Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Flaming claims by David Dewhurst, a political group and Craig James

Pants on Fire ratings account for 9 percent of our 6,003 Truth-O-Meter fact-checks.
Pants on Fire ratings account for 9 percent of our 6,003 Truth-O-Meter fact-checks.

We’d  hesitate to say there’s a season for ridiculous claims.

Then again, just before and after the May 29, 2012, Texas party primaries, we found three claims to be so lacking in factual bases, they’re Pants on Fire.

Two of the claims were made by Republican U.S. Senate candidates David Dewhurst and Craig James of Texas,  respectively, the other by a political action committee critical of a legislator running for the Texas Senate.

Dig into the charges and their weaknesses in our Truth-O-Meter stories, stacked to the right.

Notably, the claims came to our attention in distinct ways.

A consultant to state Senate hopeful Larry Taylor asked us to weigh the political group’s claim that Taylor gave in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

An Austin American-Statesman reporter witnessed (and recorded) James making his statement that President Obama seeks a treaty to ban firearms.

And Dewhurst’s claim that candidate Ted Cruz, whom he faces in a July 31 runoff, helps lead two groups leading the push for amnesty for illegal immigrants emerged by his own hand. His campaign publicized a radio ad including the amnesty reference.

Often, too, readers similarly point out questionable statements. Help us out by writing us at politifact@statesman.com .