Baltmore, MD - In the latest commercial for Republican Senate Candidate Eric Wargotz, Senator Barbara Mikulski has the body of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and tiny little dinosaur arms, but is what's being said about her voting record the truth?
Welcome to the world of heavy duty political rhetoric it doesn't have to be completely true to go before voters.
"In political speech you're not libel simply because you made a false statement people make false statements all the time rather you're libel under two conditions, one you know the assertion was false." University of Maryland Law School Associate Dean and Professor Erik Graber says. "Second, you made a make a statement in reckless disregard of the truth."
A so called official ballot was sent to ABC 2 by a viewer who felt that the wording in this 45th district mailing was misleading.
He felt that it would make voters think that these were their only options on the ballot they'll see in the booth.
The Maryland Attorney General's office says that this type of ad is okay because it is sanctioned by an approved group even though the actually ballot has similar wording.
So when candidates or parties make claims such as being tough and smart on crime, or fighting crime first how do you know that's true?
Graber says that's where voters have to make choices.
And use their own filters and knowledge of the issues and being an informed member of the electorate so they can separate the truth from lies, the half truths from bold face lies, and the real truth from the real garbage.
"We expect to candidates not just to engage in a little bit of exaggeration but a great deal of exaggeration and voters are expected to know that. Vote for me and we'll be out of this recession in five days highly unlikely however we've decided that voters can decide that." Graber says.
Graber says our politics have become so polarized over the past 20 years or so that even if a candidate a runs a spot that criticizes candidate B that is absolutely true candidate B's supporters don't and won't believe it.
In fact it even solidifies their support for their candidate.
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