After rating 14 statements from city officials or others lobbying voters on Proposition D, the city’s sales tax and financial reform ballot measure, we’ve created a scorecard.
Overall, bold statements from Prop. D supporters have more often grabbed the attention of our truth-squad than opponents’ claims. We examined 11 statements from supporters since July and three from opponents.
The statements from Prop. D supporters received a wider margin of ratings, tilting slightly toward the long-nosed side of the spectrum. None of the three statements from opponents received a false rating.
Supporters argue that solving the city’s annual budget problems requires a sales tax increase. Without more revenue, the city faces steep cuts to services next year. Opponents argue that there’s more to cut from the budget without affecting core services.
In the statements we rated, supporters fell closer to True when describing how previous budget cuts have affected city services and closer to False when explaining what Prop. D guarantees voters or when portraying the city’s financial outlook.
Mayor Jerry Sanders, for example, has fallen on both sides of the spectrum. He cited an accurate list of budget cuts to the Union-Tribune’s Editorial Board in August and started calling himself Prop. D’s triggerman in October, which we dubbed misleading.
Opponents have landed closer to True when describing what the ballot measure doesn’t guarantee voters and closer to False when explaining how the city could save money without affecting services before next summer, when it faces a projected $70 million budget shortfall.
We also rated three statements related to the Prop. D campaigns that didn’t come from official supporters or opponents. Police Chief Bill Lansdowne received Mostly True and False ratings when describing services, and KUSI got a True for its description of campaign finance laws.
So here’s the total scorecard:
|Graphic by Keegan Kyle|
Just to be clear, this scorecard doesn’t represent the end of our Prop. D Fact Checks. With five days before the election, we wanted to give readers an overview of the coverage so far.
If you have new Fact Check suggestions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. What claim should we explore next?