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Allen looks to coalesce Tea Party support with Johnson endorsement

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The name Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin)  probably doesn’t mean much to the average voter in Virginia. But U.S. Senate candidate George Allen (R) wasn’t necessarily looking to impress the “average” voter when he announced Johnson’s support of his campaign and then brought him on the stump with him Friday in Richmond.

Johnson is a wealthy businessman who ran a largely self-financed campaign to sweep long time liberal Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) from office. Johnson received a great deal of support from the Tea Party and is happy to be associated with the movement. A fiscal deficit hawk, Johnson supports deep spending cuts and is strongly opposed to the health care reform act and the federal stimulus.

Allen has a lukewarm connection with tea partiers in Virginia. One of the most prominent tea party leaders in the Commonwealth, Chesterfield’s Jamie Radtke decided to run against him in the upcoming republican primary.  He has had a mixed success appealing to local tea party groups as he looks to seal up the nomination.  Allen rarely appeals directly to the tea party but once said he was an “original member” of the tea party.

Allen’s biggest problem with the Tea Party comes from his last time in the Senate. Six years of supporting largely Republican led proposals that bumped up the federal debt and is a period of time that hard-core Tea Party members are very critical of.  Johnson’s visit to Virginia it allowed his critics to remind voters about that time in office. Both Radtke on the right and the democrats on the left were all to eager to dredge up the past.

Radtke released a very critical web video that called Allen out for his support for “40,000 earmarks”.  Web videos rarely have widespread appeal, but Radkte got a big bump when PolitiFact Virginia chose to rate the claim.  Their “mostly true” rating pushed the video to a much wider audience. (It was in our PolitiFact Virginia report this week on NBC12).  Democrats meanwhile had a field day pointing out the mixed message Allen has had with earmarks, saying he was “proud” of the ones he had brought back to Virginia and said they were ok, as long as they were accompanied by detailed information as to who proposed them.

Johnson worked to rein in the criticism of Allen in event today at Bill’s BBQ in Richmond. He strongly supported the former governor and senator’s leadership skills. Johnson argued that while progress is being made in Washington, real change hasn’t occurred because the Congress needs more people with Allen’s experience and ability to bring people together. He also said that Allen’s first go around in Washington was much different than things are now.

“Last time George Allen was in the senate we had manageable deficits,” said Johnson.  “Nobody liked them at all, but at least they were manageable.”

Despite the lack of rousing support from the Tea Party, there is simply no evidence that Allen is suffering. The few polls taken on the GOP primary show him with very large leads and he is neck and neck with his democratic opponent Tim Kaine in just about every poll.  It is clear that Allen’s effort to reach out to that wing of the party is subtle.  When we asked him about what role they will play in his election, he said they were important but went out of his way not to single them out.

“We are getting good support from a lot of folks,” Allen said, he went on to say, “We are welcoming every one to the A- Team.”

This won’t be the end of Allen’s effort and it will likely continue beyond the primary.  The Republican nominee, no matter who they may be, will want the passionate support of the Tea Party to help push them over the hump come November in what is destined to be a razor thin election.

See clips from our interview with Johnson and Allen below:

The full release from today’s Allen event with Johnson can be found after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

April 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

PolitifactVirginia: Kaine “half-flipped” on adpotion for gays and unmarried couples

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Former governor and current candidate for Virginia senate,  Tim Kaine is under the spotlight this week. Just how far has his position on adoption changed since he was a candidate for governor? PolitiFact takes on the challenge.

Our report can be seen below:

The question is.. does this half-flip present problems or opportunities for Kaine the candidate?  As one twitter follower pointed out to me “evolving” positions aren’t always a bad thing depending on your perspective. The problem for Kaine might be that he mayt not even be 100% sure about how he feels about this issue.

You can see the full PolitiFactVirginia report on this issue by clicking here.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

PolitiFact Virginia: McAuliffe’s claim on debt “true”

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He was making a point about Donald Trump, but the figure Terry McAuliffe threw out about U.S. debt owed to China caught the eye of the truth seekers at PolitiFact Virginia. Here is this week’s PolitiFact Virginia report.

Any true rating is welcome news to a man hoping to run for governor once again.

You can see all the details behind the report at PolitiFactVirginia.com .

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

PolitiFact Virginia: VEA claim on teacher pay false

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To learn more about this topic,  see the full report on PolitiFactVirginia.com

Written by Ryan Nobles

January 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Hurt uses Wall Street Journal to rebut PolitiFact ruling

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Congressman-Elect Robert Hurt is not backing down. He still believes that the Federal Health Care Act is an example of a “government takeover” of health care. Hurt and many other Republican candidates and politicians were tagged by PolitiFact with the “lie of the year” because of this claim.

Here is our PolitiFact Virginia report on Congressman-elect Hurt:

Hurt has help in his fight against PolitiFact. In a rare move, the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote a scathing column hammering the media outlets that support PolitiFact. The Journal claims that PolitiFact went too far criticizing politicians who dubbed health care reform a government takeover and spelled out the reasons why they believe the Republican argument has merit.

In part the Journal points out how the Obama administration is using the PolitiFact report, (which was the national outlet’s “lie of the year”) to defend the plan and attack the GOP for questioning it. Their editorial board believes that PolitiFact is not the final word on health care debate and even questions the objectivity of the reporters who contribute to the program.

“Like other “fact checking” enterprises, its animating conceit is that opinions are what ideologues have, when in reality PolitiFact’s curators also have political views and values that influence their judgments about facts and who is right in any debate.”
-Wall Street Journal Editorial
PolitiFiction: True ‘lies’ about ObamaCare.

Hurt’s team is now using the Journal editorial to defend his statement.

Which side do you come out on? Chances are with much of today’s political debate (especially this issue) the answer probably hinges on where you stand on the issue.

Written by Ryan Nobles

December 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

PolitiFact Virginia: McDonnell “flops” on VRS contributions

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During his campaign for Governor, Bob McDonnell made it very clear that he would not force State Employees to contribute to their pension plans. He spelled out that committment with a very direct statement on his campaign web site.

“The tough fiscal climate…is no excuse for breaking a longstanding commitment to the men and women who have dedicated their careers to the service of Virginia’s people”

But as he looks to balance the state’s budget, the situation with the state’s pension plan has gone from bad to worse. Without raising taxes, McDonnell has only one place to go to make the pension system solvent, the employees themselves. That is why he has proposed a plan to force employees to contribute 5% of their salaries to their pensions. The contribution would be offset with a 3% raise, but overall employees will see a 2% drop in their take home pay.

The reporters at the Richmond Times-Dispatch determined that this moves is a “full-flop” from McDonnell. You can read their entire report on PolitiFactVirginia.com.

But was that “flop” such bad thing? We ask that question in this week’s PolitiFact Virginia Report:

Written by Ryan Nobles

December 27, 2010 at 8:24 am

Posted in PolitiFact Virginia

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PolitiFact Virginia: Howell’s pants are on fire

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The Speaker of the House of Delegates William Howell is under the microscope this week in our PolitiFact Virginia report. During an appearance on “Freedom and Prosperity” Radio, Howell asserted that the Federal Government was making plans to force Americans to role private retirement over to the government to protect social security.

PolitiFact investigated that claim and found Howell’s assertion was so far off that his “pants are on fire”.

You can see their full report by clicking here.

This week’s PolitiFact Virginia report from NBC12 is below-

Written by Ryan Nobles

December 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm

PolitiFact Virginia: McDonnell claim on jobs ruled “mostly true”

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From the first day of his campaign for Governor, Bob McDonnell has been touting a record focused on creating jobs in the Commonwealth.  The Republican used the slogan “Bobs 4 Jobs” right from the beginning.  McDonnell, who recently described himself to Time as “results oriented“,  believes he has delivered on that promise.

During an appearance on MSNBC’S “Morning Joe” on the day of the election McDonnell claimed that Virginia has added 60,000 net jobs since he took office.

That claim put the writers of PolitiFact Virginia to work. They determined that McDonnell’s claim was “mostly true”. He didn’t get full credit for two reasons. 1- His number was a bit inflated. (Only 55,400 jobs have been added according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 2- It is difficult give the McDonnell administration all of the credit for that job creation.

You can see the complete report on PolitiFactVirginia.com. You can watch our full report below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Scott’s claim on Bush Tax Cuts ruled “false”

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This week it is Rep. Bobby Scott who is put under the microscope by Politifact Virginia.  On numerous occassions, Rep. Scott made the claim  that allowing the Bush era tax cuts to expire would come close to eliminating the federal budget deficit in 4 years. 

In the Richmond Times- Dispatch voter guide, Scott wrote: “Extending the Bush tax cuts will add $3.6 trillion to the national debt. If all of the tax cuts expire on schedule, the budget will be close to being balanced in 4 years.”

He made a similar statement on NBC12 First at 4 during our “Meet the Candidates” interviews.

“Let the tax cuts expire. While we’re in a recession, use the money to create jobs. You can be in balance and close to balance in 4 years,” he said.  

According to the Times-Dispatch PolitiFact team, that statement is FALSE.

Our PolitiFact Virginia Report from NBC12 can be seen below. The full story can be found at PolitiFactVirginia.com.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm

PolitiFact Virginia debuts on NBC12

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Update: Here is our first PolitiFact Report based on this entry at PolitifactVirginia.com:


We are excited to begin a new partnership with the Richmond Times-Dispatch that roots out the truth from the people running for and holding office. PolitiFact is a Pulitzer prize-winning web project that tasks reporters with taking quotes from politicians and then fact checking them.  The reporters then take the results and rate their truth on an easy to understand scale.

The T-D has already launched the project and you can see some of the statements they have judged on PolitiFactVirginia.com.

Thursday on First at 4, we will begin our part of this partnership. Each week we will pick out one or two of these statements and analyze what the Times-Dispatch discovered. We will hear from the reporter who did the digging and show you how they rated the claim.

The first installment will be today on NBC12 First at 4. You can see it live on NBC12-TV and streamed on NBC12.com.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm