‘Halloween ad’ long on scares, short on context

Posted at 6:50 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 20:50:48-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- "Is it Halloween already?" asks the narrator in a new political ad airing in Utah, suggesting that candidates John Curtis and Tanner Ainge are "...pretending to be conservatives."

The ad was conceived and funded by the Club for Growth, a Washington D.C. based organization focused on conservative economic policies. The CFG has endorsed former State Representative Chris Herrod in the race for Utah's Third Congressional District.

Here's the full script with a link to the video:

"Is it Halloween already? 'Cause John Curtis and Tanner Ainge are busy pretending to be conservatives.
But John Curtis backed increasing taxes and fees 46 times. Curtis even backed a twelve million dollar sales tax hike.
And Tanner Ainge? He says we need to be more 'bipartisan' in Congress - - just like Nancy Pelosi.
That's scary!
Curtis and Ainge: Not conservative. Wrong for Congress.
Club for Growth Action is responsible for the content of this advertising."

It's a fact that Provo Mayor John Curtis has supported some tax increases, though Fox 13 did not specifically count the total number, which Club for Growth claims is 46.

Specifically, when Curtis took office in 2010, Provo faced a deficit in the midst of the Great Recession. For two years, the city raised property taxes.

Since 2012, property taxes have declined annually and are now lower than they have been in at least two decades.

It's also a fact that Curtis supported a new tax that would raise about $12 million for recreation, arts, and parks. The proposal was to raise sales taxes by one cent for every $10 spent, with the $12 million raised over the course of 10 years.

The Daily Herald newspaper quoted the mayor at the time calling the "RAP tax" a "win-win situation."

The criticism of Tanner Ainge is also a fact in the sense that Ainge's campaign website does use the word "bipartisan" once in calling for a solution to health care.

Here's the quote in context:

"Obamacare has failed. We need a bipartisan long-term fix for healthcare that follows free-market principles and revives competition in the healthcare marketplace."

The ad uses that line to put Ainge side-by-side with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

That's a leap in logic that we'll call "fudging."