Fact Check: Ben Ray Lujan's new TV ad | KOB 4
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Fact Check: Ben Ray Lujan's new TV ad

Joshua Panas
Updated: August 07, 2020 10:24 PM
Created: August 07, 2020 05:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for the U.S. Senate, has released a new TV ad.

Chris Ramirez put the ad through the 4 Investigates Fact Check process. 

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The Ad:

"My dad loved life. But it was cut short. Lung cancer.  From the toxic chemicals he inhaled as an ironworker at Los Alamos. I'm Ben ray Lujan. Mom and dad were lucky to have insurance. To many, a cancer diagnosis means bankruptcy or losing your home. It's why I've fought to defend medicare, expand medicaid and protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their healthcare. I approve this message because I'll always fight for you. 

Fact Check

Claim 1:

"My dad loved life. But it was cut short. Lung cancer. From the toxic chemicals he inhaled as an ironworker at Los Alamos. 

The statement has been deemed accurate.

Ben Ray Lujan's father Ben Lujan was a state legislator who rose through the ranks to become Speaker of the House. He died in 2012 and it was reported then that lung cancer was a cause.

Claim 2:

"It's why I've fought to defend medicare, expand medicaid and protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their healthcare."

The claim has been deemed accurate.

Lujan is using his vote in 2010 for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it's called, to support the statement. 

On the issue of healthcare, the TV ad doesn't state it, but last year, Lujan's congressional office released a statement stating Lujan supports Medicare-for-all. It's a controversial idea that not even all democrats agree on.  

Analysis

Lonna Atkeson, professor of political science at UNM, does not believe Lujan's stance on Medicare-for-all will have a major impact on the race.

"I don't think it hurts him. I don't know if it helps him," she said. "I don't think that's what this election at the moment is about."

Lujan's Republican challenger, Mark Ronchetti, has not aired a TV ad since his primary race. Atkeson said that could become an issue the later he remains off the airwaves.

"As we move into August, I think you have to be increasingly concerned about that, especially in an environment where you can't connect with people, 1-on-1 or in huge rallies."

A spokesperson for Ronchetti's campaign said they will be getting up TV ads "soon."


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