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.
Funny commercials are memorable. That's why Rick Perry's campaign is hoping their latest radio ad is hilarious to listeners.
But is the ad truthful? Let's Spin Check parts of the ad.
Here's the text:
"He is the most mysterious liberal in the world.
He's Bill White.
He once made a half a million dollars off Hurricane Rita and tried to hide it."
That's FALSE. White was not on the board of the company in question, BTEC, at the time of Hurricane Rita. It wasn't until a year later that he invested in the company, according to his 2006 tax returns. This issue was already investigated.
"He once had a nervous moment when asked if he would raise taxes because he will."
That's UNDECIDED. In the interview with the Texas Tribune that the Perry camp references, White said he wouldn't commit to lowering taxes. He also wouldn't commit to raising taxes.
"He's made millions from private corporations while serving as mayor of Houston."
That's TRUE. Based on White's tax returns and financial paperwork, he made more than $10 million from his personal business investments during his three terms as mayor.
"Bill White spent every dime as mayor of Houston."
That part is TRUE. White did spend what was allotted in the budget.
"And then spent 17 billion more, leaving Houston with more debt."
That's technically TRUE, but very misleading.
Perry's campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said the ad was meant to show that Bill White spent "17 billion more" dimes. Seventeen billion dimes is $1.7 billion. The play on words makes it sound to any normal person listening to the ad that White spent 17 billion more dollars.