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Politifact Virginia: McDonnell On Gang Violence, Forbes And Job Loss

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gets a "promise kept" rating from Politifact on the expansion of gang-free zones issue.
Gage Skidmore (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/4379679497/)
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gets a "promise kept" rating from Politifact on the expansion of gang-free zones issue.

 

McDonnell's promise to fight gang violence

The latest item evaluated on Politifact Virginia's Bob-o-meter is a commitment the governor made during his campaign to give the state a new law enforcement tool to use against gangs. Sean Gorman, of the Richmond Times Dispacth, has the results. 

McDonnell had promised to propose expanding so-called "gang free zones," which provide elevated penalties for crimes in those areas. He said he wanted to expand the zones beyond the current gang-free school zones, to include gang free zones surrounding bus stops, community centers, parks, libraries, and hospitals.

According to Gorman, shortly after becoming governor, McDonnell did support a bill that would have expanded the zones to include areas around bus stops, as well as publicly owned and operated community centers, parks, libraries and hospitals. 

"But the General Assembly passed a watered-down measure that expands the zones on any publicly owned and operated community center or rec center," Gorman says. 

But because McDonnell had pledged to propose legislation to expand the zones -- not necessarily to get a perfect outcome -- and he did propose expanding the zones, he receives a favorable rating from Politifact. Rating: Promise Kept

Forbes: Defense cuts could cost 1.5 million jobs 

The next segment analyzes a claim by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) that ongoing $1 trillion in defense cuts, something that could conceivably come out of the efforts in Congress to reduce the deficit, would cost 1.5 million jobs. Is it true?

Forbes used as his proof a comment that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made in September in which he said $1 trillion in cuts would add 1 percent to the nation's unemployment rate. Using September 2011 numbers, another 1 percent unemployment rate would add roughly 1.5 million more people to unemployment rolls, says Gorman. 

"But that's just one estimate," Gorman adds. "The Department of Defense told us that an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million jobs could be lost if full defense cuts occur, so Forbes' job loss is on the high end." 

The Aerospace Industry Association, which represents companies in the defense industry, believes that an estimated 1 million jobs would be lost as a result of lower spending on mil equip and procurement, according to a recent report it released. (That number doesn't include loss of active duty members or DOD civilians, but it does include job loss in communities as a result of lost spending by laid off employees.) 

A separate report from the Institute for Policy Studies and University of Massachusetts professor Heidi Garrett-Peltier, estimates that about 1.1 million people could lose their jobs. 

The verdict? "Forbes' number is definitely on the high side, but it's still credible so we rated this mostly true," says Gorman. Rating: Mostly true 

 

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