The race: Demo­cratic pri­mary for gov­er­nor

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - smaxwell@or­lan­dosen­tinel.com

The claim: A 30-sec­ond TV spot where Jeff Greene ac­cuses Gwen Gra­ham of not be­ing a true en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist be­cause she voted for the Key­stone Pipe­line and is “threat­en­ing the Ever­glades by build­ing a huge mega-mall there.”

The anal­y­sis :Yes,a“huge mega-mall.” Not a tiny mega-mall, you un­der­stand. Or even a medium mega-mall. This one is huge

and mega. It kind of is. The Amer­i­can Dream mall would be one of the big­gest in Amer­ica, com­plete with an in­door wa­ter and snow park. Be­cause that’s what South Florida needs … snow.

But Gra­ham’s not “build­ing” it. And it’s not in the Ever­glades or even along­side it. Her fam­ily’s com­pany owns some of the land. And it’s sev­eral miles east of the Ever­glades in a part of town that’s

al­ready so de­vel­oped there are as­phalt and min­ing com­pa­nies on one side and a coun­try club and Carrabba’s Ital­ian Grill on the other.

In fact, the Ever­glades Trust (a pretty good judge of what threat­ens the Glades) says the mall is less dam­ag­ing than the min­ing that might oth­er­wise be al­lowed un­der cur­rent zon­ing. And the Ever­glades Trust en­dorsed Gra­ham over Greene and the other Democrats.

But the ad is ac­cu­rate when it says Gra­ham voted for the con­tro­ver­sial Key­stone Pipe­line. She was among 28 House Democrats to vote for it back when she served in Congress. Gra­ham said she viewed the pipe­line as less en­vi­ron­men­tally de­struc­tive than other op­tions. Re­gard­less, the ad is right about that.

The ver­dict: Mixed Malarkey

The race: Demo­cratic pri­mary for U.S. House District 9

The claim: A mailer from Alan Grayson ac­cuses Dar­ren Soto of “DIN­ING WITH DC LOB­BY­ISTS!” while Hur­ri­cane Irma was rav­aging Florida. The anal­y­sis: This piece seems to try to use de­ceit by date. Irma hit Or­lando on Sept. 11. Soto says his Wash­ing­ton fundraiser was Sept. 7 — and that he was back in the district by Sept. 8. As ev­i­dence, his cam­paign of­fered up of­fice sched­ules, Face­book pho­tos and even a board­ing pass from an Amer­i­can Air­lines flight to Or­lando. (He en­joys AAAd­van­tage Gold sta­tus, by the way.)

When I asked Grayson’s cam­paign what was up, a spokesman ar­gued that the mailer doesn’t specif­i­cally claim Soto was in D.C. on the pre­cise day the storm hit (again, Sept. 11), but rather that Soto was in D.C. “dur­ing the state of emer­gency” — which Rick Scott de­clared on Sept. 4.

Ex­cept Grayson’s mailer has a big red ar­row point­ing to the date of Sept. 11 that says: “The DAY Hur­ri­cane Irma hit Cen­tral Florida!” right un­der the claim that “Dar­ren Soto aban­doned us when we needed him most.” The ver­dict: Ma­jor Malarkey

As a part­ing gift, I wanted to high­light what might be the most malarkey-filled mailer I’ve seen any­where in Florida. It hit mail­boxes in Tampa where a shady PAC ac­cused a GOP can­di­date for the county com­mis­sion of hang­ing out with “lib­eral friends.” As ev­i­dence, the mailer shows a photo of Re­pub­li­can Todd Marks stand­ing with … wait for it … Barack Obama !!!! There’s just one lit­tle de­tail: It’s a wax fig­ure of Obama. Marks had some­one snap the photo when he was goof­ing around at a wax mu­seum in Ve­gas — as ex­plained in the Tampa Bay Times piece: “Mailer slams GOP can­di­date for pos­ing with a smil­ing Obama. But he’s a wax Obama.”

The ver­dict: Mold­able malarkey

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