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The article:

They flipped. They flopped. We wrote.

By Willoughby Mariano
Published on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.

The Flip-O-Meter spun like a top last week. And once the Truth-O-Meter burned.

We owe this to the State Road and Tollway Authority, which voted to extend the toll on Ga. 400 to 2020. And Democrat candidate for governor Roy Barnes, who mentioned he'd like to run a "civil and polite" campaign to win back his old job.

And there's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose office took a quote out of context. Hence the smoke.

Others fared better. Citizens of the Republic, a group run by veterans of President Ronald Reagan's administration, stuck to the facts. And a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate got things half right.

We invite you to join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. You keep reading, and we'll keep the old Truth-O-Meter churning.

Here's how we ruled last week:

 

Roy Barnes: On running a "civil and polite" campaign
 

A TV ad funded by Democrats calls Republican candidate for governor Nathan Deal "slippery as a bag of snakes."

This gave us pause.

Didn't the Democrats' candidate, former Gov. Roy Barnes, say in an Aug. 11 TV interview that "just because we have differences doesn"t mean that we have to call each other names"?

We pulled out our Flip-O-Meter, which we used on Barnes in an earlier item after he said in that same interview that he'd try to run a "civil and polite" campaign. We ruled Barnes did a Half Flip because his TV ads grew increasingly negative.

So how's Barnes doing now?

One expert we consulted described "Fabrication," the pro-Barnes ad, as negative. Another said it wasn't strictly negative but wasn't "civil and polite."

Since our experts were split, we looked at four other pro-Barnes TV commercials.

Two stuck to the facts, but one made accusations without clear proof. Another is almost all insinuation.

Barnes has gone deep enough into negative territory to earn a Full Flop.


 
State Road and Tollway Authority: On charging a toll for motorists to use Ga. 400 after it was slated to expire

During days of grinding traffic on Ga. 400, some drivers took refuge in the thought that they wouldn't have to pay the 50-cent toll much longer. It was set to expire in 2011.

That changed when the State Road and Tollway Authority voted to extend the toll to 2020.

Did the authority flip-flop?

Leaders began looking in the late 1980s to ease traffic by creating a 6.2-mile toll road extending Ga. 400 from the suburbs to I-85. After some neighborhood groups protested, the authority  compromised by requiring the tolls be discontinued when the road was paid for.

Last month, the authority came up with a wish list of road projects it would like to implement if it had more money from sources such as, say, a Ga. 400 toll. So it voted for the toll to continue, with a brief stop so it can be considered new.

Still, a toll is a toll. Full Flop.

Citizens for the Republic: Children born today will carry a $30,000 share of the national debt.

Citizens for the Republic unveiled a television ad called "Mourning in America" that mirrored the famous President Ronald Reagan ad "Morning in America."

The 1984 ad showed pride. The new version, by a group run by Reagan administration veterans, is bleak.

"There's mourning in America," the ad begins. "Today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work. Businesses shuttered. Twenty-nine hundred families will have their homes foreclosed by nightfall. This afternoon, 6,000 men and women will be married, each of their children to be born with a $30,000 share of the runaway national debt."

All and all, the statistics were correct.

The most recent unemployment figure is 14.9 million in August. The leading authority on foreclosures puts August figures at 3,076 foreclosures per day. Federal 2009 statistics show about 5,690 marriages per day. The national debt figure, which is based on the U. S. population and a debt estimate for 2010, also works. 

True.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif: Says House Republican leader John Boehner "admits 'we are not going to be any different than we"ve been' " by returning to "the same failed economic policies" that "wrecked our economy."

Democrats say that if the Republicans take power, they will return to the policies when George W. Bush was president that Democrats blame for the recession.
 
A Sept. 23 item on Pelosi's "Gavel" blog about House Republicans' "Pledge to America," their statement of policy principles, said, "Answering a question this morning about the preamble to the GOP"s ‘Pledge to America," House Republican Leader John Boehner admitted [...] 'We are not going to be any different than we"ve been.' Finally, we get the truth."

The post included a recording of Boehner. We listened to it and found he was not talking about economic policies. He was answering a question about what he called "pro-family, traditional values issues."
 
The speaker's office significantly distorted Boehner's comments. Pants on Fire.
 
Chuck Donovan, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate: Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., "has never proposed, nor voted in favor of, a substantial cut in federal spending" and has voted for "many substantial increases in federal spending."

Donovan challenged us to to check out claims on his campaign website about Isakson.

Challenge accepted. We looked at Donovan's blog, which made the above accusation.

We found that Isakson did vote to make cuts and worked to curb federal spending. For instance, he voted to cap discretionary expenditures. He opposed a $109 billion emergency spending bill for Iraq and Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts because of certain earmarks. He also voted for legislation that included $36 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

We also found Isakson voted in favor of substantial spending increases as a senator and congressman.

For instance, he voted in 2002 to spend $350 billion over 10 years for a prescription drug benefit for Medicare and in 2006 to increase the national debt limit by $787 billion. He also voted in 2008 for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program for banks but has since criticized expansion of that legislation.

Half True.
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