One of Dino Rossi's favorite lines is that Sen. Patty Murray has voted for every spending bill since 2004.

Today, the Seattle Times calls Rossi's claims "false." And while they don't actually disprove Rossi's claim, they do add some basic context which shows that Rossi is bullshitting voters. For example, the Times points out that Murray voted against four consecutive GOP budgets prior to her run of yea votes on Democratic budgets because 1) Budgets are partisan documents that traditionally split along party lines and 2) Murray objected to the tax cuts for the wealthy in the Republican budgets.

More important, the Times does catch the Rossi campaign getting its facts wrong:
For instance, Rossi spokeswoman Jennifer Morris includes in her list of spending bills Murray's vote for the $3.5 trillion fiscal 2010 federal budget, which Morris said would triple the national debt in 10 years. ... [but] the 2010 budget Murray backed would cut the federal deficit by 60 percent, or $824 billion, by 2014 from what it otherwise would have been, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

Moreover, while budgets are partisan, other spending bills are not. The Times writes:
Yet what takes much of the punch out of Rossi's criticism is that when it comes to the 12 annual spending, or appropriations, bills that fund the federal government, Murray is hardly alone in voting yea. Many appropriations bills pass by solid bipartisan majorities.

Even massive emergency-spending proposals sometimes get GOP backing.

That Wall Street bailout that paved the way for the federal government's partial ownership stakes in Goldman Sachs, General Motors and other troubled companies? It was proposed under President Bush and backed by 39 Democrats and 34 Republicans in the Senate — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Without context and details, yes or no votes on spending bills are "almost meaningless as an indicator" of a lawmaker's record, argues Thomas Mann, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, a public-policy think tank in Washington, D.C.
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