Claim: “Erv Portman was the only county commissioner to vote against increasing by $4 million classroom funding in the Wake County Public Schools.”
Source: A print ad distributed by the N.C. Republican Party
Context: Erv Portman is a Wake County Commissioner running as a Democrat for a seat in the state Senate representing District 17. His opponent is Tamara Barringer.
A recent ad by the N.C. GOP calls Portman “wrong on education” because of his vote against an increase in classroom funding.
When commissioners voted on the annual budget in June, Portman was the only one of the seven board members to offer a dissenting vote.
In an interview, Portman said he voted against the budget because he preferred a plan that would have given the schools more money. He said he was also upset that the budget included a raise for the Register of Deeds.
“The school board asked for $8.9 million,” Portman said . “We were only able to give them $3.9 million but found a $10,000 raise for someone else. It’s political patronage.”
In the minutes of the June 18 meeting, Portman indicated that he wanted the salary increase for the Register of Deeds considered separately from the budget. That did not happen.
Speaking on behalf of the state Republican party, Ray Martin said the bottom line is that Portman voted against the budget, so the ad is accurate.
“Erv can make up all the excuses he wants, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was the lone vote against placing $4 million in the classroom,” Martin said.
Ruling: The ad is misleading and distorts the truth. Portman voted against the budget not because he opposes additional school funding, as the ad implies.