COLORADO, USA — Leading up to the Nov. 8 Election, we will Truth Test political ads to help you make an informed decision.
The 8th Congressional District is Colorado's newest, and the result of an increased population determined every 10 years by the census. An independent redistricting commission drew the boundaries of CD8 to include parts of Adams, Larimer and Weld Counties.
As of Sept. 1, the voter registration makeup of CD8 is:
- 46% Unaffiliated - 193,044
- 27% Democrat - 113,683
- 24% Republican - 100,763
Because it is a district that could swing to either party, national money from Washington, D.C. is being spent on political ads.
The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is a conservative Super PAC supporting candidates that would give Republicans the majority in the House of Representatives.
CLF is airing an attack ad against State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, the Democratic candidate for CD8, calling her a "radical politician."
AD CLAIM: "Caraveo was 'proud' of her bill, that could kill thousands of Colorado energy jobs. It was called a threat to livelihoods across the state, but Caraveo didn't care."
VERDICT: Slow down. This claim combines an accurate word "proud," with an inaccurate reason for why.
In a 2020 Denver Post questionnaire while running for reelection at the State House, Caraveo said, "I was a proud prime sponsor of SB19-181…"
That's the 2019 bill that changed how oil and gas would be regulated in Colorado, with a focus on public safety, health and welfare. Her questionnaire did not say she was proud because of the claim that the bill killed thousands of jobs or was a threat to livelihoods.
Because of COVID-19, we cannot take the employment data and know exactly how much is because of stricter oil and gas regulations.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) tracks employment by industry. There are five that CDLE identifies as having direct oil and gas employment:
- Oil and gas extraction
- Drilling oil and gas wells
- Support activities for oil and gas operations
- Oil and pipeline construction
- Pipeline transportation
Between March 2019 and March 2022, Colorado has lost 12,223 oil and gas jobs. That is a drop of 37%.
In that same timeframe, CDLE data shows that oil and gas friendly states have also had a drop in jobs.
Texas is down 25%.
Alaska is down 32%
Wyoming is down 40%.
Montana, which had the fewest oil and gas jobs in March 2019 (2,769), saw an increase of almost 9% to 3,009 jobs in March 2022.
AD CLAIM: "She pushed a gas tax hike and the elimination of TABOR to fund her extreme agenda…"
VERDICT: This claim is extreme itself.
Caraveo did not push a gas tax hike, but she did vote yes for the 2021 bill that was going to add a new gas free of two cents per gallon, escalating up to eight cents per gallon in 2028. She also voted yes for the 2022 bill that delays the start of the gas fee until April 2023, conveniently after the November election.
As for eliminating TABOR. Yes, on Caraveo's former website from when she ran for reelection at the State House, part of her platform included "Ending TABOR." Many Democrats, including Caraveo, want to end TABOR and allow the state to keep and spend money that currently gets refunded back to residents.
Caraveo, like other Democrats, also voted "yes" this year on a bill that allowed residents to get some of next year's TABOR refund faster. The $750 and $1,500 checks went out last month, and are part of the TABOR money that Caraveo would rather that state be able to keep.
TABOR, however, still exists.
BOTTOM LINE: The ad is accurate when it comes to quoting Caraveo about the oil and gas bill, but it combines her quote with misleading statistics that had nothing to do with her quote in the first place.
Those oil and gas job statistics cannot be directly connected to the oil and gas bill without taking into account COVID-19. The ad cites her support of a gas fee and eliminating TABOR. To fund an extreme agenda is an extreme claim. TABOR, for what it is worth, is a state issue, and would not be something that she could address in Congress.