Fact Check: Mark Moores Attack Ad is Misleading

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Republican Congressional Candidate Mark Moores released a political TV ad attacking his Democratic opponent Melanie Stansbury and the KOB 4 Investigates Fact Check Team has declared the ad to be misleading. Moores is running in the June 1 Special Election to fill New Mexico’s 1st District Congressional seat vacated by Deb Haaland.

The political ad insinuates Stansbury hasn’t done enough to protect seniors on a fixed income.

The ad states:

Announcer: Melanie Stansbury had a chance to fight for our seniors, instead during the pandemic, Stansbury has done little to lower the taxes on senior’s Social Security.

Moores: Seniors on a fixed income are being disproportionately impacted. That’s why in the State Senate, I’m leading the effort to repeal the state tax on social security. Seniors on a fixed income shouldn’t be forced to pay taxes on benefits they paid into their entire lives. I’m Mark Moores and I approve this message.

UNM Political Season Professor Lonna Atkeson evaluated the merits with the 4 Investigates Fact Check Team and also concluded, Moores ad is misleading, perhaps even false.

The Facts

As a state legislator, Melanie Stansbury actually sponsored a bill in the 2020 NM Legislative Session that would have ended taxing seniors on their Social Security income. But Moores splits hairs with a time stamp. His ad states, “during the pandemic, Stansbury has done little to lower the taxes on seniors’ Social Security. Rep. Stansbury introduced her bill in January 2020, at the start of the legislative session. The COVID-19 pandemic hit New Mexico a few weeks later in March.

Moores’s campaign maintains the ad is accurate because Stansbury didn’t sponsor a bill related to this issue in the time frame of the pandemic. But the fact that she sponsored a bill just weeks before the pandemic hit can’t be ignored.

“I think why people don’t like negative ads is because [candidates] are splitting hairs and splicing things too thinly,” said UNM Political Science Professor Atkeson. Atkeson went a step further and called Moores’s claims false.

Moores makes the claim that he is leading the effort to repeal the state tax on Social Security, but a review of legislative records reveals Moores has never sponsored a bill or voted on a bill related to this issue. Moores’s campaign did provide a document showing during the 2021 NM Legislative Session, he introduced an amendment to a tax bill on the senate floor that would have exempted taxing social security income. That amendment failed.

Related: Fact Check: Melanie Stansbury Attack Ad is Misleading