Eyewitness News hosted the 4th Congressional District Republican candidate forum Monday night, where Congressman Mike Pompeo and challenger Todd Tiahrt made a lot of claims. FactFinder 12 went through those claims and checked to see which were fact, and which were misleading.
In opening statements, Tiahrt said he is running for Congress, in part, to grow the local economy. He blamed Pompeo for a downturn in the aviation industry.
TIAHRT SAID: "We've lost half our airplane companies. We've got thousands laid off."
We found that statement misleading. FactFinder 12 went to Wichita State's Center of Economic Development and Business Research where those numbers are tracked. Its research shows the number of total aerospace companies in Wichita have actually gone up since 2010. However, major aircraft companies, like Boeing, have gone down. Tiahrt's spokesman said Tiahrt was referring to major companies specifically.
WSU also found Wichita has lost about 1,200 aviation jobs since Pompeo took office.
POMPEO SAID: "Fracking is completely and environmentally sound, completely and environmentally safe."
We found that statement misleading. In May, scientists in Ohio said new research shows a link between fracking and earthquakes after a major spike in earthquakes around the country in recent months. Pompeo's spokesman said Pompeo was talking specifically about fracking contaminating groundwater.
Eyewitness News focused on Pompeo saying "completely and environmentally safe," but in the forum Pompeo went on to say by "well-run" companies. His spokesman said that was his focus for the comment.
Over and over, in debates, ads, and speeches, and again at Monday night's forum, the candidates made back and forth claims about Pompeo's votes on the Affordable Care Act.
TIAHRT SAID: "Mr. Pompeo's voted seven times to fund Obamacare."
POMPEO SAID: "I voted against the Affordable Care Act 57 times and I'll vote against it again."
We initially found both statements are fact. But after additional research, we now believe Tiahrt's statement about Pompeo voting 7 times to fund Obamacare needs more explanation.
Look for Fact Finder 12 investigator Michael Schwanke's report for more details on Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
TIAHRT SAID: "Mr. Pompeo is completely inaccurate about the Dream Act. I never did support the Dream Act. That's a false statement."
We found that misleading. The Dream Act creates steps to becoming a citizen for undocumented students. In 2001, Tiahrt co-sponsored the "Student Adjustment Act" which was later known as the Dream Act.
In 2010, Tiahrt told us his support changed after talking with constituents. His spokesman now says the Student Adjustment Act dealt with people already on their way to becoming citizens, which he says makes the two bills different.
Eyewitness News is committed to helping you make an informed decision in the 2014 election. You can also count on us to fact check political ads throughout the race.