Truth Test: Georgia Senate Political Ads Jon Ossoff

Truth Test: Georgia Senate Race

GEORGIA — Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are up for election right now, including the one held by incumbent republican David Perdue. He’s being targeted in a political ad by his challenger, Jon Ossoff.

The ad pulls clips from media reports from earlier this year.

“Both of Georgia’s senators allegedly trying to profit off the coronavirus pandemic. David Perdue bought and sold stocks shortly after a private senate briefing on the virus….instead of using his insider knowledge to prepare our country, David Perdue lined his own pockets.”

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Senator Perdue’s campaign answered those attacks with its own ad. “John Ossoff and Chuck Schumer have been caught in a lie. Senator Perdue welcomes a full review of his stock trades and the Department of Justice, the SEC and the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee cleared him completely.”

Here are the unbiased facts: Senator Perdue’s staff says he was not was in that late-January closed-door briefing where the coronavirus was discussed. But Perdue’s office says all his personal investment trades were and are handled by independent financial advisors, without his input.

That’s a measure many politicians take while they’re in office. It’s also true a U.S. Senate ethics panel found no evidence those trades violated federal law, senate rules, or standards of conduct. Purdue’s office also says the justice department and the securities and exchange commission closed the matter.

The Ossoff ad accuses Senator Perdue of profiting off the pandemic. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says his $21.8 million stock portfolio was roughly the same since the pandemic began. It increased by roughly $500,000 between December of 2019 and April of 2020. Based on what can be proven, we rate the line in the ad that says Perdue lined his pockets as mostly false. As for Senator Perdue’s response ad, it’s accurate to say no evidence was found to charge him with a crime or ethics violations. We rate his ad as mostly true.

In response to our story, the Ossoff Campaign sent Action News Jax this statement, “After the Senate was briefed on the threat of coronavirus, Senator Perdue bought and sold stocks at three times his normal rate making roughly half a million dollars, while he was telling the people of Georgia everything was fine. That’s corruption, and Georgians are going to vote him out.”