Truth Check: Polis on the attack against Kennedy following PAC ads

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DENVER — The Truth Check team has looked at every political television advertisement this cycle from gubernatorial candidates. While Jared Polis has for the most part stayed positive with his commercials -- that is no longer the case.

Polis' latest commercial goes after fellow Democrat Cary Kennedy; a clear response to a negative attack a PAC backing Kennedy launched on him last week. 

See some of our previous “Truth Check” segments here.

You can also Read our criteria and standards..


Kennedy launched false attacks against Jared Polis 

Exact quote in ad: "We are all Colorado teachers and we are very disappointed by Cary Kennedy's false attacks against Jared Polis."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The attack launched against Polis did not come from Kennedy and her campaign. As the Truth Check team previously documented,the attack came from a PAC endorsing Kennedy. According to state law, Kennedy and the PAC cannot coordinate.


Polis has been against vouchers and supported  public education greatly throughout his career. 

Exact quote in ad: "Jared has voted against vouchers in Congress every time it has come up - Jared has spend most of his life helping Colorado's public schools."

Verdict: True

Reason: Without question Polis has a strong record on education. The Truth Check has previously documented Polis' record on vouchers. 

Polis has also donated much of his wealth to education efforts and has served on the State Board of Education.


Polis was superintendent of a public school  

Exact quote in ad: "was superintendent of a public school"

Verdict: Not Exactly

Reason: It is true Polis has served as a superintendent. However he served as superintendent of the New America School -- a school he helped found using his immense personal wealth. The Polis campaign points out Polis was appointed superintendent by a board -- he did not appoint himself to the position.


Polis lead the effort with Amendment 23 to increase education funding

Exact quote in ad: "He led the effort to increase funding for every school in Colorado."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The Truth Check team believes the claim is very vague. After checking with the Polis campaign, officials say they were referring to Polis' role in the Amendment 23 effort -- which increased education funding in the state.

After examining leadership roles from back when Amendment 23 was being voted on in Colorado, the Truth Check team believes it is misleading to say Polis "lead" the effort to get it passed.

Polis without question was a major donor and supporter of the effort. But one could argue Kennedy "led" with the passage of the Amendment by authoring the effort. .

The Polis campaign provided this quote from Rick Ridder, a Polis consultant, who was also a consultant on Amendment 23:

“I worked with the committee on Amendment 23 and like all ballot initiatives there were many leaders who helped spearhead this effort. In this case, the leadership team included Jared Polis, Chris Romer and Cary Kennedy who together were instrumental in leading the effort to increase funding for every school.” - Rick Ridder, Amendment 23 consultant.

The Truth Check team believes the statement further proves Polis was one of many who helped pass Amendment 23.


Kennedy broke her promise with negative campaigning.

Exact quote in ad: "Cary said she would run a clean campaign -- what else will she break?"

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: As stated earlier, a PAC criticized Polis  - not Kennedy herself. It should also be noted that Polis signed a clean campaign pledge as well.


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