Fact Checking the Hynes-Quinn Ad Wars

Competing lies

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 2:09 PM CDT
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Fact Checking the Hynes-Quinn Ad Wars

Dan Hynes and Gov. Pat Quinn have started their media war.

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The truth is out there. Just not in our political ads.

Veteran political reporter Mike Flannery, from CBS2, fact-checked the ads now airing from the Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes campaign and found both lacking in truth.

Dan Hynes Ad

Hynes, for example, is touting a progressive income tax that would only hike rates on those making more than $200,000 a year.

Hard to argue with, except it would take a constitutional amendment to make happen and wouldn't solve the immediate budget crisis.

"Not the whole truth," Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability told Flannery in passing judgement on the ad.

Hynes is also going after Quinn for proposing "a 50 percent tax increase," which is a bit disingenuous because of the small numbers involved. The increase proposed was from 3 percent to 4.5 percent. You can call that a 50 percent increase if you want and be accurate, but if the Cubs scored two runs in a game after scoring one and you ballyhooed it as a 100 percent increase in scoring, folks would likely think you were nuts.

Quinn's Response

Quinn also isn't being truthful. When he touts proposing a tax cut for families earning under $60,000, he fails to note that he ultimately agreed to a plan that would have increased taxes 67 percent. I could propose a tax cut for every single Illinoisan tomorrow and use it in ads even if I abandoned it once negotiations started with legislators and look like a great guy, but that wouldn't reflect reality in any way.

Hynes once proposed "truth in budgeting." And rightly so. But we'd all also be better off with truth in budget ads.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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