Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Christine O'Donnell's spooky new "TaxMan" ad

In a new ad influenced by horror films, Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell attacks her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, as the "TaxMan."

Ever since she won the primary on Sept. 14, 2010, Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for a Senate seat from Delaware, has been the center of media attention. An ad released on Oct. 11, paid for and authorized by the Friends of Christine O'Donnell, seeks to turn the focus on her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons.

In a minute-long ad, featuring dark, horror-movie visuals and spooky music, O'Donnell portrays Coons -- the county executive of Delaware's populous New Castle County -- as a roving psychopath that she dubs "The Taxman." Coons, the narrator intones, "is taxing everything out here."

The ad makes several charges about Coons raising specific taxes. We took up two of its claims

One is that Coons "thought that a 911 call should be taxed." We found that he did propose an expansion of a tax to cell phones to fund 911 service. But we concluded that ad twisted the details, ignoring the fact that landline phones were already were being taxed and that Coons proposed a line-item tax on cell phone bills, rather than a tax for every 911 call made, as the ad suggests. We rated the claim Barely True.

We checked another claim that Coons raised taxes almost 50 percent and found that the increase was accurate, but the claim that it was the work of "one man" was  not. So we rated it Mostly True.