PolitiFact: Mayor on target with claim about campaign promises

Posted: 2:37 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 By April Hunt - The Atlanta Journal-…

Georgia (Aug 18, 2014)Posted: 2:37 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014

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http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/politifact-mayor-on-target-with-claim-about-campai/ng29C/#4411c4c2.3520061.735463

By April Hunt - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Everyone knows those folks who want to get elected will make promises they later shrug them off with the same speed as they hand off squirming toddlers.

So imagine the cynical overload when the AJC’s Truth-O-Meter read this absolute in a recent press release from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed:

“He’s kept every promise he made as a candidate, including re-opening the city’s recreation centers, reforming the city’s pension plan, standing up a force of 2,000 police officers and not raising property taxes,” the release claimed. …

We could nitpick since Atlanta had just 1,971 officers on the force this week, as it struggles with the same churn other local law enforcement agencies face.

But PolitiFact Georgia wants to be more skeptical than cynical. So we dug into press coverage during Reed’s 2009 campaign and found smaller promises that need some explaining: …

So, would accepting those explanations mean giving Reed too much leeway to keep his promises?

Not necessarily. Politicians tend to keep promises more than you might think, said Kerwin Swint, the chairman of the political science department at Kennesaw State University.

Blame — sigh — the media for implying candidates don’t at least try, according to Thomas Patterson’s 1993 book, “Out of Order,” Swint said. It cites four studies of seven presidential campaigns and found that once elected, presidents keep the promises they made as candidates.

“In general, politicians try to keep their promises because it’s in their best interest to do so,” Swint said. “From their point of view, they can’t wave a magic wand and make things happen. There is a process, and that can seem like foot-dragging to critics.” …

 

 

 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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