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Finding the truth in anti-Valadao ad

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by David Taub

Maybe it’s not a newsflash that political ads can be misleading. A current TV spot sponsored by the House Majority PAC and AFT Solidarity attacks Congressman David Valadao for his “absolute” support of Donald Trump. The ad is very misleading.

Multiple versions of the ad links the Hanford Republican to Trump and supports his opponent Emilio Huerta. The 30 second  spot claims “Republican Congressman Valadao said he would absolutely support Donald Trump.” It credits a October 30, 2015 interview on “CBS Fresno,” which is known locally as CBS 47 Eyewitness News.

On the broadcast in question during the station’s morning news, interviewer Joey Horta sat down in studio with Valadao. They discussed Valadao’s vote for Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House. The topic switched to the upcoming presidential primary. Horta asked Valadao about his support of Jeb Bush. Valadao says he supports governors for president because of their experience and Bush specifically for his record in Florida.

Horta: He (Bush) is polling a lot lower than the top two, Ben Carson, Donald Trump. Will you be able to support one of those two if they make it to the nomination?

Valadao: Absolutely. I am going to stick with the winner from my party, obviously. This early on, and being a person that is political like myself, I obviously have to come out and pick my horse early, and so I did. But, if (Florida Senator Marco) Rubio makes it out, I would be happy to support Rubio.

Not exactly the same as “absolutely” supporting Donald Trump.

The House Majority PAC, on its website, says it was founded in 2011 in response to the campaign money influenced by conservatives like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove. Executive Director Alixandria Lapp, who also served in a similar role at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. AFT Solidarity is linked with the American Federation of Teachers.

In June, Valadao thoroughly denounced Trump, saying he can’t support him.

Representatives from ATF would speak on the record. They provided this quote, which was originally released when the ad came out:

“Given their shared anti-education agenda, it’s no wonder Congressman Valadao said he would ‘absolutely’ support Donald Trump for president,” said House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp.

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