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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking the recent campaign attacks



As we head toward the Florida primary on Aug. 14, PolitiFact Florida has fact-checked a flurry of political attacks. Here’s a summary of our recent fact-checks.

•  Liberal firebrand Alan Grayson is back. In 2010, the Democrat lost his seat representing the Orlando area in the U.S. House of Representatives. Grayson is running for a new seat and is back with attacks on his presumed opponent, former state Rep. John Quiñones, a Republican.

A mailer from Grayson claims, "Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed the Quiñones Plan because it was ‘taxation without representation on a large scale.’ " We rated that Half True. The mailer accurately quotes Bush’s veto but leaves out the rest of the story on the plan.

• U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has launched a new attack ad on his presumed challenger Connie Mack IV, the Republican congressman from Fort Myers. Nelson, a Democrat, said Mack has been "a promoter for Hooters with a history of bar room brawling, altercations and road rage."

By examining public records and news accounts, we found that those events happened, but  years ago, when Mack was in his 20s. We rated Nelson’s statement Mostly True.

• A TV ad from American Crossroads says President Barack Obama has "added $4 billion in debt every day." We rated that Half True. The debt is going up by that much, but Obama isn’t the only one responsible for that.

• We also checked dueling claims in the Republican primary for Florida’s 7th congressional district in Central Florida. Thanks to redistricting, two incumbents -- John Mica and Sandy Adams -- are fighting for the nod.

Mica, a 20-year incumbent, said Barack Obama "counted on Sandy Adams" to approve stimulus spending. That got a Pants on Fire rating. Adams wasn’t even in Congress in 2009 when the stimulus passed.

Adams, meanwhile, charged that Mica “voted to borrow $10 trillion.” That got a Half True. Mica has voted for things that sent the deficit higher, but he didn’t vote for $10 trillion in borrowed spending. We rated her statement Half True.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 4:48pm]


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