I-Team: Fact Checking the Reid/Angle Debate - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Fact Checking the Reid/Angle Debate

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LAS VEGAS -- Thursday night, Nevada Senator Harry Reid and Republican candidate Sharron Angle had their first, and only, debate. Both candidates made a number of claims during the campaign through ads, stump speeches and the debate itself.

But sorting through fact, opinion and falsehood isn't easy. Both candidates have a long track record of statements and voting records. Neither candidate was right on everything. But on the environment, the English language, immigration and other issues, the reality didn't always match up to what we've heard.

For an hour debate, Angle and Reid talked about a lot. But when they spoke, some claims were right and others were wrong. Reid began the night touting an area where he's weak: taxes.

The claim: "We reduced taxes for 95-percent of Nevadans and all Americans," he said.

By "we," he means is Congress and President Barack Obama. And on this, Reid is right. Few people remember that a tax break was part of the stimulus bill. Single residents got a $400 cut and couples got $800.

Later, moderator Mitch Fox asked a simple yes or no question about whether the candidates would agree with making English the official language of the United States. Angle said yes, while Reid said English is already the official language.

Reid didn't give a direct answer and his answer is also wrong. Attempts were made in Washington in 2006 to make English the official language, but they failed.

The candidates also sparred over immigration. Fox asked about misleading claims in Angle's recent ad, but Angle didn't back down.

"He voted to give them the benefits of our Social Security," she said.

"That is not the law in this country. She knows it and she should stop saying it," said Reid.

Reid never voted to give special tax breaks to undocumented workers.

On energy and the environment, both candidates mixed opinion and fact.

"Yucca Mountain is not good for the country and it is really bad for Nevada. The most poisonous substance known to man a few miles outside of Las Vegas? No," said Reid.

But Angle wants to turn it into a reprocessing center for spent nuclear waste. She also took a shot at Reid and doubted whether noxious emissions from coal hurt anyone.

"He says coal makes us sick. We have to stop this extreme environmental outlook," she said.

This is not up for debate. Accepted science says coal power plants create acidic toxins, particulates that can cause breathing problems and they spew lead, mercury and arsenic in the air.

The nearby Reid Gardner Plant is doing clean up for waste ponds and it was called the dirtiest power plant in the country a few years ago.

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