Paging PolitiFact: The astonishing falsehood at the center of Bruce Starr's campaign

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Jobs. Every politician runs on 'em. Every politician claims to have created thousands, and has a plan for creating thousands (or millions) more.

And claims about the numbers of jobs "created" are just about impossible to fact check. Let's just stipulate that calculating job creation estimates is going to wind up in a fog of economic theory and actuarial nonsense that lead to conflicting claims on all sides.

Which might explain why PolitiFact hasn't bothered to fact check Bruce Starr's claim - in his television advertising, in his direct mail, and on the stump - that he "championed legislation creating over 30,000 family-wage jobs."

This is not a post about fact-checking that number. Rather it's a post about fact-checking the "championed legislation" part of Bruce Starr's claim.

Here's a screenshot from Starr's ad.

See that wee footnote? It asserts that his job-creation claim comes from his work on SB 71, HB 2278, HB 5036, and HB 2041. (Watch the ad here, it's 23 seconds in.)

Now, bill numbers get recycled, and Starr didn't cite what years we're talking about, but a little digging makes it almost entirely obvious - since lots of bills aren't about jobs at all.

So, let's sum up: Starr claims to have "championed legislation" to create jobs - but he had nothing to do with any of 'em, except the one that raised taxes for government spending. Which is the exact opposite of what Starr is campaigning on now.

If you want to discuss this one, or any other PolitiFact that you love or hate, the Oregonian's Janie Har and Ryan Kost are doing a live-chat at noon about PolitiFact's process and product.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Brad Avakian's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    Very interested in their chat. I had a mini-discussion on Twitter with Janie about the one checking claims that Buehler might put VBM "at risk." It baffles me how that's even a candidate for FactChecking...since there are no facts! It is an assertion in an ad, based on some statements by Buehler. He made some other statements too, including one where he said he doesn't want to change VBM...and that's treated like the "fact." Since one side said uh huh, and the other said nuh-uh, apparently it's not true!

    OR's Politifact is a complete mess.

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      I have long been a supporter of Kate Brown. I disagree with Dan Meek and several others with whom I have worked over the years about both her character and her qualifications, which I believe to be exemplary.

      I think that Oregonians are fortunate to have two honorable, credible, and highly qualified candidates from which to choose for this office.

      That said, Bill Bradbury made a claim to the effect that Knute Buehler intends to end vote by mail. That claim is false, and is justified by none of Buehler's public statements on the matter.

      Mr Bradbury's false statement formed the rationale for a half million dollar independent expenditure campaign against Buehler that amplified those false statements by Bradbury.

      That ad campaign looks to me as though it will be determinative in this election, and I think that ANY time an election is decided based on false or misleading advertising, that's not a particularly healthy thing for our democracy.

      I am also disappointed by how much poisoning the well there is from the left about Politifact. The only thing I can figure is that some individuals and organizations would prefer to operate in an environment where they can make false statements and not have those statements brought to light in a very public way.

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    but... but... government doesn't create jobs, right??? ;)

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    One minor correction to my original post: In 2005, Brad Avakian was a State Representative, not a State Senator.

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    Hoping the unions and other supporters will GOTV for Avakian. OR can't have an extremist RWNJ right-to-work freak for Labor Commissioner.

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