How we make the call
Truth Squad assigns five ratings to the political statements we review, in descending levels of accuracy:
U.S. House 11th District GOP Primary
Farmington Hills lawyer David Trott has waged an aggressive and well-funded campaign, backed by much of the GOP establishment, against one-term Tea Party incumbent Kerry Bentivolio in this district northwest of Detroit.
|Who:||Trott For Congress|
|What:||“Trott Works For Us” TV ad|
Relevant text of the ad:
“Who’s working for us? Not Congressman Kerry Bentivolio. In Washington, Bentivolio failed to stand up for conservatives targeted by the IRS… by failing to vote and punish Lois Lerner for the scandal. In Michigan, Bentivolio won’t even hold town hall meetings to hear from the people he represents. Bentivolio isn’t doing his job… but Dave Trott, will work for us… protecting our conservative values and creating jobs. Congress talks… Dave Trott works.”
This 30-second ad highlights Bentivolio's absence from a May 7 House vote on whether to hold Lois Lerner of the Internal Revenue Service in contempt for her actions in the controversy over the IRS and the tax-exempt status of conservative political groups. In an accompanying statement, Trott campaign manager Megan Piwowar asserts that Bentivolio is “hiding from voters in an effort to keep his congressional seat.”
Bentivolio campaign spokeswoman Barbara Bulic said Bentivolio has taken a “lead role” investigating the IRS as a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She said he missed the May 7 vote because of food poisoning. Bulic added: “Kerry has held multiple town halls, round tables and over 1,000 one-on-one personal meetings and other events.”
The ad singles out one missed vote on the IRS controversy and draws the conclusion it means Bentivolio failed to stand up for conservatives on the issue. Bentivolio may not share Trott’s opinion, but the underlying facts (that Bentivolio missed the vote) are not in dispute.
Trott’s assertion that Bentivolio is “hiding from voters” is based on the claim that the incumbent does not hold “town halls.” His campaign spokesperson says otherwise.
In fact, it was at a town hall meeting where Bentivolio made national news, by stating that impeaching President Obama “would be a dream come true.”