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Spin Check: Garcia/Pelosi Mailer
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.

Republican incumbent Kenneth Mayfield is in a tight battle to keep his seat as a Dallas County commissioner.

Mayfield has sent a mailer to voters, with a picture of his opponent, former Dallas City Councilwoman Elba Garcia posing with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. speaker of the House.

Let's spin check some of the mailer.

The mailer says:

"Garcia voted to increase government spending by almost $1 billion."

That's TRUE, but need some perspective.

Mayfield's campaign cites Dallas City Council budget records from 2001 to 2009. Garcia's votes were over a nine-year period. The budgets did increase over the years, sometimes by millions of dollars.

The ad also says:

"Garcia favors 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants."

That's NOT CLEAR.

Mayfield's campaign points to a TV report talking about an immigration mega march in Dallas, and the phone number for march organizers was Garcia's campaign office number. The campaign couldn't point to a direct instance where Garcia said she supported amnesty. It's also worth noting Garcia's husband is a prominent immigration attorney and former state Rep. Domingo Garcia.

The ad goes on to say that illegal immigrants:

"...already cost Texas taxpayers $4.7 billion per year in increased social services."

That's also UNDECIDED.

Mayfield's campaign cites a 2005 study by the Federation for Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration group. The $4.7 billion included the estimated cost in lost wages from citizens losing jobs to illegal immigrants. Also of note, in Austin earlier this year, state officials admitted they couldn't get an accurate dollar amount on the cost of illegal immigration in the state.

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