Charlotte Observer relies on flawed Factcheck.org claims to criticize VoteVets ad

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Charlotte Observer reports on a new VoteVets ad:

Meanwhile, a veterans' group is spending $200,000 on TV ads saying [NC Sen. Elizabeth] Dole voted against body armor for troops.

The ad by VoteVets.org features a man identified as an Iraq war veteran firing shots from an AK-47 through a flak jacket given out early in the war. He also fires into more modern body armor, which stops the shots. It claims Dole twice voted against the more modern armor.

The ad appears to be the same one used in 2006 in a Virginia Senate race. According to the watchdog site FactCheck.org, the votes came on a 2003 amendment that would have appropriated just over $1 billion for unspecified "National Guard and Reserve Equipment" but made no mention of body armor. The amendment lost on a generally party-line vote.

The group called the ad false.

Problem is, FactCheck.org got it wrong, as Media Matters documented at the time.

Here's the short version:

But as Media Matters for America noted in response to FactCheck's September 20 analysis, [FactCheck.org director Brooks] Jackson's assertion that "[t]here has never been a vote on body armour" is false. Allen opposed an October 2003 amendment offered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), which would have provided additional funding explicitly for body armor. Moreover, Landrieu repeatedly stated on the House floor that the bill would ensure that National Guard soldiers had "helmets" and other "force protection" equipment intended to "minimize causalities." And in a March 26, 2003, press release, Landrieu further explained that the bill "targets shortfalls identified by the National Guard and Reserve in their Unfunded Requirement lists," including the "shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests."

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Elections
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