Ad Watch: Kirkpatrick, critics short on context

2010-09-15T05:05:00Z Ad Watch: Kirkpatrick, critics short on contextCYNDY COLE Sun Staff Reporter Arizona Daily Sun
September 15, 2010 5:05 am  • 

A television commercial from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she has a record of fiscal restraint and independence, and that she attempted to cut congressional paychecks.

Democrat Kirkpatrick and Republican nominee Paul Gosar are vying for the U.S. House seat from the 1st District, which stretches from Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation all the way to Casa Grande. Election Day is Nov. 2.

Accuracy: Most points are accurate, but the ad lacks context, and one point is debatable.

In brief: In the commercial, Kirkpatrick says she is giving back part of her salary (roughly $8,700 annually) to help backfill a federal debt in the trillions.

She also says she is: pushing to cut congressional salaries until Congress balances the budget, opposed the Wall Street bailout, and is independent.

It's true that she has put forth a bill to cut congressional salaries and that she opposed Wall Street bailouts while campaigning for election in 2008.

But the pay-cut bill saves a trifle compared to the overall deficit, and the bill has gone nowhere in Congress.

The assertion of independence is questionable. Kirkpatrick votes with her party most of the time.

Television commercial transcript: Fox News commentator: "Even if they don't pass this, you are taking the first step, right?"

Kirkpatrick: "I am. I'm already giving 5 percent of my salary and dedicating it to the public debt. We need to restore some fiscal discipline and take responsibility."

Visual: Fox reporter, cuts to Kirkpatrick speaking, and Casa Grande Dispatch headline: "Kirkpatrick calls for 5% congressional pay cut," before cutting back to Kirkpatrick speaking.

Male narrator's voice: "Ann Kirkpatrick cut her own pay and is pushing to cut congressional salaries, until they balance the budget. Even broke with her own party to oppose the Wall Street bank bailout."

Visual: Kirkpatrick speaking to a man standing next to a truck, a USA Today article listing Kirkpatrick's pay-cut bill, Kirkpatrick talking to various people, and someone in a law-enforcement uniform, followed by Kirkpatrick speaking to Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribil.

Male narrator's voice: "Ann Kirkpatrick. Independent, like Arizona."

More on the facts: Kirkpatrick introduced H.R. 4720 in March, proposing that each member of Congress be paid 5 percent less starting in January 2011.

In a March speech on the House floor, Kirkpatrick acknowledged that the federal debt was more than $12.4 trillion in March, and could reach $20 trillion by 2016.

Kirkpatrick says she has been returning 5 percent of her roughly $174,000 salary, in the form of $870 checks each month since March.

Her staff provided copies to the Daily Sun of those monthly checks written to the Bureau of Public Debt.

Kirkpatrick's pay-cutting bill has made it through no House committees and thus has not received a vote in the U.S. House.

Kirkpatrick has said she supports a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. But she has not said how she would balance the budget, which this year is running a deficit of $1.4 trillion.

As for the Wall Street bank bailout, as FactCheck.org notes, the bailout vote occurred before Kirkpatrick was elected to a first term in 2008.

Kirkpatrick's campaign has said the congresswoman opposed the bank bailouts while on the campaign trail, even if she did not have the opportunity to vote on them.

The ad fails to note that nearly all of the bank bailout loans have been repaid with interest.

As to her assertion of independence, the Washington Post calculates that Kirkpatrick has voted with the Democratic majority 86 percent of the time so far in her first term.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. lakebob
    Report Abuse
    lakebob - September 17, 2010 7:35 am
    Dan Cady said: "When calculating the percentage of agreement with the party, all votes are counted by WaPost, including those numerous benign votes where both parties agree. When you factor out those non-votes, the percentage of agreement drops off geometrically. The more meaningful value is more like 56%, just better than a toss of the coin."
    I guess your defense of Kirkpatrick is that she is not a real Dem. Some defense. If you do not want a real Dem, vote for Gosar.
  2. John S
    Report Abuse
    John S - September 16, 2010 2:57 pm
    Ms. Kirkpatrick is not fiscally responsible like she want's to portray. She voted for Obamacare. $8700 is hardly a drop in the bucket compared to what it's going to cost us. Vote her out.
  3. santafray
    Report Abuse
    santafray - September 16, 2010 1:30 pm
    All the socialist-leaning pols who mandate that we be taxed to fund abortions have to go - that's about as unconstitutional as it gets. Oh wait, Hussein signed an executive order so that wouldn't happen. OK, I'm all better now, but will still do my best to vote out anyone who sides with this current regime. Hope no one's offended by 'regime' - it's the same word used by the network media when Bush was pres.
  4. Steven E
    Report Abuse
    Steven E - September 16, 2010 5:03 am
    I want to cut her salary 100% by getting someone new into her job. Anyone who votes with the Obama crowd has to go.
  5. Dan Cady
    Report Abuse
    Dan Cady - September 15, 2010 7:49 pm
    When calculating the percentage of agreement with the party, all votes are counted by WaPost, including those numerous benign votes where both parties agree. When you factor out those non-votes (designed only to obscure the politics), the percentage of agreement drops off geometrically. When you say Anne is in 86% agreement with party, the more meaningful value is more like 56%, just better than a toss of the coin. You grossly inflate her dedication to democratic principles.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick