KANSAS CITY, Missouri - How truthful are the political ads between Ike Skelton and Vicky Hartzler? The Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling watched two of their ads to find out.
The Hartzler ad criticizes opponent Ike Skelton for his votes for the energy bill known as cap and trade, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the stimulus. Helling said the ad up to this point is fair and accurate, because Missouri does have fewer jobs today than in March 2009, after the stimulus became law.
Hartzler's ad continues with a person saying "Vicky Hartlzer being a farmer and small business owner, she knows how to create jobs." Helling points out that Hartzler has a background in farming, but there is irony in the ad criticizing government spending, because Hartzler Farms Inc. has taken more than $750,000 in taxpayer farm subsidies since 1995. This is the kind of spending Hartzler now says she wants to freeze.
In Ike Skelton's ad, it talks about the congressman's support for veterans. Skelton has been endorsed by the VFW's political action committee.
Skelton's ad continues "Vicky Hartzler has voted repeatedly against our men and women in uniform, and called for a freeze on funds for veterans' hospitals."
Helling said both of these claims are misleading. As a state lawmaker, Hartzler opposed measures spending money for the National Guard and on some military funerals, but she has said the bills spent too much money on other things. There is no evidence that Hartzler as a member of the legislature was a consistent anti-military vote. And while she has called for a freeze on discretionary spending, her website states she excludes veterans from the list.