ICYMI: John James’ False Attacks on Peters’ Record Fact-Checked

Independent fact checker confirms Peters’ record of delivering results for Michigan

Fact check finds Peters has “high level of engagement,” “perfect record on floor votes,” “high scores on effectiveness” 

In case you missed it, Politifact just ruled failed politician John James’ baseless attacks as “mostly false.” This is the fourth false fact check in the past three weeks on attacks made by James and Mitch McConnell’s dark money group, whose claims have been called “false” and “misleading.” 

Despite James’ desperate smears against U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Politifact concludes Peters has a “high level of engagement” including “influential committee assignments, a perfect record on floor votes, and high scores on effectiveness from independent academic analyses.”


Politifact: Fact-checking John James on Gary Peters’ committee attendance

  • When we contacted Peters’ campaign, they didn’t dispute the James campaign’s numbers. But they said the figures amount to cherry-picked metrics of Peters’ level of engagement in Washington.
  • “A lot of committees will schedule hearings at the same time, making it virtually impossible to attend, in a meaningful sense, all of them,” said Joshua Huder, a Georgetown University political scientist.
  • There’s also another metric to gauge how active Peters has been in the Senate: The percentage of floor votes missed.
  • In 2019, the most recent full year available, Peters missed exactly zero floor votes, which put him in a 16-way tie for the best vote attendance in the chamber. Peters’ 100% voting rate was equal to that of the chambers’ two leaders, Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumber, D-N.Y.
  • That record “indicates that Sen. Peters was on the job,” Smith said.
  • Finally, Peters has received high marks for effectiveness from the Center for Effective Lawmaking, an independent institution run by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.
  • Despite his minority-party status, he was very active in navigating a number of legislative items through the Republican-controlled Senate,” Alan Wiseman, the center’s co-director, told the Michigan Advance. “His success in advancing his legislative agenda in the 115th Congress is greater than one would expect, given his relatively low seniority in the Senate.”
  • Meanwhile, the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy rated Peters third among Democratic senators, and 12th overall, in bipartisanship in 2019.
  • The percentages are accurate, but they are cherry-picked because they ignore multiple other measurements that indicate a high level of engagement by Peters in Washington, including recent influential committee assignments, a perfect record on floor votes, and high scores on effectiveness from independent academic analyses.
  • We rate the statement Mostly False.


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