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Should there be a penalty for outright lying in campaign ads?

Not just the half-facts and out of context games they all play. When they truly cross a line that misrepresents what someone else says, there's already a process for that. There's a woman here who keeps trying to get elected to anything, and is constantly losing, mostly since she was censured for lying about an opposing candidate years ago, and people still remember.

What I'm talking about is a lie of actual facts, like if a candidate said 80% of all children in the US live below the poverty line, and my opponent wants to cut funding to the program that provides aid to children below poverty. Obviously, 80% of all children do not live below the poverty line, and there's no way you could doctor the numbers to make that true.

What should that penalty be?

(for those curious why I ask, there are several whoppers, but one in particular, in Rick Perry's new campaign suicide ad)

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:42 AM on Dec. 8, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I think they should be disqualified from running that term. We need honest politicians. Personally, I research the candidates and let my vote be the reward or consequence. And the minute I see mudslinging from a candidate, I strike them off my list.

    Answer by brandyj at 11:03 AM on Dec. 8, 2011

  • There probably should be but it'd be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to enforce as you'd have to be able to prove the person knowingly lied and that it wasn't just due to a lack of understanding or knowledge of some, perhaps obsure, facts and you'd have to be able to prove that it wasn't a deliberate eggargeration (sp) for the purpose of making a point.

    Answer by meriana at 11:04 AM on Dec. 8, 2011

  • What's the difference between that, and people lying on the stand in court? It's par for the course. I think there should be a punishment but not sure what and how to enforce it, like PP said.

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 12:02 PM on Dec. 8, 2011

  • Only if it's illegal for Congress and the executive office to lie about legislation and how it will impact citizens.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:15 PM on Dec. 8, 2011

  • I agree with QM.


    Answer by agentwanda at 3:38 PM on Dec. 9, 2011

  • I was thinking more like this - before they are allowed to add "I'm so and so and I approve this message" to the end of their ad, they have to swear before a congressional hearing that the following facts (followed by a list of the facts to be read in the ad) are true. If anyone at any time can later prove they are not true, they're liable for perjuring themselves before congress (think how Bill Clinton was disbarred).

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 3:41 PM on Dec. 9, 2011

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