PolitiFact Georgia and the AJC Truth-O-Meter last week took a look at Atlanta crime, voting records, campaign finance and the proposed new Falcons stadium.
We examined whether Atlanta’s felony crimes have declined to some of the lowest numbers in decades. We researched whether U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and former lawmaker Ron Paul had similar conservative voting records. And for good measure, we picked up a claim by former President Jimmy Carter about money raised — or not raised — during his race against Gerald Ford. PolitiFact Georgia also kept its eye on Atlanta’s proposed new football stadium, with a check this week of how much public money is involved in similar projects.
Abbreviated versions of our fact checks are below, and full versions can be found at: www.politifact.com/georgia/. Our website also features a roundup of statements made about the federal budget cuts that could come with sequestration.
To comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own, go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia). You can also find us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga).
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun: Says that except for foreign policy, Ron Paul’s voting record and his voting record are virtually identical.
Broun, a Georgia Republican, announced earlier this month his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Saxby Chambliss.
In a fundraising letter Broun aligns himself with noted conservatives, including former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, saying that the two have very similar voting records.
The men’s congressional terms overlapped from 2007 to January 2013. They have embraced conservative positions on issues such as the role of government and government spending, and they share medical backgrounds.
During that time, PolitiFact Georgia examined 383 votes taken by both men and found that their votes differed just 6 percent of the time after the foreign policy exclusion.
We rated Broun’s statement True.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: Felony crimes in the city of Atlanta are the lowest they have been since 1969.
Reed made this claim in his recent State of the City speech and in a pamphlet called “30 Accomplishments in 3 Years.”
The Atlanta Police Department provided us with crime data going back to 1960, and we checked FBI crime data. The totals matched most years. PolitiFact Georgia has examined Atlanta crime statistics before, and we noted that crime statistics are difficult to cross-check.
The number of reported felony crimes was found to be the lowest since 1969. Depending on which city population figures are used, the lowest felony crime rate was found to be in either 2012, 1970 or 1971.
Despite past incidents of underreporting by the APD, there is no evidence now of that currently happening.
We rated Reed’s statement True.
Former President Jimmy Carter: “When I ran against incumbent President Gerald Ford, you know how much money we raised? None.”
Carter made this claim during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.
The 1976 race between Carter and Ford was the first presidential election run under the post-Watergate amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. Under this law, for the general election, candidates could receive full federal funding, up to $20 million, as long as they raised no private money for the general election and stuck to expenditure limits.
Carter did raise private money for the primary phase of the campaign, but for the general campaign, both he and Ford agreed to the expenditure limits. By accepting the money, both candidates were legally barred from raising money for their official campaign committees.
Carter, however, exaggerates slightly because he and his campaign did help raise money for the Democratic National Committee, a compliance fund to follow campaign finance laws and for down-ballot candidates.
We rated Carter’s statement Mostly True.
Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui: “Of the 18 stadiums built from 2004 to 2013, 47 percent of the total cost came from public sources.”
Farooqui made this claim during a presentation before the Atlanta City Council earlier this month about plans for a proposed $1 billion football stadium.
In the past decade,18 multimillion-dollar facilities were built for professional sports teams. These facilities cost a combined $11.7 billion to build, with a public contribution of about $5.6 billion, or 48 percent of the total cost.
Of the four venues that cost $1 billion or more to build, the public investment was about 18 percent, two percentage points less than the Atlanta project would require.
The claim is on target, even if you remove arenas. But the public investment in billion-dollar stadiums was much less than 47 percent. We believe this context is necessary to fully understand Farooqui’s statement.
We rated Farooqui’s claim Mostly True.