Truth Test: Fact-checking a Marshall ad against Bollier

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — As we approach the November general election, you will see a lot of political ads. To help you stay informed, KSN is doing truth tests on some of the ads in the Kansas U.S. Senate race.

This truth test focuses on an ad supporting Roger Marshall while criticizing Barbara Bollier‘s voting record. The ad does not mention Jason Buckley who is running as a Libertarian.

Who’s paying for the ad?

The ad was paid for by Kansans for Marshall, Roger Marshall’s campaign. Donation money was likely used to produce it.

Ad claim: Bollier voted for dismemberment abortions

The ad says, “[Bollier] claims she’s moderate, but the truth is, Bollier voted for dismemberment abortions.”

That type of abortion is medically referred to as a dilation and evacuation. It is a surgical procedure, as opposed to an abortion induced by medication.

KSN has determined this claim to be questionable.

When Bollier was a Republican state representative in 2015, she voted against a bill that would have prohibited the use of surgical abortion unless the mother’s life was at risk or could be severely injured.

Bollier proposed an amendment to the bill that would give doctors the ability to do the procedure if the woman was less than 24 weeks pregnant and the membrane ruptured. This is when the water breaks prior to viability of the fetus, potentially causing serious infection.

In April of 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights protects a woman’s right whether to choose to continue with a pregnancy. The court based its ruling on Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights, which states that “[a]ll men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In the political ad, after the announcer says, “Bollier voted for dismemberment abortions,” Bollier’s own voice says, “That’s what I believe in my heart.”

The ad makes it appear that Bollier is talking about abortions, but we find that to be misleading.

Bollier’s audio clip is taken from one of her campaign ads where she is explaining how her work as a doctor has prepared her to be a senator.

The full quote from Bollier’s ad says, “Doctor’s don’t see patients as Democrats or Republicans. It’s our responsibility to look you in the eye and show you respect, honesty, to care for you and to care about you. Public service shouldn’t be any different. That’s what I believe in my heart and it’s the type of senator I’ll be.”

Ad claim: Bollier supported a gun ban in Kansas

The ad says, “[Bollier] pushed a gun ban in Kansas.” KSN determines this claim to be false.

On the screen, the ad shows a partial quote from Bollier that reads, “I support limitations on guns available.”

This is a quote from a 2014 Shawnee Mission Post article. In the article, the quote reads, “I would also support limitations on the type of guns available to the general public specifically related to the number of rounds that can be fired sequentially.”

Bollier had never pushed a ban on guns. In 2018, Bollier voted in support of a bill that prohibited convicted abusers, illegal immigrants and fugitives from possessing guns. She has also proposed a bill multiple times that would allow someone to go to court to have guns removed from a family member’s home if they felt that family member was a danger to themselves or others.

According to The Associated Press, in 2018 Bollier told fellow Kansas senators, “This is a public health crisis, and we continue in Kansas not to address it.”

Bollier has said she supports the Second Amendment but wants reasonable gun control.

This ad claim is followed by a second audio clip of Bollier saying, “I’ll work to ban them nationwide.”

We find the use of this audio clip to be misleading.

The clip is from a Bollier campaign ad saying she will ban surprise medical bills nationwide, not guns.

The full quote from Bollier’s ad says, “I’m leading the charge to outlaw surprise bills in Kansas and I approve this message because in Washington, I’ll work to ban them nationwide.”

Ad claim: Bollier supported tax-payer funded tuition for illegal immigrants

The ad says, “Tax-payer funded tuition for illegal immigrants.”

While the ad does not explicitly claim it, KSN determined the implication is that Bollier supported tax-payer funded tuition for illegal immigrants. KSN rates this claim as true.

In 2011, Bollier voted against a bill that would have prevented students whose parents brought them to the United States illegally from getting in-state tuition.

In Kansas, in-state tuition is typically only given to students who have lived in the state for at least a year. This is because it is assumed that the student, or their parents, have been paying state taxes that help fund public universities.

A representative from the Kansas Board of Regents confirmed this in an email to KSN saying, “Resident tuition rates have historically been lower than non-resident rates at the state universities because Kansas taxpayers support a share of the state universities’ costs to operate.”

While Bollier did not vote for partially funding immigrant children’s tuition, she did vote against preventing it.

This claim is again followed by an audio clip of Bollier saying, “It’s our responsibility.”

KSN determined the use of the audio is misleading.

It was taken from the Bollier campaign ad in which she says it’s a doctor’s responsibility to show respect to their patients.

The full quote from Bollier is, “Doctor’s don’t see patients as Democrats or Republicans, it’s our responsibility to look you in the eye and show you respect, honesty, to care for you and to care about you. Public service shouldn’t be any different. That’s what I believe in my heart and it’s the type of senator I’ll be.”

Marshall’s campaign manager, Eric Pahls, said the out-of-context clips in the ad are not deceptive because the ad opens with, “How would it sound if Barbara Bollier’s ads actually matched her liberal record?”

The ad ends with, “Liberal record, liberal senator? That’s not happening. Because Barbara Bollier is just too liberal.”

In 2018, Bollier announced that after 40 years as a registered Republican and 10 as a Republican lawmaker, she would switch parties, joining the Democratic Party. She has since referenced herself as a moderate, not a liberal.

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