TARGET 8: Ad accuses McCaskill of being out of touch with Missouri

1 year 9 months 1 week ago Monday, October 01 2018 Oct 1, 2018 Monday, October 01, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT October 01, 2018 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, continues to face attacks accusing her of putting Washington partisan interests ahead of her Missouri constituents.  

An ad by the Senate Leadership Fund accused McCaskill of siding with Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton on energy legislation that would have destroyed tens of thousands of Missouri jobs and raised gas and electricity prices.

Who put out the ad?

The Senate Leadership Fund is a Washington-based super PAC with only one stated goal: "to protect and expand the Republican Senate Majority when Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, together with their army of left-wing activists, try to take it back in 2018."

McCaskill isn't the only Senate Democrat in the SLF's sights. Some of their most recent ads are aimed toward West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Nevada's Jacky Rosen, decrying them for being weak on hot button issues like gun rights and immigration.

FactCheck.org found the group spent more than $82 million in the 2016 election cycle on ads opposing just six Democratic senate candidates, including Missouri's Jason Kander. 

Claim: McCaskill, Clinton and Pelosi supported a national energy tax which would have killed tens of thousands of Missouri jobs and raised gas and electricity prices.

The "tax" in question is not an actual tax but S. 3036 or the failed Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008. Had it passed, the bill would have introduced a national "cap and trade" system for cutting down on carbon emissions.

KOMU 8 News cannot accurately call the legislation the same thing as a national energy tax. 

While the bill was being debated on, McCaskill voted to invoke cloture on the bill. A special Senate procedure, cloture allows the Senate to end debate on an issue without rejecting it, speeding up the process. The cloture vote didn't get the required 3/5 majority and bill ended up stalling anyways. 

The ad is technically correct saying McCaskill sided with Clinton and Pelosi on the issue. While Clinton was away from the Senate and did not vote, she supported the legislation and urged others to vote for cloture. Pelosi's support for similar "cap and trade" legislation is well documented.

Verdict: We find this ad to need context.

To call the failed bill a national energy tax is misleading and while the three women did have the same views on the issue of cloture, it's important to note that McCaskill was the only one to actually vote.

McCaskill was also one of 10 Senate Democrats that signed a letter saying they would not have been able to support the bill unless changes were made to the "cap and trade" legislation.

Also, the 76,000 job loss claim comes from a joint study from the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Foundation. The 76,000 number is the high end projection ending in 2030. The low end 2030 projection was only 34,000.

McCaskill's office has called the ad completely false.

"Claire has bucked her own party and worked in a bipartisan way to protect Missouri jobs. Josh Hawley is too faithful to McConnell and his DC donors to understand what that's like," McCaskill for Missouri press secretary Eric Mee said.

"Claire McCaskill sides with Chuck Schumer every single time it matters – for liberals and against Missouri," Kelli Ford, Hawley campaign spokesperson, said. "She’s forgotten where she's from and become just another Washington liberal."

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