Save the gas: Texas Dems have their own 'truth team' in PolitiFact

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 in Blog with comments

by Dr. Rosemary Edwards,
Travis County Republican Party Chair

So the Texas Democratic Party has a new mission: to send out a team of Legislators across the Lone Star State to “correct” their Republican counterparts.

The “Texas Truth Team” -- comprised of Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Houston), state Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin), and about 15 other legislators -- are on a mission to defend the Obama Administration from conservative criticism.

But with gasoline approaching $4/gallon, they may want to stay home and save themselves the effort. After all, the Democrats already have a “truth team” of their own. It’s called PolitiFact.

We took a gander at the last 50 PolitiFact stories published by the Austin American-Statesman (as of 2/23/12). Statements made by Republican luminaries have been questioned 36 times.

And how many times have Democratic figureheads been challenged? A whopping 9 times. 

More than half of the statements made by Republicans were labeled “false,” “flip flop,” or some synonym of outright deceit. And the Democrats? Just 10 percent were deemed anything less than gospel truth.

With Republicans being challenged four times as often in the state capital’s standard-bearing newspaper, one wonders why Mr. Richie and friends feel such an urgency to crusade on behalf of liberal causes.

We’re not claiming any Democratic operatives are pulling strings behind the scenes at the Statesman or with PolitiFact. But birds of a feather flock together. And a quick look at the three primary sponsors of PolitiFact's mothership in Tampa Bay, Fla. -- the Knight Foundation, Craigslist Foundation, and the Collins Center for Public Policy -- shows a distinct liberal slant.

While the Knight Foundation -- an outreach of the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain – supports a wide variety of causes, it is far from a conservative-friendly institution. Supported projects include bringing gay choral groups to high schools, several “community organizing” efforts, and National La Raza’s goal to loosen immigration restrictions.

The other two foundations also have a profile of bankrolling leftist causes.

Though Craigslist’s Foundation (now in the process of closing) often gives to tech industry causes, it has financed liberal organizations such as Advocates for Human Rights and the San Francisco Women’s group (which, by the way, rejected Craigslist’s donations because of the site’s refusal to police sex-oriented “adult services” categories). even boasts a peace symbol as its icon in Internet browser bars, which may something about its belief in foreign policy.

The Collins Center is named for the legendary Democratic Florida Gov. Leroy Collins and supports many laudable goals in informing the public about Florida state and national politics. That said, the center has issued papers about “climate change,” looking at the pros and cons of Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium, and examining “ways the state can maximize” federal health care reform.

We understand that PolitiFact is aligned with the left. With all due respect to the editor, we’ve come to expect no less from the mainstream media’s projects.

So please don’t act surprised when we Republicans make efforts of our own to correct common misconceptions of our principles and our candidates. We have a lot further to go in educating the public than do our Democratic counterparts.

Mr. Richie and company have it relatively easy. They may as well stay off our crowded highways and help reduce their carbon footprint this summer while motorists are feeling the pain at the pump (which, by the way, is partially due to Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium).


Fifty most recent Politifacts on Politicians (2/23/12):*

1.     Boyd Richie (Texas Democratic Party Chair): True
2.     Texas Democratic Party (D): True
3.     Paul Sadler (D):  Mostly True
4.     Eddie Lucio Jr. (D): Mostly True
5.     Steny Hoyer (D): Mostly True
6.     Charlie Gonzalez (D): Half True
7.     Efrain de la Fuente (D): Half True
8.     Silvestre Reyes (D): Half True
9.     Barack Obama (D): Pants on Fire

1.   Rick Perry (R): True
2.   Tom Leppert (R): Mostly True
3.   Rick Perry (R): Mostly True
4.   R Party of Texas (R): Mostly True
5.   Rick Perry (R): Mostly True
6.   Anita Perry (R): Mostly true
7.   Rick Perry (R): Half True
8.   Newt Gingrich (R): Half True
9.   Ron Paul (R): Half True
10.  Craig James (R): Half True
11.  Ron Paul (R): Half True
12.  Rick Perry (R): Half True
13.  Mitt Romney (R): Half True
14.  Mitt Romney (R): Half True
15.  Rick Perry (R): Half True
16.  Rick Perry (R): Mostly False
17.  Rick Perry (R): Mostly False
18.  Greg Abbott (R): Mostly False
19.  Rick Perry (R): Mostly False
20.  Mitt Romney (R): Mostly False
21.  Kyleen Wright (R): Mostly False
22.  Rick Perry (R): Mostly False
23.  Rick Perry (R): Mostly False
24.  Rick Perry (R): False
25.  Lamar Smith (R): False
26.  Rick Perry (R): False
27.  Susan Combs (R): False
28.  David Dewhurst (R): False
29.  Rick Santorum (R): Pants on Fire
30.  Ted Cruz (R): Pants on Fire
31.  Myra Crownover (R): Pants on fire
32.  Rick Perry (R): Pants on Fire
33.  Ted Cruz (R): Pants on Fire
34.  Rick Perry (R): Half Flip
35.  Elizabeth Ames Jones (R): Flip Flop
36.  Susan Combs (R): Full Flop

*Note: We looked at the 50 most recent entries as of March 23, 2012.  Five of those stories were about groups and not individual politicians, so they were not included.

Source: (2/27/12)