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PolitiFact Ohio, a nonpartisan watchdog activity of The Plain Dealer, has rated the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s latest attack on Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Medina County) as “Pants on Fire.” Pants on Fire is the lowest rating PolitiFact can give a statment, and is defined as “the statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”
The DCCC, which is responsible for electing Democrats to the House of Representatives, claimed in a press release on July 2 that “Foreign Chinese prostitution money is allegedly behind the groups funding Congressman Jim Renacci’s Republican majority.” The “source” behind this outrageous accusation is a lawsuit alleging that Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate and prolific Republican donor, approved of prostitution at a property in China that his company owns. No evidence has been put forth to substantiate this claim, and Adelson has virulently denied that any such activity took place on the grounds of his property.
From this unfounded allegation, the DCCC attempted to slander Renacci, who is in no way connected to Adelson. Although Adelson has given $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a SuperPAC which supports House Republicans, that PAC has to this point not been active in support of Renacci this year. Adelson has never given any money to Renacci’s campaign.
The DCCC’s logic flows as such: If lawyers claim prostitution occured on a property that Sheldon Adelson’s company owned, all money Adelson has is tainted. If Adelson gives money to a PAC, that PAC is therefore “funded by Chinese prostitution money.” And if there is a chance that this PAC supports Jim Renacci at some point, then Renacci is supported by prostitution money!
Of the 20 DCCC statements reviewed by PolitiFact this year, 75% have been ruled as “mostly false” or worse, and 6 have been tagged as “Pants on Fire.” PolitiFact is a Pulitzer Prize-winning project created by the Tampa Bay Times and used by several newspapers, including the Plain Dealer, to weight the accuracy of claims made by politicians and political organizations.
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