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Tag: Political Smell Test


Political Smell Test: Evidence lacking for tie between marriage law, firing & lawsuit

THE CLAIMS: A TV commercial that opponents of Washington’s same-sex marriage referendum started airing Tuesday says, “Experience shows how Referendum 74 can harm people who oppose gay marriage.”

It then goes on to spotlight three people who say they have been harmed: Damian Goddard and Jim and Mary O’Reilly.

Jim O’Reilly says: “A lesbian couple sued us for not supporting their gay wedding because of our Christian beliefs. We had to pay $30,000 and can no longer host any weddings at our inn.”

Goddard says: “I was a national sportscaster in Canada. When

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Political Smell Test: R-74 won’t affect elderly straight couples’ benefits

THE CLAIMS: A campaign mail piece urging support of Washington’s same-sex marriage referendum ties the measure to domestic partnerships for the elderly.

“Why do seniors need the protection of domestic partnerships?” the mailer from Washington United for Marriage asks, and then answers: “Because of a Social Security ‘marriage penalty,’ many seniors would lose hard-earned health care, military or pension benefits if they re-marry, or have to pay higher taxes on their Social Security benefits.

“Approving REFERENDUM 74 allows any seniors age 62 or older to have a domestic partnership if marrying would cause them to lose their retirement

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Political Smell Test: What I-1125 means for politicians, experts and bureaucrats

WHAT THE CAMPAIGNS SAY: An ad targeting Tim Eyman‘s toll initiative says it would transfer power to politicians.

An Eastern Washington farmer tells viewers:

Tolls in Washington State are set by an independent commission made up of experts, but if Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 passes, it transfers that power to politicians in Olympia, making Washington the only state in the country to give them that authority. And 1125 increases bonding costs of road projects by up to 18 percent, meaning higher tolls and higher gas taxes. So more costs for us, and more power for them.

Eyman’s side hasn’t been

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Political Smell Test: Taxpayers’ bill if I-1163 wins

WHAT THE CAMPAIGNS SAY: Two sides fighting over the training requirements for home care aides are making conflicting claims about taxpayer costs if Initiative 1163 passes. Neither side is running ads so far, so the claims that costs are anywhere between $14 million and $80 million are made in public venues and in interviews.

Read full post.


Political Smell Test: Will Initiative 1183 make us less safe?

WHAT THE CAMPAIGNS SAY: You’ve seen the ads. Each side seems to have its own stable of firefighters, police and sheriffs.

A Yes firefighter says “1183 dedicates millions in new revenue for police, fire and emergency services statewide” and a police officer says it “strengthens enforcement.”

But a No firefighter says “1183 doesn’t add a single penny or a single new officer for increased enforcement, even though we’ll have four times as many liquor stores, dramatically increasing teen access to hard liquor.”

One of those must be wrong, right?

Then there’s the dispute between the firefighter who says “1183

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Smell Test: Ads promoting I-1107 mostly fail

What the ads say: Both the Yes on 1107 TV ads and the mailers sent to thousands of homes make several claims about a tax package the initiative would repeal.

A narrator (played by actor Michael Gregory) standing in grocery store dressed as grocer says “the new tax scheme the politicians in Olympia put on grocery items makes no sense.”
We’ll look at three of the issues raised in the ads.

– “They put new taxes on bottled water and other common beverages, on foods made with meat, fruits and vegetables…”
– “And under the politician’s absurd definition of candy, products like these organic nutrition bars (Belly Timber Survival Bars) are taxed, while real candy bars like these (Nestle’s Crunch and Twix) are exempt.”
– “Even worse, they put new taxes on food products made by Washington companies, like locally made chili and pancake mix but not on similar products made by their competitors in other states and countries.”

What the initiative will do:
the 2010 session of the state Legislature raised several taxes including five covered by I-1077. The tax package:
– removed candy from the list of products exempt from the sales tax permanently.
– removed bottled water from the list of products exempt from the sales tax until July 1, 2013.
– enacted an excise tax of two cents a can on carbonated beverages until July 1, 2013.
– clarified a tax on food processors that was effected by a 2005 state supreme court decision. The court ruled that processed foods that contain meat were eligible for a special tax break enacted in 1967 to help perishable meat processors.
– clarified a tax on food processors that might have triggered a similar supreme court ruling. The legislature stated that it did not intend that a tax break for perishable fruit and vegetable processors did not apply to manufacturers that put fruit and vegetables in processed foods.

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Political Smell Test: Reichert’s “WhoisSuzan” site and DelBene’s stimulus support

The claim:

Republican Congressman Dave Reichert has launched a website, whoissuzan.com, that attacks his challenger for the 8th District U.S. House seat, Democrat Suzan DelBene.

The site, also referred to in some of Reichert’s TV ads now being aired, contains the web page, “Suzan’s Spending Spree,” which claims DelBene supports reckless spending policies, including a host of purportedly dubious stimulus-funded projects nationwide

Here’s the full text of the page in question:

“In an era of out-of-control spending and record high debt, Suzan DelBene has cast the concerns of Washington voters aside in favor of supporting the reckless policies being forced through Congress by Democratic leadership in Washington D.C. One such measure was the so-called “stimulus” legislation, which cost American taxpayers over $862 billion but was ineffective in growing the economy or keeping unemployment in check. Here are just ten of the projects Suzan supports:
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Smell Test: Could Legislature extend income tax to everyone? Yes. Would they? Who knows

WHAT THE ADS SAY: In TV ad after TV ad, opponents of Initiative 1098 have been portraying it as a slippery slope: The income tax may only be on high earners, but the Legislature can extend it to everyone, they say.

It “can be extended to you in just two years,” one says. And a radio ad urges you to “vote no, or you pay an income tax for the rest of your life.”

But a commercial aired recently by the initiative’s supporters says the opposite: “I-1098 can’t be changed without a vote of the people.”

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