A new television ad from national Republican committee aims to tie Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul to President Obama, making claims about Medicare and government spending.
The ad, "Your change is missing," seeks to appeal to voters who supported Hochul and Obama in previous elections, saying, "you hoped they'd succeed."
The ad, paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee, is misleading.
Claim: "Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Barack Obama promised change when they first came into office."
Fact: This claim is half true. While Obama ran in 2008 on a message of change, Hochul ran in 2011 with a different platform. In fact, a robocall in support of Hochul's Republican opponent, Jane Corwin, featured New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie saying Corwin would "change business as usual."
Claim: "Hochul voted to slash $716 billion from your Medicare."
Fact: This claim is misleading. Hochul voted against repealing Obama's health care overhaul, which contains a $716 million reduction in the growth of future Medicare spending, which will affect hospitals and other providers. This could affect beneficiaries in ways that are still unknown, either by restricting their access to Medicare or by impairing the quality of care, according to the Brookings Institution.
What must be noted is that a leading Republican plan, from Rep. Paul Ryan, contains the same cuts. Hochul voted against the Ryan bill.
Both plans do not reduce spending from the current level, but reduce the growth in spending.
"It's attacking Kathy Hochul for things that Republicans support," said Hochul campaign manager Frank Thomas.
The Republican-led House has put up for a vote repeal of various parts of the health care law, but not the part that cuts the growth of future Medicare spending.
Claim: Hochul "backed the Wall Street bailout."
Fact: This claim is somewhat misleading. It gives the impression that Hochul voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which passed in October 2008. Hochul was not sworn into the House until 2011.
However, Hochul did tell The Buffalo News in May 2011 that the first phase of the bailout was necessary.
The Hochul campaign notes that, though this commercial is produced and paid for by a Republican organization, the bailout was supported by key GOP figures, including then-President George W. Bush and then-Minority Leader John Boehner.
Claim: Hochul "supported higher taxes on small businesses."
Fact: This claim is misleading. Hochul voted against a bill that would extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, and voted in favor of one that would extend them for income tax filers making less than $250,000. Her campaign explained that she did not support extending the cuts for everyone because such legislation would add more than $800 billion to the deficit by the end of the decade.
The tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year and the House and Senate have not agreed on which tax breaks to extend.
Just which tax filers qualify as a "small business" is a matter of debate between the parties, as Republicans say the impact will be significant and Democrats say only the wealthiest will be affected and the definition Republicans use is overly broad.
Democrats contend that the higher rates will increase taxes for only 3 percent of small businesses, though opponents to the Democratic plan say that 3 percent includes fast-growing businesses likely to hire workers.
Hochul's campaign also noted that she was one of 18 Democrats to vote in favor of a 20 percent small business tax cut for businesses with fewer than 500 employees, supported by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. She also voted to extend the payroll tax cut.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has pledged to spend $575,000 on television commercials in the 27th District. These ads are made without the input of Republican candidate Chris Collins or his campaign.