Truth test - Brad Henry campaign

Tuesday, August 20th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

You've seen them on television - and next week, they'll be on the ballot. The candidates for Governor have little more than a week to make their mark on voters.

Many will use television advertisements, which give candidates unfiltered access to voters. And in those ads, they can make just about any claim they want. News on Six reporter Emory Bryan listens to some of their claims, and tests them.

State Senator Brad Henry believes his experience at the capitol can help him win the Governor's race. Announcer: "he passed a $5,500 tax exemption for seniors.” So we put that claim to the test. The tax exemption came out of the 1996 legislative session. It’s an income tax exemption for retirees, allowing them to avoid taxes on their first $5,500 of income. And Brad Henry authored it in the State Senate.

That's the only claim of credit in that commercial - the rest of it talks about his plans. Announcer: "As governor, he'll eliminate the tax on retirement income." But of course - that's only if legislators agree to do it - and they don't often agree to cut taxes. Henry's staff says the tax cut would save retirees $200 million dollars. They believe it would attract people to Oklahoma - bringing in more than enough money to make up for the loss in the state budget.

And then there's this claim. Announcer: "rather than keep waiting for congress, he'll work to lower the cost of prescription drugs now." Henry says his work in the legislature lowered the cost of drugs for seniors - but it actually just created a central phone number for information on drug company discounts. The discounts come from the drug companies - and only apply to low-income people on certain medication - most people don't qualify.

As more ads run, the News on Six will run more of them through the truth test - to see if the claims they make, are actually true.