22nd Congressional District fact check

Nov 7, 2016

Attack ads complete with a creepy voice and dark music are common in congressional races. In the campaign to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld), they have been ubiquitous.

The race for the 22nd Congressional District, which is considered to be one of the most competitive in the country, has been flooded with outside money that fuels these hit pieces, like the House Majority PAC ad that goes after Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney's (R-New Hartford) attendance record. 

"We all know Claudia Tenney has trouble showing up for work in Albany, missing 480 votes in one session alone," the ad said.

In the ad, the House Majority PAC is using data from the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) from the 2014 Assembly session. Using records from the Assembly speaker's office and NYPRIG, WRVO found that over Tenney's entire legislative career, 2011-2016, she has missed 19 days -- a 95 percent attendance record. during her most recent term from 2015-2016, Tenney missed just six percent of the votes taken.

Democratic Broome County Legislator Kim Myers' father started Dick's Sporting Goods. A National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ad targeted Myers and the company in this ad

"Kim Myers' company abandoned their upstate New York headquarters in order to boost profits, taking good-paying jobs with them," the ad said. 

PolitiFact, a fact checking project that reviews claims from politicians, already looked into these allegations. Myers family's company did move its headquarters from Binghamton to Pittsburgh in 1994, but there's no proof it was done for tax purposes. The only reason PolitiFact could find for the move was the proximity to the Pittsburgh airport. 

In the same NRCC ad, there's a similar criticism of Upstate Jobs Party/Reform Party candidate Martin Babinec's company TriNet.

"Millionaire Martin Babinec his company helps American companies replace jobs with cheap foreign labor," the ad said. 

Babinec founded TriNet, a human resources services company that just this year acquired Teleborder. Teleborder does help American companies find overseas talent for specific job opportunities,  not necessarily to replace current American employees. 

A recent poll from Siena College and Time Warner Cable News found Tenney is in the lead with 38 percent, Myers in a close second place at 34 percent and Babinec in third place with 16 percent.

The 22nd District includes all or part of eight counties stretching from the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier.