October 25, 2012

Local students attempt to break down election propaganda

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Misleading and unclear statements made throughout the 2012 presidential campaign were broken down and disproven by the Campaigns and Election class at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Tuesday night.

USAO students, faculty and community members were in attendance to this free event. All the facts and statements made throughout the night were presented from a nonpartisan perspective.

"For me it wasn't biased toward Republican or Democrats," said Ana Moreno, a business major from USAO. "It was informative to me. I do wish they could have explained more than having us participating the whole time, but overall I enjoyed it."

Attendees listened to questions, and murmured to their neighbors after each question was proposed on a large screen.

Students Cecilia Wright and Randie Lee opened up the event with discussion on health care, and specifically Obamacare.

The next section was presented by Jasmin Hampton and Lupita Borrego. One question Borrego asked the audience was, "True or false: Obama wants to end funding to Planned Parenthood because they use federal funds for abortion."

The audience was in unison, holding up their paper signs guessing this statement was false. Hampton and Borrego went on to explain that Obama supports Planned Parenthood, but the organization does not use government money to give abortions. The government money, according to Borrego and Hampton, is only used on STI testing and things of that nature.

Molly Tracy and Austin Nunn discussed both candidates' foreign policy. Tracy explained Romney wants to go from 284 Navy ships to 350, and he argues that America is using dated technology. One true or false question posed by Tracy and Nunn was, "This is the slowest job recovery since Hoover." Audience members looked unsure, and answers were mixed.

"That is false," Nunn said. "There are two ways to judge this, by number of jobs created and the unemployment rate."

During the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, the recovery was slower, according to Tracy.

In the final portion of the Just the Facts event, audience members were welcomed to ask any questions that may have not been answered. Questions ranged from financial assistance to the environment.

"I find it surprising you, as educated college students, haven't discussed financial assistance," Leah Oxenford, science lab coordinator at USAO said.

The political science student presenters were probed with the question regarding what political party they supported.

"This is a nonpartisan event, but as an individual partisan I'll be happy to let you know who I'll be voting for," Chris Collins said. "President Barack Obama."

Another presenter stood up and gave his answer.

"I am a Republican, but I don't personally agree with all of Mitt Romney's choices," Tyler Porter said, "But our country needs to push to balance the budget, and that's why I'm voting for Romney."

Just the Facts: Election 2012 made an attempt to clear misconceptions that are depicted in the media.

"Misinformation is rampant in this year's election," Collins said.