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Truth Test #9 - Loranne Ausley Ad 'Mess'

8:00 AM, Oct 22, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This week a number of you asked me to vet an ad paid for by the Loranne Ausley campaign.  

Ausley is a Democrat running for chief financial officer of Florida. The ad attacks her opponent, Republican Jeff Atwater. It's entitled "Mess." Let's take a look.

Statement: Tallahassee's a mess and Jeff Atwater is part of the problem.

This is opinion. Whether there's a mess in Tallahassee and who is or isn't part of it is up to you. Let's move on.

Statement: Atwater is busy helping his friends and wasting our tax dollars - 48 million for a building so lavish, it's dubbed the Taj Mahal.

This is false.

The images on this ad show an actor playing Atwater shaking hands with these supposed friends and shoving envelopes into his pocket. There is no evidence that anything of this nature ever occurred.

Atwater voted for a large transportation bill back in 2007 in which the building in question was tacked on at the last minute.  There is no evidence that he played any major role in that project beyond voting for that transportation bill.  And just about everyone, democrats and republicans voted with him.  The bill passed the Senate with a 37-2 vote.  The vote is attached to this story on our website.

Information about the vote

Statement: A hundred thousand for a golf museum.

This is false.

While Atwater did request the money back in 2003 to pay for expenses at the PGA Historical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, the money was never allocated. Until 2009, it was an acceptable practice to include this type of request for community projects, which Ausley also has done in the past. 

Supporting Documents:

DOCUMENT 1DOCUMENT 2DOCUMENT 3DOCUMENT 4 

Statement:

And a hundred million to build a private prison to help a big contributor.

This is false.

Funding for this prison was passed as part of the 2008 budget, but there's no evidence the company that built the prison was a big Atwater contributor.

In fact, the vetting site, politifact.com said records show Atwater has received a total of $2,500 from the company in question since the year 2000. That wouldn't come close to qualifying as a major contributor. 

Politifact.org on Atwater

Statement: 

I'm Loranne Ausley.  As chief financial officer, I'll eliminate pay to play contracts and hold politicians like Jeff Atwater accountable for how they're spending our tax dollars.

This is opinion.  For those of you wondering what 'Pay to play' means, it simply refers to those special interests who contribute to a candidate in exchange for a vote for whatever that contributor is requesting.  Again, there is no evidence to suggest Atwater was involved in any such schemes.

Statement:

It's time to clean up the mess in Tallahassee. I think we might need some more mops.

This is opinion. What does or doesn't need mopping is up to you.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FROM THE CAMPAIGNS:

 

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