Fact check: Georgia Republicans offer more misleading attack ads against Warnock and Ossoff

Since then, Republicans have offered additional misleading advertisements in which both Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have been attacked. Here is a breakdown of two of these ads.

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler has made a concerted effort to portray Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, as ‘radical’ and ‘dangerous’.

As alleged evidence, Loeffler ads has a brief excerpt from a remark Warnock made about the “end of mass incarceration” at a conference he held at his church last year.
At least two of the Loeffler ads show Warnock saying, “Someone has to open the prisons and let our kids go.” At least one of the ads contains an even shorter section of the quote: “Someone has to open the prisons.”

Facts first: All of these Loeffler ads misleadingly take Warnock’s remark out of context. He advocates the release of especially people who are sent to prison for marijuana offenses, and not a general release of people who are jailed for all sorts of offenses.

In fact, in early November, Loeffler’s own campaign posted a video on YouTube showing the Warnock remark in context.

Here’s what he said: “Marijuana is seen as an illegal drug. It’s a terrible irony, and we feel that there are people in America right now who are becoming billionaires to sell the same stuff that our children have all locked up. “Across America. Where’s the justice? It’s not enough to criminalize marijuana. Someone has to open the prisons and let our children go.”

Loeffler can criticize Warnock for pleading for the release of people imprisoned for marijuana offenses. But the ads give the impression that he is advocating a kind of mass amnesty for all imprisoned criminals. He was not.

“Reverend Warnock supports the efforts to remove the records of those convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, and has worked in the community to erase records so that Georgians who have served their sentences can seek employment and housing without discrimination, “the Warnock said. campaign said in an email to CNN.

Ossoff and a Senate Committee

An advertisement for Republican Senator David Perdue’s campaign claims that Ossoff may ‘undergo federal investigation’ because he initially omitted certain payments from his forms of financial disclosure to the Senate.
Facts first: This assertion is very misleading. The alleged basis for the allegation that Ossoff may face federal investigation is the fact that the Republican Party of Georgia sent a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate. But any partisan can send a letter to the committee asking for anything, and there is no current evidence that an ethical inquiry is really being considered. Ossoff submitted amended the disclosure forms in July which do contain the payments.
The best-known source of the ad for the allegation that Ossoff could face federal investigation is an article in Fox News from December 9th. But the article only reports that the Georgia GOP has requested an investigation.
“The fact that someone filed a complaint is not statute-barred at all by law. It’s just a mere allegation,” said Stanley Brand, a general representative of the House of Representatives in the 1970s and 1980s. since then has represented numerous public officials in ethics. cases and criminal cases. “Someone needs to take note of it and look at it, and I don’t think anyone is going to investigate it.”
The committee is known for its unwillingness to even act on the actions of sitting senators. In this case, it will have to assert jurisdiction over an alleged issue before Ossoff takes office. Brand said: “For something as technical and trivial as they claim, I just do not see it.”
The Georgia Republican Party’s allegation is that Ossoff, the CEO of an investigative film company, deliberately failed in May to disclose payments he received from Hong Kong company PCCW Media – in which ‘ a Chinese Chinese company had a minority. ownership interest – and from Al Jazeera.
However, in July, Ossoff submitted amended forms listing these payments, as well as payments from other media companies around the world. Its July forms listed payments from 32 media companies, up from 21 in May’s announcement.
We do not apologize for the May omissions, but it is common for senators and candidates to submit amendments that disclose information that was not included in the initial filing. As Ossoff’s campaign notes, Perdue himself has repeatedly submitted amendments.

The ad uses the Ossoff review to suggest that he has a ‘China scandal’, claiming that the Democrat “was paid by the Communist Chinese government by a media company.” The ad indicates that the payment was suspicious, stating, ‘Why China really does Ossoff pay? ‘

There is no evidence to suggest the advertisement that the Chinese government paid Ossoff for bad reasons. According to Ossoff’s campaign, his company received about $ 1,000 in royalties because the Hong Kong media company, PCCW, broadcast two of its investigations into ISIS war crimes.

We can not independently confirm the statement of the Ossoff campaign on the reason for the payment or the total amount, but neither the Purdue campaign nor anyone else has given a credible alternative statement or alternative figure. And a modest fee for licensing documentary films to a media businessman from a media company in which the Chinese government is not the majority owner – would certainly not be enough to portray Ossoff’s advertisement as a suspicious stamp on China. to justify.

Furthermore, the Ossoff campaign says that the payment of about $ 1,000 was actually made to the Ossoff company, not by the Hong Kong company itself, but by a third-party production and distribution company, Sky Vision, which is investigating licensed by the Hong Kong company (as well as to other companies around the world).

The campaign says Ossoff PCCW itself listed on its amended disclosure forms because it wanted to be transparent about who broadcast its company’s productions. According to the campaign, transparency is also the reason why he listed PCCW on the forms, although the payment was below the $ 5,000 threshold at which reporting is required.