Friday, December 19th, 2014

Caller: How would you vote (just 'tween us and the Truth-O-Meter)?

Rep. Lloyd Doggett's "Job Killer" ad

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, harvested a 2009 snippet from a public-access cable TV show as his basis for saying his GOP challenger, Donna Campbell, favors ending federal education aid.

Indeed, Campbell told a caller to the show that she would vote to end federal education spending. Though Campbell doesn't explicitly call for ending such aid in her campaign materials, we rated Doggett's statement Mostly True because there's no sign Campbell has backed off her original yup.

Lately, we haven't bored in on specific votes outside of the Doggett-Campbell tussle. But this summer, the Texas Truth-O-Meter got a jump on what has proved to be national wave of GOP statements about Democratic U.S. House members voting in lockstep with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

In June, we rated Mostly True GOP candidate Bryan Underwood's claim that Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, voted with Pelosi 96 percent of the time in the last session of Congress. We found that Underwood wasn"t as precise as he could have been if he intended to refer to Cuellar simply aligning with fellow Democrats, rather than Speaker Pelosi alone; she just doesn't vote that often. In fact, Cuellar voted nearly 90 percent of the time just like Pelosi in 2009 and 2010, voting just like her on the 23 occasions they'd both voted. Since January 2009, Cuellar has voted 96 percent of the time in alignment with most fellow Democrats.

Since July, several sister PolitiFact sites — in Virginia, Georgia, Ohio and Oregon — have explored claims about candidates either voting with Pelosi or being her "puppet," resulting in ratings ranging from False to Half True.

Back to Campbell v. Doggett: We recently rated True Campbell's statement that Doggett voted for the Democrat-steered health care overhaul as well as the federal stimulus package and a House version of cap-and-trade legislation. And earlier, we rated True Doggett's statement that he voted against the bank bailout plan adopted by Congress in 2009.

Speaking of votes, Friday marks the end of the state's early-voting period. Tuesday is Election Day.