Political Notebook: Oct. 31

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Number to Know

300: Approximate weight of William H. Taft when he was president, making him the heaviest president ever. James Madison was the lightest at about 100 pounds.

Fact Check: ‘Unethical’ Obama?

An ad released jointly by the McCain-Palin campaign and the RNC claims Barack Obama "rewards his friends with your tax dollars" and calls his actions "unethical." Some of what the ad says is false or misleading:

- The ad claims that Obama supporter and Chicago real estate developer Allison Davis received $20 million in taxpayer money. That's false. Davis didn't get this money. Instead, the federal grant went to the Chicago Housing Authority, replacing money it had already put forward for a mixed-income housing project on which Davis was a developer.

- The ad says Obama gave Tony Rezko $14 million of taxpayer money. That's misleading. It's true the housing project Rezko was working on cost $14 million in taxpayer cash. Rezko and his partner netted $855,000 in fees.

- Obama worked to get Kenny Smith a $100,000 grant to build a park, which Smith later failed to complete. Smith has since caught the attention of the state attorney general. But according to reports, Obama isn't under investigation for helping Smith get the grant.

The RNC and McCain may consider Obama's actions to be "unethical"; that's a matter of opinion. But the fact is, as far as these three incidents are concerned, Obama has not been officially accused of any wrongdoing, and there's been no report that his actions are the subject of any official investigation.


Quotes from the Candidates

"Joe's with us today. Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today." – What Sen. John McCain said Thursday at a rally in Ohio, where Joe the Plumber was supposed to be in attendance but didn’t show up.

"If you want to know where John McCain will drive this economy, just look in the rearview mirror. Because when it comes to our economic policies, John McCain has been right next to George Bush. He's been sitting there in the passenger seat, ready to take over, every step of the way." – What Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday in Florida.

GateHouse News Service