Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CA: AP gets it right about Gov. Schwarzenegger

Nice job of fact-checking by the AP re: the latest Schwarzenegger ad, here:
In a new television ad, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says his Democratic rival, Phil Angelides, will take the state backward "to a time we never want to see again," which the ad says was "when soaring taxes forced jobs and businesses to flee our state."

The problem is, there is no such time.

Campaign officials acknowledged Friday that the ad refers to the administration of former Gov. Gray Davis, who presided over the stock market bust and the recession and state budget crisis that followed.

But Davis did not raise taxes, except for suspending a few small credits, such as one for teachers - which Schwarzenegger also suspended. Davis allowed the vehicle license fee to go up at the very end of his tenure, but Schwarzenegger rescinded it and refunded the money as soon as he took office.

The idea that the California has lost a significant number of jobs from businesses leaving the state was also debunked in a recent study by the California Public Policy Institute.
What's really hilarious is the explanation by the Schwarzenegger camp:
Schwarzenegger strategist Steve Schmidt said the ad referred to a general perception among Californians that high taxes are hurting the state's business climate.
So if there is already a 'general perception' out there, it's okay to put out lies to support that 'general perception'. The strategist's statement is also debunked by the AP.
But, if they are too high, it is not because Davis raised them. In fact, the last California governor to significantly raise taxes was a Republican, Pete Wilson.

Davis actually cut some small taxes when the economy was booming. At the peak of the recession, Davis eliminated some tax credits, including the one for teachers.
Bonus points for the AP but I remember they aren't always so perceptive. I'm thinking of the job they did recently for Margaret Spellings and the Department of Education, an effort worthy of an Armstrong Williams award for best propaganda.