Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Ad Watch: The latest Crossroads attack on Kaine

Crossroads GPS began running this ad against Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine on Sept. 26.

Crossroads GPS, a conservative advocacy group, has hit Virginia airwaves with a new ad accusing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine of seeking to raise taxes and cut defense spending.

The ad recycles some charges that PolitiFact Virginia reviewed when they were first made by Republican George Allen -- Kaine’s opponent. Here’s a quick review:

Crossroads claim: Kaine "proposed tax hikes on Virginians making $17,000 a year."

This is very similar to Allen’s statement in July that Kaine, a governor from 2006 to 2010, proposed "tax increases that would be hitting people earning as little as $17,000 a year."

In 2009, Kaine proposed adding a 1 percent income tax surcharge and giving all proceeds to localities in return for them scrapping the car tax they levy on personal vehicles. Many people would have see their overall tax bills go up had the bill not been killed in the General Assembly. The surcharge would have applied to all income levels, starting with single people who had state-adjusted income of $11,950 and married couples with a state-adjusted income of $23,900. We rated Allen’s claim True.

Claim: "Kaine’s backed a Washington deal that means massive cuts to national defense, threatening over 200,000 Virginia jobs."

Allen, in a website post this month, said, ""Tim Kaine doubled down in his support of devastating defense cuts, saying that ‘the deal was the right thing to do.’"

The claims center around sequestration -- $1 trillion in automatic cuts split evenly between defense and domestic programs that will begin to go into effect on Jan. 2 if Congress and the president don’t reach a debt-reduction deal.

The specter of sequestration arose from a last-second agreement Congress struck in August 2011 to raise the debt limit and prevent the nation from defaulting on bills. The idea was that the automatic cuts would be of such dire consequence that Congress would seek to avoid them by agreeing to a long-term, bipartisan package of deficit reductions, possibly with a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases.  

Allen opposed the deal from the get-go while Kaine -- and many Republicans -- favored the legislation to avoid defaulting on federal debt. We found Allen’s claim that Kaine backs automatic defense cut to lack context and we rated it Half True.