AP FACT CHECK: Lake distorts Hobbs’ education votes in Ariz.

Sep 22, 2022, 12:22 AM | Updated: 2:57 pm
FILE - Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks at the Conservative Political A...

FILE - Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Aug. 5, 2022, in Dallas. Lake is misrepresenting her opponent's legislative record on education in a video being widely shared on social media. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is misrepresenting the voting record of her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs, charging in a video released this week that her work in government shows Hobbs is “Anti-American and Un-Arizonan.”

In a 3-minute social media video, set to dramatic music and featuring patriotic visuals, Lake claims that if Hobbs is elected governor “your kindergartner wouldn’t learn the Pledge of Allegiance, but your precious 5-year-old would be taught about sex.”

But her suggestion is built on misrepresentations of Hobbs’ votes and the content of various Arizona education bills.

Lake’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Sarah Robinson, a spokesperson for Hobbs, said in a statement that “Kari Lake’s latest political theater is just another distraction from her own extreme positions.”

Here’s a look at the facts.

LAKE: “As a legislator, Hobbs actually voted to block the Pledge of Allegiance, our national anthem, our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and even the Mayflower Compact from being taught to the next generation of Americans right here in Arizona.”

THE FACTS: Lake is distorting Hobbs’ voting record. When Hobbs was a state senator, she voted against Senate Bill 1289, which amended an existing law listing materials that teachers and school administrators are allowed to read or post in school facilities. That list includes the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, among other documents. The bill added the Arizona state motto, “Ditat Deus,” which means God enriches, to the list. It also spelled out the wording of the national motto, adding “In God we trust,” to the list. No other changes were made.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers and signed into law, did not affect the portion of the law that permits school staff to read or post the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, or the other documents Lake identified, experts say.

“It’s an incorrect claim. It’s a charge that’s untrue,” said Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University. “She voted simply not to add to those things, ‘In God we trust’ and ‘God enriches’.”

“The state statute already set forth the items that may be read or posted in school buildings, including the national anthem,” said Paul Bentz, Republican pollster in Phoenix. “None of those items were in question.”

If the bill had failed to pass, the original law allowing school staff to read or post materials such as the Declaration of Independence in schools would not have changed, Barrett Marson, a Phoenix-based Republican political consultant wrote in a text message to The Associated Press.

In a tweet on Wednesday appearing to double down on her previous accusations, Lake added another claim: that Hobbs opposed displaying American flags. As evidence, she cited Senate Bill 1289, Senate Bill 1020, and Senate Bill 1152. An AP review of these bills found no instance in which Hobbs voted against displaying the flag in schools.

___

LAKE, on what would happen in Hobbs’ Arizona: “Your precious 5-year-old would be taught about sex.”

THE FACTS: As a state senator, Hobbs did sponsor a bill to require school districts to teach sex education in grades K-12. The bill, which didn’t pass, would have resulted in parents being required to proactively remove their child from being taught the curriculum, rather than opting in to participate.

However, to claim that it would have led to 5-year-olds being taught about sex leaves out important context.

The bill, introduced in the 2016 legislative session, would have mandated that the sex education program for kindergarten through 12th grade be “medically accurate, developmentally accurate and age-appropriate.” It defined age-appropriate as “topics, messages and teaching methods that are suitable to particular age and developmental levels, based on cognitive, emotional, social and experience levels of most students at that age level.”

At the developmental stage of a 5-year-old, age-appropriate sex education largely involves learning about the concept of “good touch, bad touch” — not learning about sex as a physical act, experts say.

“At the kindergarten level, age-appropriate sex education means things like learning the correct names of body parts, which has been found to be a protective factor against sexual abuse,” said Nora Gelperin, director of sexuality education and training at Advocates for Youth, an organization that supports comprehensive sex education. “It can also mean teaching kids that they need permission to touch someone else — the beginning of learning about personal boundaries. At this age, kids may also be taught to identify a safe person to talk to if they’re in trouble. All the lessons are in service of ensuring safety and respect.”

Arizona is one of just five states that require parents to “opt-in” to sex ed classes, rather than having an opt-out system. State law bans sex education before 5th grade, and schools are not required to offer the courses at all. Students younger than 5th grade can only be offered instruction on HIV and sexual abuse prevention.

___

EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.

___

Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ruptured oil pipeline off California approved for repairs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Texas oil company was granted permission to repair an underwater pipeline that ruptured off the coast of Southern California a year ago, spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude, and forced beaches and fisheries to close. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the approval Friday to Amplify Energy […]
19 hours ago
Police officers fire tear gas during a soccer match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Ind...
Associated Press

129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. Several fights between supporters of the two rival soccer teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League […]
19 hours ago
Helen Koch, a dog breeder, is evacuated with some of her 17 dogs on a helicopter for mediccorps.org...
Associated Press

Pine Island residents recount horror, fear as Ian bore down

PINE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Paramedics and volunteers with a group that rescues people after natural disasters went door to door Saturday on Florida’s devastated Pine Island, offering to evacuate residents who spoke of the terror of riding out Hurricane Ian in flooded homes and howling winds. The largest barrier island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

PREP FOOTBALL= Darrington 46, Lummi 36 Napavine 71, Bellingham 13 Shadle Park 42, Rogers (Spokane) 7 ___ Some high school football scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
19 hours ago
FILE - President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, on Nov. 5, 2020. In a Friday...
Associated Press

Archives: Records from Trump WH staffers remain missing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Archives and Records Administration informed lawmakers that a number of electronic communications from Trump White House staffers remain missing, nearly two years since the administration was required to turn them over. The nation’s record-keeping agency, in a letter Friday to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said that despite […]
19 hours ago
Women work in fields near the windmill farm in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India, Wednesday...
Associated Press

What the war in Ukraine means for Asia’s climate goals

NEW DELHI, India (AP) — The queues outside petrol pumps in Sri Lanka have lessened, but not the anxiety. Asanka Sampath, a 43-year-old factory clerk, is forever vigilant. He checks his phone for messages, walks past the pump, and browses social media to see if fuel has arrived. Delays could mean being left stranded for […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
AP FACT CHECK: Lake distorts Hobbs’ education votes in Ariz.