BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Following our exclusive 2 On Your Side / Buffalo News poll that showed the 27th District Congressional Race a dead heat, both candidates hit the airwaves this week with their first ads this general election.
2 On Your Side found no falsehoods in the ads; however, there were some close calls in Collins' commercial when he tried to tie Hochul to President Obama, saying "all they do is raise taxes, impose more regulations and spend more of your money."
First a look at taxes. President Obama has supported some tax increases, but he's also cut taxes, especially for individuals making less than $200,000 and couples making under $250,000. All together, PolitiFact concluded "most taxpayers have seen reduced rates under Obama's administration."
As for regulations, it was another close call. Bloomberg found President Obama actually approved fewer new federal rules during his first 33 months than did his predecessor during the same time frame. However, President Obama's regulations were expected to be more costly overall.
Collins' ad also touts his jobs record in the private sector, saying he saved or created more than 500 jobs. Hochul's campaign challenged that part of Collins' ad, but 2 On Your Side found it to be true.
While some of Collins' companies had fewer employees after he purchased them than existed before, the jobs were eliminated by the old employers. Collins' companies were able to save some, but not all, of the old jobs. To say he is responsible for job losses was a stretch, 2 On Your Side determined.
In response to the Hochul campaign's criticism of his business record, Collins issued a news release calling on his opponent to "visit (the) businesses and meet (the) 622 employees whose jobs Collins created or saved."
In Hochul's ad, she describes her "independence" from the parties in Washington, citing her vote for the balanced budget amendment. Very few of her fellow Democrats supported that proposal.
2 On Your Side found Hochul's claim to be true. Her campaign says her claim of being an independent Democrat is backed up by her voting record. An analysis shows she only voted with her party 82% of the time, which is low by today's Washington standards. Only about 2 dozen members of Congress split more with their parties than did Hochul.
Hochul also referenced her vote to cut aid to Pakistan. 2 On Your Side found 4 votes in which she tried to cut aid and found that claim to also be true.
In addition to the candidates, expect to see a lot of outside money spent in this race. Already, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee reserved air time on WGRZ and other local television stations.
For more on the Truth Tests, watch 2 On Your Side's Michael Wooten's full reports in the video players.