Playing fast and loose with the facts

No one should be surprised that constant political embarassment Katherine Harris plays fast and loose with the facts. What is surprising is how easy it is to catch her in lies.

Writes Larry Lipman in The Palm Beach Post:

On the campaign trail and in her literature, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris boasts that, as a freshman member of Congress, she passed the American Dream Downpayment Act, "enabling 4.5 million low-income workers to own their first home while growing the U.S. economy by $256 billion."

Federal reports indicate Harris’ claims are grossly exaggerated.

A Government Accountability Office report issued June 30 found that, through 2005, only $98.5 million of the $211 million Congress appropriated had been used by local governments to help more than 13,000 low-income families buy new homes — far below her claim of 4.5 million.

Harris also has taken projections of the Bush administration’s goals for expanding minority homeownership and used them as the basis of her claims for the economic impact of the American Dream Downpayment Act.

Harris’ congressional spokesman, Gerry Fritz, conceded Wednesday that the claims in her campaign literature were inaccurate.

"Someone in the campaign made an error," he said, acknowledging that Harris’ figures came from a 2002 Department of Housing and Urban Development report that predicted President Bush’s goal of expanding minority homeownership by 5.5 million families "will stimulate an additional $256 billion in benefits to the housing sector of the U.S. economy."