Truth Test: Kendra Horn Ad Claims Steve Russell Broke Promises

Monday, October 29th 2018, 7:35 am
By: Grant Hermes

We're stepping away from the governor's race to take a look at an ad about Rep. Steve Russell from his Democratic challenger Kendra Horn in a race for House District 5 which has become one to watch.

The ad starts with a few claims about how bad things have become in Oklahoma.

“Among the worst states for healthcare: 47th in education quality, D+. Dead last,” the ad’s narrator said

We're going to treat these as all the same claim. They're also true. It does depend on the list or ranking you look at, but Oklahoma has annually ranked at the bottom of the list for healthcare coverage, education quality and higher education funding. We're giving these claims a collective true.

From there, the ad pivots trying to link Russell to Governor Mary Fallin and alleging he broke promises.

Steve Russell promised to address the rising cost of health care and funding for our failing schools.

Are these promises Russell has made? Yes, He made promises, but whether you think they're broken is a matter of your personal politics.

Russell opposed the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma. He voted for the American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office said would have reduced federal spending on healthcare by $119 Billion but it would also have left close to 14 million people without coverage.

When it comes to education, we couldn't find any specific statement about funding schools; rather Russell’s repeated statements and votes for measures aimed at de-federalizing education. We'll give this claim a true, because he did make those promises.

Finally, did Russell take $1 Million from lobbyists, corporations and the Republican party? It's the hardest hitting claim and it's just not true.

“Steve Russell took one million dollars from lobbyists, corporate PACs, big oil and party bosses in Washington,” the ad claims.

The ad points to the website Open Secrets which tracks campaign finances. The page for Russell said he's accepted just under $837,000 this cycle. According to the Federal Election Commission he's accepted closer to $850,000.

While he has taken money from lobbyists, corporations and the Republican Party, it falls short of $1 million. Which is why we'll give this last claim a false.

In the end we give this ad two trues and one false.

Read all of Grant's 'Truth Tests' related to the 2018 elections in Oklahoma:

Truth Test: How True Are Pay-To-Play Charges Against Edmondson?

Truth Test: Truths And Half-Truths About Drew Edmondson's Funding

Truth Test: Kevin Stitt Falsely Says He's Stepped Down From His Company

Truth Test: Vice President Pence Tells Truths, Falsehoods In Tulsa

Truth Test: Did Kevin Stitt Call Politicians Great?

Truth Test: Does Something 'Stink' In Edmondson's Record?

Truth Test: Edmondson Ad Earns Mixed Ratings