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Ad attacks Dole's work on banking committee

Sponsor

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

What the ad says

Images: It shows a U.S. Senate seat with a sign reading “Elizabeth Dole, Wall Street.” Images of trading floors and a couple looking at their monthly bills.

Audio: “Our economy in meltdown. Elizabeth Dole. Six years on the banking committee. Sixty hearings. Silence. Not one question. Not one statement. But she was busy, raising $850,000 from Wall Street. But for us, she voted against helping families keep their homes. Newspapers called her ‘ineffective,' ‘with Bush ... not North Carolinians.' Elizabeth Dole, fighting for Wall Street – but what about us? The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

What the record shows

Banking Committee: Dole has served on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs since 2003.

According to transcripts of committee hearings collected by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Dole did not ask any questions or make comments at 65 hearings held between Sept. 16, 2003, and July 29, 2008.

Dole spokesman Dan McLagan said the DSCC's list included some wrong committees and times when she was speaking on the Senate floor, but he would not give a detailed explanation.

“At first glance their list is riddled with errors,” he said. “I am not going to devote staff time going through their list line-by-line.”

Fund-raising: Dole has raised more than $900,000 from financial firms for her re-election.

According to campaign finance data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Salisbury Republican has raised $906,905 from various parts of the financial sector. McLagan said those companies include N.C.-based banks such as Wachovia, BB&T and Bank of America.

Foreclosures: Earlier this year, Congress considered a bill reforming housing and mortgage regulations to address foreclosures.

One version would have allowed bankruptcy judges to reduce the amount owed or changed the interest rate on a mortgage as part of a debt restructuring.

According to a Feb. 29 story in The New York Times, the Bush administration and Republican senators, including Dole, blocked the bill in a party-line vote to eliminate that and other provisions.

McLagan said the measure would have caused more problems than it solved.

“In a tight credit market, it would have tightened the market further,” he said.

Dole voted against a measure in April to provide $100 million for foreclosure counseling, since the measure was not accompanied by an equivalent spending cut elsewhere in the budget.

Is the ad accurate?

Mostly.

The quotes from newspapers are accurate. Most observers agree that the measures Dole voted against would have helped homeowners, though there is disagreement on their negative effects.

It is hard to gauge the truth about the claim about her silence at committee hearings, although it is clear she did not talk as much as other senators.

Ryan Teague Beckwith, (Raleigh) News & Observer
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