David Gerson is challenging Congressman John Kline for the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement in the 2nd Congressional District. I’ll be writing more in the next week about the race between Kline & Gerson, but I’m starting with a few fact-checks on the messaging points used by Gerson and Kline.
On a section of the campaign’s website, Gerson lists numerous “…Facts About John Kline”, including the statement:
“During his 12 years in office, Kline has never authored a bill that has become law.” Source: Gerson for Congress, David’s Blog, Accessed March 4, 2014
I contacted Gerson’s campaign via-email and asked for a source to support their claim that “…Kline has never authored a bill that has become law.” I received the following statement from David:
Gerson’s campaign is sourcing Wikipedia, which is a free Internet encyclopedia and is collaboratively edited, sometimes anonymously. The credibility of Wikipedia’s use in academics and research is even questioned by editors at Wikipedia. From the “Academic Use” section of Wikipedia:
Wikipedia is not considered a credible source. Wikipedia is increasingly used by people in the academic community, from freshman students to professors, as an easily accessible tertiary source for information about anything and everything. However, citation of Wikipedia in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not considered a credible or authoritative source.
Independent of the information I received from Gerson’s campaign, I searched Congress.gov, which “is the official source for federal legislative information” about details on Kline’s bill authorship since he was elected to Congress. According to Congress.gov, Kline has sponsored or cosponsored 72 individual bills or resolutions that have become law.
The claim from Gerson’s campaign that “…Kline has never authored a bill that has become law.” is completely false. Gerson’s campaign was not able to provide any credible information to support their claim, but more importantly, the campaign had specific doubts about the claim they were making about Kline’s record. The claim from Gerson’s campaign receives a score of a Dead Fish – the equivalent of “liar, liar – pants on fire.”
The highest score a fact-check statement can receive on politics.mn is Four Bobbers. If you’d like a political advertisement or statement fact-checked, please send me an e-mail via the contact page on politics.mn. Is my review fair? Leave a comment on politics.mn.