Buffalo, N.Y. - It's something new in that hot congressional race between Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul and Republican challenge Chris Collins in the new 27th district.
There's a new ad in the race, this one paid for not by Hochul or Collins, but an outside group. In this case, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The ad follows the Collins' playbook of tying Hochul to President Obama, who is not popular in the district.
"Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Barack Obama promised change when they first came into office..." is how the ad begins.
We put the ad to our Truth Test:
"Hochul voted to slash $716 billion from your Medicare," the ad states.
This is misleading.
Why? President Obama's health care plan doesn't "slash" money from Medicare.
What it does is restrain future growth in spending and the money comes not from patient care, but from hospitals and HMOs.
Additionally, in his budget proposal, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan calls for reducing the future growth in Medicare spending by that exact same $716 billion figure, and Collins when asked about the Ryan budget and its cuts said they don't go far enough.
The next claim:
"Hochul backed the Wall Street bailout."
This statement is also misleading. The congressional vote to bail out banks was in the fall of 2008, long before Hochul was in congress. In addition, the bailout was backed by House Speaker John Boehner who is going to do a fundraiser for Collins in about two weeks. Hochul was asked by the Buffalo News last year about the bailout and in hindsight, said she thought it was necessary.
The last claim in the ad:
"Hochul supported higher taxes on small businesses."
This one is a bit of a stretch. Hochul voted in favor President Obama's budget plan, which would have extended the Bush tax cuts for anyone making under $250,000 a year, which Hochul's campaign says would cover 97% of all businesses.
It's true that anyone making over $250,000 a year would have seen their taxes rise. Also true though is that Hochul voted to extend the President's payroll tax cut, which saves the average taxpayer about $1,000 a year.