants,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The plagiarized attack ads he’s running have already been proven false by several fact checkers four years ago, in 2010. Rather than attacking Joni Ernst, he should be praising her for her principled stand against higher taxes. Taxpayers in Iowa are looking for someone to stand up to the special interests in Washington and she is exactly the candidate to do that. Steyer deserves a refund from those who cheated him.”