The Burr Campaign Releases New TV Ad: “Facts”

The Burr Campaign Releases New TV Ad: “Facts”

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Raleigh, NC — The Burr campaign today released its newest TV ad, “Facts,” that highlights the falsehoods Deborah Ross has been promoting throughout her campaign. The ad will begin airing immediately on statewide broadcast.

The ad cites multiple independent fact checkers that found Ross has been dishonest in both her defense of her dangerous record and in her attacks on Senator Burr. After Ross tried repeatedly to mislead North Carolina voters over her opposition to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Charlotte’s CBS affiliate, WBTV, conducted a detailed fact check in which they found Ross did in fact oppose the sex offender registry. WBTV also checked the claim Ross made in defense of her record in the General Assembly and rated it “false.” According to PolitiFact, Ross has also made “misleading” claims about Senator Burr’s record on the Violence Against Women Act.

Background:

WBTV FACTCHECK ON SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

WBTV Headline: “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

WBTV Rated The Claim That Deborah Ross Opposed The Creation Of The Sex Offender Registry As “True.” “Both the 1995 ACLU legislative memo and Ross’ comments in the 1998 article present a consistent message from Ross that cast doubt on the efficacy of a sex offender registry. The opening line of her 1995 memo indicates that she was involved in lobbying against the original legislation that created the sex offender registry. For those reasons, we rate Burr’s claim as true.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

WBTV: Ross Refused To Answer Whether She Lobbied For Or Against The State Senate Bill That Created The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. “To support the ad’s claim, the Burr campaign points to a memo Ross wrote as the executive director of the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1995 summarizing legislation passed during the recently-concluded legislation session. Specifically, Ross wrote that the memo highlights ‘key bills we lobbied on.’ One of the last bills highlighted in the memo is SB53, which created the state’s sex offender registry … A spokeswoman for Ross’ campaign refused to answer a question posed by On Your Side Investigates asking if Ross lobbied for or against SB53, saying only that she voiced concern. Follow-up questions about whether Ross voiced her concerns to lawmakers about the language in the final version of SB53 that was passed in her role as a lobbyist also went unanswered.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

WBTV: A Detailed Review Of The 18 Votes Ross Claims She Took To Strengthen The Sex Offender Registry Does Not Pan Out Either. Ross Abstained From Voting For The Jessica Lunsford Act, “Which Imposed Stricter Penalties On Sex Offenders, Among Other Things.” “A review of the details surrounding each of the 18 votes Ross’ campaign cites in backing up her claim raise more questions. The first bill highlighted by Ross’ campaign is 2008 legislation called the Jessica Lunsford Act, which imposed stricter penalties on sex offenders, among other things. ‘Deborah voted for the Jessica Lunsford Act, which imposed stricter penalties on sex offenders, including making the minimum prison sentence for adults who committed sex crimes against children 25 years,’ a campaign spokesman said in an email to On Your Side Investigates. ‘The Jessica Lunsford Act was praised by now-Speaker Republican Tim Moore as ‘among the toughest bills’ in the United States.’ But a review of the voting history for the bill reveals Ross abstained from voting on whether to pass the bill and send it to be considered in the Senate.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

Another Bill That The Ross Campaign Cites Did Not Strengthen The Sex Offender Registry. It Was “A Technical Corrections Bill That [Included] A Provision To Delete A Comma And The Word ‘Including’ That [Was] Accidentally Left In An Updated Portion Of The Statute.” “Additional review of two other votes Ross took that her campaign claims to have strengthened and updated the sex offender registry also raises questions. Ross’ campaign claims she voted for SB613 in August 2007, which, the campaign says, updated the sex offender notification requirement for out-of-county employment. It’s true that Ross voted to update that requirement but not in SB613; that requirement was actually updated in HB1896, which was passed a year earlier and is listed by Ross’ campaign as another of the 18 votes they say she took to strengthen and update the sex offender registry. Instead, SB613 is a technical corrections bill that includes a provision to delete a comma and the word ‘including’ that were accidentally left in an updated portion of the statute. Nothing in SB613 actually strengthened or updated the sex offender registry.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

Another Bill The Ross Campaign Has Been Citing Did Not Substantially Change Or Strengthen The Sex Offender Registry.  “Similarly, we found no provision in HB736—which Ross voted for in June 2011—that strengthened or updated the sex offender registry. The legislation does update a section of the law surrounding the sex offender registry by changing a reference to a related section of the statute. The registry wasn’t substantially changed as a result of the updated reference.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

WBTV: “We Did Not Have An Opportunity To Ask Ross About The Questions Raised In Our Review Of Her Defense Because Her Campaign Refused Multiple Requests To Make Her Available For An On-Camera Interview.” (Nick Ochsner, “#FridayFactCheck: Ross Makes Misleading Claims In Defending Position About Sex Offender Registry,” WBTV, 10/14/16)

POLITIFACT:

PolitiFact: “In N.C. Senate Race, Claim By Democrat Deborah Ross Against GOP’s Richard Burr Is Misleading”

Ross Claim That Senator Burr Voted Against VAWA Ignores The Fact That Burr Voted For Reauthorizing The Law Three Times Over 13 Years, And That The Only Version Of The Bill He Voted Against Was Loaded Up With Provisions By Senate Democrats To “Put Republicans In A Bind So They Could Use Their Votes In Campaign Ads.” “The Ross camp argues that the ad is accurate since it said that Burr voted against the 2012 version of the bill. They have a point, but making this argument requires ignoring that Burr voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act three times — in 2000, 2005 and 2013 — even as he voted against it once, in 2012 … Finally, we think it’s relevant to note here that, according to Politico, the Democrats specifically teed up this vote to put Republicans in a bind so they could use their votes in campaign ads — a tactic that both parties have used when they are in a position to do so.” (Louis Jacobson, “In N.C. Senate Race, Claim By Democrat Deborah Ross Against GOP’s Richard Burr Is Misleading,” PolitiFact, 10/18/16)

Ross’ Claim That Burr Voted Against VAWA Comes From When He Voted Against A Version That Included Provisions A Majority Of Republicans “Found Objectionable.” That Same Year, Burr Voted For A Version Of The VAWA Bill That Stripped Out The Objectionable Provisions. “The 2012 reauthorization effort was far more controversial than the previous two, since it involved changes that some social conservatives found objectionable. At the time, the Democrats controlled the presidency and the Senate, while the Republicans controlled the House. The Senate bill would ‘allow Indian tribal courts to try certain non-Indians in some cases of domestic violence on reservations, expand the number of temporary visas for illegal immigrants who were victims of domestic violence and extend the protections of that act to gay men and lesbians,’ the New York Times reported at the time. These provisions were anathema to many conservatives, and when faced with a vote on April 26, 2012, Burr was one of 31 Republicans to vote against it, while 15 Republicans voted for it. Overall, the measure passed the chamber by a 60-31 margin. Instead, Burr voted for a failed Republican-sponsored amendment that would have stripped out some of the elements of the bill that were controversial to Republicans.” (Louis Jacobson, “In N.C. Senate Race, Claim By Democrat Deborah Ross Against GOP’s Richard Burr Is Misleading,” PolitiFact, 10/18/16)

IMPORTANT: Politico Noted That Senate Democrats Pushed For A Vote On A VAWA Bill With Provisions They Knew Republicans Would Object To In Order To Make It A “Political Weapon.” “It’s worth noting that Politico reported on March 14, 2012, that the Democratic effort to push a vote on the Violence Against Women Act in the spring of 2012 was to make it a ‘political weapon.’ ‘Republicans have several objections to the legislation, but instead of making changes, Schumer wants to fast-track the bill to the floor, let the GOP block it, then allow Democrats to accuse Republicans of waging a ‘war against women,’’ the Politico story said. ‘It’s fodder for a campaign ad, and it’s not the only potential 30-second spot ready to spring from Senate leadership these days.’” (Louis Jacobson, “In N.C. Senate Race, Claim By Democrat Deborah Ross Against GOP’s Richard Burr Is Misleading,” PolitiFact, 10/18/16)