A new television ad from Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul’s campaign attempts to highlight the differences between her and opponent Chris Collins, as well as note the ways Hochul has disagreed with her Democratic Party.
The 27th Congressional District has 35,000 more Republicans than Democrats, and Hochul is aiming to attract voters outside her party with statements in the ad, such as her vote in favor of a balanced budget amendment.
The 30-second ad is mostly true.
The ad, “Look It Up,” does not feature any people on-screen, and it uses an Apple computer and Google searches to procure what the ad purports is information about both candidates.
Claim: “Kathy Hochul was one of just 25 Democrats who voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment.”
Fact: This claim is true. Hochul voted for the amendment last November. The measure failed, not getting the two-thirds majority that an amendment to the Constitution requires. While 25 Democrats voted in favor of it, four Republicans did not.
Claim: “And Kathy Hochul voted to cut foreign aid to Pakistan.”
Fact: This claim is true. In July 2011, Hochul voted for an amendment to prohibit funds from being spent in Pakistan and for another amendment to remove $1 billion from the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund and move it to the Spending Reduction Account. Both votes failed.
Claim: “Chris Collins wants to keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Fact: This claim is true, though it must be stated that he wants to keep all of the Bush-era tax cuts in place, not only those for the wealthy.
Collins has said he supports a full extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, which he has said would give small businesses “certainty.”
Hochul has voted to keep those tax cuts in place for people whose income is less than $250,000.
The ad doesn’t make mention of popular support for the tax cuts, but the issue has been polled in the district.
In a Siena Research Institute poll of 628 likely voters for the 27th District released Aug. 19, voters were split, with 50 percent in favor of eliminating the tax breaks on those making more than $250,000 and 47 percent wanting to keep them. Four percent didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion. (The numbers are rounded off.)
Claim: “And Chris Collins supports cutting taxes for the wealthy almost 33 percent more, adding trillions to the deficit.”
Fact: This claim is mostly true. Collins’ campaign does not dispute the claim about cutting taxes. He has said he wants the top corporate tax rate to be reduced from 35 percent to 25 percent and also doesn’t want an individual to pay more than 25 percent tax.
An analysis released in April by the Tax Policy Center shows that bringing all higher tax brackets down to 25 percent would add $2.5 trillion to the deficit, though it is not an exact comparison to Collins’ proposal. The Tax Policy Center analyzed a scenario where income tax rates were limited to just 10 percent and 25 percent, where Collins has proposed consolidating six tax brackets into three.
“We cannot afford as a country to drive up the deficit by trillions by extending tax cuts for the richest Americans,” Hochul spokesman Francis Thomas said.
Asked about the impact on the deficit, Collins campaign adviser Christopher M. Grant said the candidate believes that cutting taxes would drive business tax revenue.
“Kathy Hochul continues to demonstrate her lack of understanding of how small businesses work,” Grant said.