Friday, December 19th, 2014

Income inequality in Texas, Maxine Waters' secret edge, Obama on D-Day: PolitiFact Oregon Roundup

On "Iowa Press" Feb. 28, 2014, Gov. Rick Perry said he doesn't think the federal government should set a minimum wage.

Income inequality, as we’ve noted in previous PolitiFact Oregon Roundups, is shaping up as one of the big issues of the 2014 campaign season.

The two major political parties are already squabbling over where to set the federal minimum wage. Democrats tend to want to raise it, while Republicans, generally, see that move as a job-killer. With no clear-cut answer in sight, we’re leading off today’s roundup with a Lone Star State claim to get the conversation started.

1. Minimum wage? Who needs it?

Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, has made it clear that he does not favoring raising the federal minimum wage. He took that even further recently when, during an appearance on CNN’s Crossfire, he said: "I don’t think it’s the government’s business to be setting the minimum wage out there."

The state’s Democratic picked that up and trumpeted it. PolitiFact Texas took its own look, which verified the notion that Perry doesn’t think there should be a federal minimum wage. The claim was rated True.

2. Don’t Mess With Taxes

Still in Texas, conservative activist Michael Q. Sullivan garnered some interest recently by taking to Twitter to say: "From the ‘Do As I Say Not As I Do’ department: federal employees owe $3.3 billion in back taxes."

PolitiFact Texas’ check found that the dollar total is correct, "though this message didn’t acknowledge that the 3-plus percent of delinquent federal employees and retirees compares to nearly 9 percent of taxpayers in general. Basically, fewer federal employees fail to pony up on time." Since the claim needed clarifying information, it was rated Mostly True.

3. Eric Cantor misses the mark on immigration claim

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, is facing a tough primary. Recently, he portrayed himself as a bastion against illegal immigration by claiming that a "liberal pro-amnesty" group held a rally and encouraged attendees to vote for his opponent, Dave Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College.

Trouble is, no speaker at the rally endorsed Brat, according to PolitiFact Virginia’s check. "To the contrary, the keynoter stressed that the group was not taking sides in the primary; it was simply calling on Cantor to allow a House vote on immigration reform." Cantor’s statement was rated False.

4. So that's how she does it

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is one of Congress’s most outspoken opponents on illegal immigration. Recently, while warning Republicans about the risks of allowing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, he pointed to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters’ district in California. King said Waters win election to Congress with fewer votes than he does because of ‘two things’ – lower turnout and a higher immigration population.

PolitiFact’s check showed that King is correct in saying that lower turnout rates and a higher population of immigrants who aren’t allowed to vote accounts for some of the difference in their respective vote totals. But he cherry-picked other information, leaving his claim rated Half True.

5. What good is a roundup without a chain email?

A chain email has circulated for some years claiming that President Barack Obama is the only American president in the last 69 years who has failed to visit France’s D-Day Monument on D-Day (which is fast approaching).

The long-circulating email was always wrong, according to the check. Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama himself had indeed visited the monument in Normandy on D-Day, it found. But wait, it gets better. Now, with Obama scheduled to visit the monument again this D-Day – June 6 – he will be the only president to visit ti twice on D-Day. The claim was rated Pants on Fire.

So there you have it – a roundup that’s easily consumed before too much daylight has been burned. Thoughts? Reactions? Leave ‘em here and let’s get talking.