PolitiFact: Rep. Connie Mack ad claims Sen. Bill Nelson voted to fund research on monkeys using cocaine

12:59 PM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - The U.S. Senate race is heating up here in the state of Florida.

Republican Representative Connie Mack has just released his first TV ad attacking incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. In it, Mack criticizes Nelson for voting for the stimulus and spending taxpayer dollars on monkeys using cocaine.

10 News and PolitiFact Florida did a fact check on this claim. It appears there's some monkey business going on in the race for the Senate.

In his first TV ad, Republican candidate, Connie Mack attacks Senator Bill Nelson for voting for the stimulus.

"It's a clever ad. It's trying to make fun of Nelson for supporting this, what he describes as a frivolous wasteful study and it shows Bill Nelson is wasteful with our taxpayer dollars," says Aaron Sharockman with PolitiFact Florida.

In the ad, Mack claims Senator Nelson voted to spend more than $144,000 to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine.

"It spent a lot of money on science grants, but the science grants were not already picked out - in short, when they voted on the stimulus, they voted to give money to federal agencies who would then decide where this money would go and what kind of projects would get funded," says Sharockman.

In this case, The National Institutes of Health decided to award about $144,000 to Wake Forest University researchers. They are the ones who then decided to study the addiction of cocaine on monkeys.

"It's actually one of the favorite attacks among many Republicans or non-office holders against incumbents or Democrats. Looking at programs that got funded by the stimulus and trying to attach blame to an individual legislator or lawmaker for doing that," says Sharockman.


So even though Senator Nelson voted for the stimulus, he didn't specifically support this monkey business.

So PolitiFact Florida rates this claim: MOSTLY FALSE.

You can see the entire ad and read more fact checks here: http://www.politifact.com/florida/

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