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Rob Portman's claim about Lee Fisher and gun control rated No. 3 for 2010

By Robert Higgs
Published on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010.

Today we offer No. 3: A statement about Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and his views on gun control. The statement, used by the Sen.-elect Rob Portman's campaign, led to this item that debunked a decades-old myth.

The story begins with a quote that Fisher is reputed to have said: "I never met a gun control bill I didn't like."

It's a quote that keeps on giving, campaign after campaign. It's even slightly plausible, if you've followed Fisher"s positions on gun control. The quote, cited by the Portman campaign, has been used since at least 1994 by gun-rights advocates, political opponents (including the campaign of at least one Democrat), blogs and websites.

But did Fisher really say it?

We turned to groups that have used the quote against Fisher. We spoke with people who dealt with Fisher two decades ago and opposed him on issues in the Ohio Senate. We asked the National Rifle Association -- twice -- to dig into its research archives. We checked decades worth of of newspaper clippings and websites, and asked those who keep using the quote to check their records in case they've found it.

No one did. The resulting fact check helped set straight a bit of folk lore from Ohio politics.

Previously

Coming Thursday

  • A claim by Glenn Beck gets our nod for No. 2.
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About this article:

Sources:

PolitiFact Ohio's editors and writers

Researchers: Robert Higgs

Names in this article: Lee Fisher, Rob Portman

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