Factcheck.org says Hare's commercial is wrong

Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2010, 11:05 pm
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Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
Bobby Schilling's campaign is claiming U.S. Rep. Phil Hare lied in a campaign commercial.

Mr. Schilling, a Republican, is challenging Mr. Hare, D-Rock Island, for the 17th Congressional District seat.

The Schilling campaign claimed Thursday that Mr. Hare lied when he said Mr. Schilling signed a pledge with Americans for Tax Reform, or ATR, "that would 'protect tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.'"

"It's one thing to attack Bobby, but it's another to completely lie about him," Terry Schilling, Schilling campaign manager, said in the release. "They're going to do everything they can to slander him for the next 47 days, and I get it -- they have nothing else to run on. It's part of the game. Still, I guess I thought a sitting Congressman would be a little bit more dignified. I clearly thought wrong."

To back its allegation, the Schilling campaign cited a report by factcheck.org, an independent group that examines claims made by politicians.

The report is about a congressional campaign in another state where a Republican candidate signed ATR's pledge, according to factcheck's website.

"A new Democratic attack ad accuses a Republican House candidate in Hawaii of signing a pledge protecting tax breaks for sending jobs overseas," the report states. "It could be a prototype of future attack ads against any number of other Republican House members and candidates, most of whom have signed the anti-tax pledge in question.

"But we find the ad to be false," the report states. "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 report also does not mention either Mr. Schilling or Mr. Hare directly.

The pledge is available on ATR's website, and it states that any candidate that signs will oppose "any and all efforts to increase the marginal tax income rates for individuals and/or businesses; and ... oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

Mr. Hare's camp, however, denies the claim is false and disagrees with factcheck's analysis.

"We stand by the statement (made by Mr. Hare) 100 percent," Hare spokesman Tim Schlittner said.

Mr. Schlittner said Mr. Hare's statements in the commercial concern loopholes in the U.S. tax code that allow multinational corporations that have stakes in America to largely avoid U.S. taxation by moving operations to other countries.

He said the ATR recently opposed a bill that would have closed some of those loopholes, stating it was a violation of the pledge.

By signing the pledge, Mr. Schilling has prevented himself from closing those loopholes if he should win the election, Mr. Schlittner said.

ATR did issue a release opposing the bill.

"The tax increases in question are all tax hikes on U.S. employers doing business overseas," the release states. "By raising these taxes, it will be more likely that jobs and entire companies will be shipped overseas."

To see factcheck.org's report, visit the website at http://www.factcheck.org/2010/04/a-false-tax-attack/

To see Americans for Tax Reform's pledge, go to http://atr.org/taxpayer-protection-pledge-a2882

To see their report on the bill that would have affected companies, go to: http://atr.org/tax-pledge-alert-atr-keyvote-againstbr-a5298#

To see Mr. Hare's campaign ad, go to http://www.youtube.com/friendsofphilhare


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