TRUTH TEST: NRCC Misleads in Feehan Attack

October 25, 2018 06:07 PM

The National Republican Congressional Committee seemed to unload its entire opposition research file on Democrat Dan Feehan in the latest attack ad in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District race.

"I owe nothing to any leader, any corporation," the ad quotes Feehan saying in an audio clip.


"What a joke," responds the NRCC narrator.

The ad goes on to claim Feehan is bought and paid for by controversial figures and institutions.

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"Look at who finances Dan Feehan's employer. Radical George Soros. Wall Street's biggest banks. A crooked lobbyist tied to Pelosi that paid Feehan's bills and fund his campaign," the narrator says.

Feehan is an "adjunct senior fellow" at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which touts itself as "an independent, bipartisan, non-profit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies." Feehan is also an Iraq War veteran.

It's true Soros, banks and a controversial Democratic lobbyist, Tony Podesta, have all contributed to CNAS. But as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, CNAS is barred from partisan political campaign activity.

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The ad goes on to criticize Feehan's stance on a laundry list of issues.

"Feehan's a Pelosi liberal. Supports tax hikes. More debt. Amnesty. Even government-controlled health care," the ad says.

Feehan has been non-committal on if he would vote for Pelosi as House Democratic leader if he's elected. He does support revising the recent tax bill to focus more tax cuts on the middle class and fewer tax cuts for wealthy Americans. Feehan says the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs bill is exploding the federal deficit.

As for "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, Feehan's website only says he supports "comprehensive immigration reform" with no mention of amnesty. On health care, he does favor giving Americans more access to government health insurance programs if they don't have private insurance or prefer an alternative.

"What I propose to begin with is the idea of a public option where people can buy into Medicare," Feehan said in a recent interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

This ad includes a mix of true, misleading and out-of-context claims. It gets a "C" on the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS "Truth Test."

How KSTP Grades Political Ads in Truth Test

At the end of every "Truth Test," 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and assign the tested political ad a grade.

Here's the criteria we use to determine that grade:

- An "A" requires nearly complete accuracy with little exaggeration and little or no need for more context.

- A "B" requires mostly accurate information, but gets marked down for minor exaggerations and misleading information.

- A "C" can be the result of inaccurate information or exaggerated information that misleads and gives the viewer no context.

- A "D" is the result of at least half the information being false or misleading to the point of leaving a false impression.

- An "F" is the result of more than half the information being outright false as well as misleading and out of context.


Tom Hauser

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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