Throughout the 2012 political season, 9NEWS will hold those who run political ads on our networks accountable for what they say.
The ad from the Coors campaign makes no claims worthy of testing, though the campaign staff of Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) says it gives the impression that Coors is "greener" than his past stances would indicate.
It's a worthy debate, but not at issue in this Truth Test.
The attack ad from the pro-Democrat House Majority PAC does make several claims that can be tested.
It begins by mocking a previous ad in which Coors says on-camera "I'm not a beer."
"His views on women?" asks an announcer to herself. "More like a big ol' can of extreme."
The ad goes on to support that opinion by pointing to the flowing claims:
CLAIM: Coors supported and funded the "personhood" initiative.
Verdict: True, but only because the phrasing is in past tense.
Joe Coors donated $1000 to the 2010 version of the "personhood" initiative, which can be seen on the initiative's contribution report dated October 15, 2010.
Coors also supported the version of the initiative that ran in 2008.
He did not support the 2012 version of the "personhood" initiative, which failed to get enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
The Coors campaign says he is following the lead of voters who clearly do not support the measure, but that Coors still considers himself pro-life.
CLAIM: The "personhood" initiative backed by Coors would have banned abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
The goal of the personhood initiative Coors supported was to ban abortion.
It would have done that by defining life, but the wording of the initiative didn't mention "abortion" or any circumstances that would allow an exception to a ban on abortion.
Since it didn't pass, it wasn't tested in court.
Some believe it could have banned all abortions no matter what.
Either way, the Coors campaign says that Joe Coors would seek to ban abortion, but would allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.
A spokesperson for Coors says he would encourage women who are pregnant from instances of rape or incest not to terminate their pregnancies. But he does not believe the law should "criminalize" abortion in such traumatic circumstances.
CLAIM: The "personhood" initiative backed by Coors could have banned most common forms of birth control.
We give the ad credit for using the word "could" in this claim, but they did so because this is also debatable.
The "personhood" initiative did not mention birth control. Some believed its definition of life could have made some forms of birth control illegal.
This theory was never tested in court.
Coors does not support a ban on any kind of birth control, according to a campaign spokesperson.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Joe Coors is a pro-life candidate.
He has supported an unpopular ballot initiative aimed at banning abortions.
The practical effect that ballot question would have had is still unclear, but Coors' position is that he would seek to ban abortion, allowing exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
Research by: Emily Parker