Truth Check: Misleading to say Stapleton prioritizes prisons over education

Truth Check
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DENVER — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2018 midterms. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check involves the an attack on Walker Stapleton, the Republican nominee for Governor. The commercial is paid for by the Polis campaign


Walker Stapleton does not value public education 

Exact quote in ad: "Coloradoans value education and opportunity, except Walker Stapleton."

Verdict: False.

Reason: To say Stapleton does not value education is false. It is true Stapleton has opposed educating funding measures in the past like Amendment 66 in 2013 and Amendment 73 in 2018 (measures that would have boosted education funding) but he has done so not because he hates schools but because he disagrees with giving school districts large amounts of unchecked money.

Stapleton's 2018 education platform includes cutting down on administrative costs to get more money into the classroom, a sales tax holiday on school supplies, and tax free savings accounts for education. Hardly the policies of someone who doesn't value education or opportunity.


Stapleton would shift money from prisons to schools 

Exact quote in ad: "Stapleton says Colorado spends too much on schools and that Colorado ought to be using money on prisons."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The Truth Check believes it is fair game to bring up past comments and speeches from the candidates. However we also believe that editing past comments and not indicating when they were said is misleading.

Democrats have circulated this 2010 video of Walker Stapleton widely over the last year - but it is edited.

The Polis commercial uses Stapleton saying the phrase, "We are already spending too much money on unchecked money as it is on education, that is money we could be use on correction services."

This is the full quote, as we played in its entirety in the above video. "Because of automatic ratchets in our budget we are already spending too much unchecked money as it is on education and we don't have enough money to go around and this is money we could use on correction services and money we could use on infrastructure."




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