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Spin Check: Back to Basics' "Our Homes First" Ad
BY Omar Villafranca

What is Spin Check? As part of our coverage of Decision 2010 and the elections that affect Texas, we put political ads to the test.

Every issue is fair game during campaign season -- even natural disasters.

Back to Basics, a Democratic group against Gov. Rick Perry, has an ad out called "Our Homes First" that takes shots at Perry's job in the aftermath of Texas' 2008 hurricane season.

Let's spin check it.

Here's text of the ad:

"Here's one more reason Rick Perry is afraid to debate:
He doesn't want to explain why he took money away from hurricane victims.
Hurricane Ike crushed the Gulf Coast. Thousands were homeless and in shelters.
Perry said, "I understand why they want to get back to their homes... I'd like to get back to the mansion."
Here's what he did:
After begging for federal hurricane aid, Perry is taking millions of it to remodel the governor's mansion so he can move in faster.
Diverting disaster funds for himself.
No wonder Rick's afraid to debate."

The part of the ad that says, "He doesn't want to explain why he took money away from hurricane victims," is FALSE.

Reports show Perry didn't take "money away from hurricane victims." Various reports show he used state resources and money first instead of waiting for federal money.

The ad also says, "Perry said, 'I understand why they want to get back to their homes...I'd like to get back to the mansion,' which is TRUE.

Perry was quoted saying that in 2008.

The next line of the ad that says, "Here's what he did: After begging for federal hurricane aid, Perry is taking millions of it to remodel the governor's mansion, so he can move in faster," is TRUE but very misleading.

After using state funds, the feds reimbursed the state. That's when the Legislature set aside $11 million to be used on the governor's mansion. At the time, Democrats in the state House and Senate were quoted in an article as being OK with the appropriation.

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