Tribune spin getting even sloppier
10 hours ago|
Texas’ establishment media has been reeling after the tea party dominated primary. The Texas Tribune, looking like Air America as they increasingly do nowadays, seemed to be making things up in order to make themselves feel better.
Tribune writer Aman Batheja wrote:
Most of the clearest Tea Party victories Tuesday, such as Tony Tinderholt’s win over state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, and Matt Rinaldi’s victory over state Rep. Bennett Ratliff, R-Coppell, were competitively financed.
Even according to his own employer’s data that just isn’t true. According to the Texas Tribune, Diane Patrick spent $14.92 per vote while Tony Tinderholt spend $4.67 and Bennett Ratliff spent $20.67 while Matt Rinaldi spent $7.68. In each of these match ups the establishment candidate spent on average 3 times as much as the Tea Party candidate and still lost. To any fair observer that is uncompetitive financing that nevertheless resulted in a conservative win. That’s how little people trust ruling class candidates.
But it’s actually worse because the Tribune has some of its numbers wrong, and, shockingly, their errors make the establishment look like they spent less for their failure than they actually did. Let’s look at Bennett Ratliff’s spending.
The Tribune says that from “the beginning of the election” and running through February 22 that Ratliff spent $84,245.70. The Tribune’s numbers are screwy even if we take “the beginning of election” to mean the start of early voting, and campaigns start way before that. Over that time period (4 days) Ratliff spent $171,667 on his general consultant alone, according to the Texas Ethics Commission’s official data.
In fact, here’s what was actually spent by the two candidates competing for HD 115 going back to August 1, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
Ratliff spent $393,446. Tribune reported $84,245, off by $309,200. This makes the cost per vote $96.55, not the $20.67 reported by the Tribune. This is a massive journalistic error, not a small one.
Rinaldi spent $46,916, The Tribune reported $31,982. This is a disparity of $14,933, changing the cost per vote to
$11.25 from $7.67.
Spending in the other race that Batheja tried to use as an example of funding parity, Patrick vs. Tinderholt was likewise misreported. Whatever the spin formula used, it shaved over $75.00 off of the establishment candidate’s cost per vote and only $3.50 off of the conservative’s cost per vote. Again, this is Air America math, not journalism.
The Tribune reported that Patrick spent $89,788 which is off by $60,640. She spent $150,428. The Tribune was off by $60,640, and the real cost per vote for Patrick was $24.99, not the $14.92 they reported.
Strangely, the Tribune reported the conservative Tinderholt accurately at $34,948 and a $4.67 cost per vote. This shows that the Tribune knows how to track spending back to August and include all the relevant data, when they don’t want to reduce someone’s cost per vote.
In both of the cases Batheja cites as examples of “competitive financing” responsible for a conservative win, the Tribune has massively deflated the spending and cost per vote of establishment candidates.
Link: Batheja claims
Link: Trib CPV post
*Data contained in this post is from Texas Ethics Commission records spanning from August 1, 2013 to election day account numbers searched 00067616 (Ratliff) 00065931 (Rinaldi) 00020837 (Patrick) and 00069489 (Tinderholt). None of the candidates had a related filer, something that jacked up the Tribune’s numbers in 2012.