DENVER – Once again, Republican businessman Joe Coors has been the target of a negative attack ad. And once again, neutral political fact checkers have determined that the content of the ad fails to meet the “truth test.”
At issue is a negative campaign commercial paid for by embattled incumbent Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood) accusing his GOP challenger Joe Coors of shipping jobs overseas.
“As CEO of CoorsTek, Coors outsourced manufacturing jobs to Asia,” Perlmutter claims in the ad, as a shot of Asian businessmen standing in front of a large sign printed in Korean script appears on the screen.
But Perlmutter’s dubious assertion doesn’t appear to be standing up to outside scrutiny.
Brandon Rittiman of 9 News’ “Truth Test” declined to label the Perlmutter attack ad as “true” after analyzing the spot, instead concluding that the claims in the ad are “arguable.”
“During the time Joe Coors was CEO, CoorsTek bought a manufacturing plant in [South] Korea,” said Rittiman. “But the company stresses that this was an expansion, and that it did not send any of its U.S. jobs overseas as part of the deal.”
According to CoorsTek, the Colorado-based company acquired “a small ceramics manufacturing facility in South Korea” as part of the company’s effort to meet growing demand from customers in Asia.
In addition to the Korean acquisition, CoorsTek also grew its American operations that year, purchasing two other U.S.-based companies and expanding the local firm’s business world-wide.
“While Joe was CEO of CoorsTek, he created thousands of jobs in Colorado, none of which were sent overseas,” said Coors spokeswoman Michelle Yi. “Joe never outsourced one American job.”
Yi cited Perlmutter’s support for record-breaking deficits and the controversial “stimulus” bill that sent billions of dollars to foreign companies in repressive, low-wage countries like China as proof that it is Perlmutter, not Coors, who has contributed to U.S. economic decline.
“Rep. Perlmutter is the one who has a proven record of outsourcing,” she added.
The Coors campaign also noted in a press release that unlike Perlmutter’s missive, the GOP challenger’s most recent ad was certified as “true” by the 9News analysis team.
That ad highlighted Perlmutter’s opposition to allowing child victims of sexual assault to testify via closed circuit television against their attackers, and took the three-term Democrat to task for voting against removing the statute of limitations on most sexual assault crimes (and allowing prosecutors to utilize DNA evidence to solve those crimes).
“Ed Perlmutter’s insincerity doesn’t seem to be limited to his claims of walking the extra mile,” said Yi. “Apparently his attempts to smear Joe’s successful business record are equally as dishonest.”
The contest between Coors and Perlmutter has become much closer than pundits initially expected.
With redistricting making the district more Republican, in addition to the Coors campaign heavy spending on positive TV ads throughout the summer, the race has become one of the most competitive in the state.
Perlmutter hasn’t made it any easier on himself, with numerous impolitic statements landing him in hot water recently.
Perlmutter drew criticism for appearing on Face the Nation to campaign for stricter gun controls in the immediate aftermath of the tragic Aurora theater shootings. And Perlmutter came under fire again for politicizing the shootings just days later, when the Lakewood Democrat cited the slayings as a justification for his vote in favor of ObamaCare during an online forum.
Between Perlmutter’s missteps and the Coors campaigns stronger-than-expected showing the race has tightened earlier than anyone expected, with at least one recent poll showing the upstart Mr. Coors leading Perlmutter by a significant margin.