This issue of defunding the police that Republican Jim Bognet keeps clubbing incumbent Democratic congressman Matt Cartwright with has a side story. 

I wrote about the overall matter today and you can read it here.

The side story centers on Politifact twice declaring the Bognet campaign’s statements about Cartwright’s position on defunding as false.

Politifact is a well-respected project organized by The Poynter Institute, a non-profit dedicated to promoting quality journalism.

In June, when Bognet first said Cartwright favors defunding police, Politifact declared the statement false. You can read its first fact-check here.

The matter centers on a June 10 Cartwright conference call with the Black Scranton Project that included two questions related to police funding.

In the answer to one, Cartwright says he opposes defunding or disbanding police. In his answer to the other, Cartwright says money for police can be reallocated to other areas. The Bognet campaign claims the reallocation answer confirms Cartwright wants to defund the police, but ignores his other answer. That’s basically the distinction Cartwright pointed out in my story today.

More recently, Bognet’s campaign said in a TV commercial that Politifact’s fact-check of the first ad confirmed Cartwright wants to defund the police. Politifact responded with a new fact-check that explains its original fact-check does the opposite of confirming the Bognet claim. This time, Politifact said the Bognet ad’s claim was “pants-on-fire” false.

That prompted Ian Prior, an adviser to Bognet’s campaign, to tweet that Politifact actually did confirm Cartwright wants to defund the police.

Prior’s tweet cites Cartwright’s “absolutely yes” response to the question about citizens being able to reallocate police resources to other areas as proof. He doesn’t mention that Cartwright actually said he opposes defunding police in the same conference call.

The matter comes down to whether you believe Cartwright’s statement that he opposes defunding the police or whether you think his answer saying citizens can reallocate money away from police amounts to favoring defunding.