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ABC 17 News Truth Alert

There are just 12 days until the 2012 Election and politicians are still trying to reach voters any way they can, including through ads attacking their opponents’ records.ABC 17 News dug into the 19th Senate District race between incumbent Sen. Kurt Schaefer and Rep. Mary Still. Both Schaefer and Still highlight past political moves of their opponent, but most of the statements are based on technicalities and are taken out of context.In Still’s ad, she claims Schaefer slashed school budgets. She sources House Bill 2002, which appropriates money for education. Looking through legislative documents, Schaefer actually voted in support of the bill both times it was brought up. He was also the chairman of the committee behind it. He did, however, move for the vote to be reconsidered after it passed.Still next claims Schaefer took $23 million from the University of Missouri and sources an article from the Mizzou Weekly on January 1, 2012. After checking with the magazine, no article was issued on that date. An article was printed on January 25th, but Schaefer is not mentioned in it. Instead, it showed the state appropriations to the university from 2010 to 2012 did have a difference of $23 million. For part of that time, Schaefer was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.In Schaefer’s ad, he claims Still tried to cut $200 million from education. He makes this claim based on a Columbia Tribune article from 2003. The article involved Gov. Bob Holden proposing a last resort option of cutting $200 million from public education. Still was Gov. Holden’s communications director at the time, but was not mentioned in the article.Schaefer also claims Still has never passed a single bill, citing a Columbia Tribune article from December 2011. The article never mentions any of Still’s proposed bills, but records from the House of Representatives’ website shows she has never passed a bill where she was the lead legislative sponsor.Many of the claims from these advertisements come down to specific details of a much broader circumstance. Therefore, it is important that voters do their own research into the political statements made on commercials.

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