After failing Mark Taylor's ad overstating his role in creating the HOPE scholarship and accusing Cathy Cox of not supporting it, the Macon, GA tv station puts Cox's ad, refuting Taylor's claims and accusing the Lt. Gov. of using his influence to use prison labor for personal gain and costing "little guys" their jobs, to the same test. Unlike Taylor's ad, Cox's ad passed the truth test.
Here's the report including a video at the link below:
Cox Ad Passes 13WMAZ Truth Test
Two of the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates continue flooding the airways with attack ads against each other.
With each new ad, Secretary of State Cathy Cox and Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor blend fresh assaults with prior attacks. Two weeks ago, 13WMAZ put a Taylor ad to our truth test. It failed.
A Cox ad underwent the truth test Monday.
Cox begins her ad with references to a Taylor ad that came under attack from the person who wrote the story Taylor used to justify his accusation that Cox voted against the lottery.
"A fabrication, grasping for straws," the Cox ad begins. "That's what the media calls Mark Taylor's deceitful attack on Cathy Cox."
Taylor alleged in his ad that Cox said she voted against the lottery while speaking to the Colquitt County Lions Club in April 1993. In his ad, Taylor pictured a copy of the Miller County Liberal, a weekly newspaper, to support his claim. But Terry Toole, editor and publisher of the paper, and the person who wrote the story, said Cox discussed her first session as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Cox took office in January 1993, four months before addressing the Lions Club.
Toole said Cox told the Lions she didn't vote for the lottery when it went through the General Assembly in 1992, because she wasn't a member of that body then. Toole called the Taylor ad a fabrication in which Taylor grasped for straws. Toole asked Taylor to pull the ad. It wasn't pulled.
"Cathy Cox has always supported HOPE scholarship. Always," her ad says.
Cox always has supported the HOPE scholarship program. HOPE scholarship money comes from lottery proceeds. It helps students pay their college expenses. Cox still supports HOPE.
"And Big Guy Mark Taylor?" her ad said. "He's a top executive at one of Georgia's largest trucking companies."
That's true. But it needs clarification.
Taylor is vice president of his father's business, Fred Taylor Trucking Company in Albany. Whether it's one of the largest trucking companies in Georgia is questionable.
"And as lieutenant governor, Mark Taylor used his power to get free prisoner labor for a company project, costing hard-working, law-abiding Georgians their jobs," the Cox ad says.
That’s partially true.
And the Taylor campaign itself provided data that proved the point. In September 1998, Transwaste - owned by Fred Taylor and an associate - merged with Waste Industries Inc. The two Albany businessmen got $10 million cash and $14.7 million in stock from the transaction.
In February 1999, newly seated Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor - a stockholder in Waste Industries - met with officials from the state Department of Corrections and the Solid Waste Management Authority of Crisp County to arrange using prison labor at the authority. The arrangement would save the authority $300,000 a year. But it would cost 50 trash sorters their jobs.
By April 1999, prisoners had the jobs. Thirty-five inmates from Pulaski State Women's Prison had replaced the 50 authority laborers. Of those 50, the Taylor campaign said, 35 received welfare checks before getting their trash sorting jobs. Ten of them returned to welfare after being replaced by prison labor, the Taylor group said.
Transwaste hauled trash to the authority. But the company - and stockholders like Mark Taylor - didn't benefit directly from the prison labor.
"Mark Taylor. He lies and just looks out for the other big guys," says the Cox ad.
Taylor wasn't completely candid when he accused Cox of telling the Lion's Club she didn't vote for the lottery. And Taylor has helped influential and powerful people.
"Georgians, we deserve better," the Cox ad says in conclusion.
Despite the questionable claim that Fred Taylor Trucking is one of Georgia's largest and the insinuation that Taylor benefited from prison labor, the majority of the ad is truthful.
It passes our truth test.
As has been much discussed on this blog and elsewhere, this Democratic primary race for Governor has a clear winner in the ideas category: healthcare proposal, public safety agenda, education proposal, farm-grown fuels proposal, and now a transportation proposal for Cathy Cox vs. ONE proposal from Mark Taylor on healthcare.
Now add another glaring difference between the two candidates: THE TRUTH. Taylor continues to run ads that have been called false by several objective sources both in state and by a national truth in advertising watchdog group. He distorts his opponent's record because he can't find any actual holes in her record or her character. On the other hand, Cox sticks to being truthful. She doesn't attack Mark Taylor simply for the sake of attacking him. She has enough respect for the people of Georgia to point out fallacies in Taylor's claims and his support of "big guys" over us "little guys," while not overstating her own record, distorting context or making up stories about her opponent.
One of these two candidates is going to be our choice for unseating Sonny Perdue. I'm supporting the winner either way. But in this primary election, I prefer to back the one that's going to tell me what she plans on doing for the state of Georgia and the one that's not going to insult my intelligence by taking verifiable facts and lie about her opponent. And that candidate is clearly Cathy Cox.