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Jon Richards

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Walker Is the "False Statement" Champion

Posted: 04/25/2012 9:45 am

Already last among all 50 governors in creating jobs, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is by at least one measure also among the worst when it comes to telling the truth.

Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning arbiter of truth in politics, has examined the statements of eight governors, including Walker, who were elected in 2010.

According to their fact-checkers, Walker twists or ignores the truth far more often than all but one of the governors Politifact followed.

Of the 44 Walker statements Politifact analyzed, almost two of every three Walker statements were rated Pants-on-Fire False, False or Mostly False. Only six were rated True.

For example, during a secretly tape-recorded call in February 2011, Walker told a blogger he believed to be billionaire industrialist and big Walker contributor David Koch that "almost all" of the people at the Capitol protesting his plan to roll back 50 years of workers' rights were from out of state. Politifact rated Walker's statement False.

Walker distorts the facts in lots of other areas too.

Walker's claim that the "overwhelming number" of Wisconsin school districts' staffs grew or stayed the same after he cut education revenue by $1.6 billion: Politifact rated it False.

Walker's assertion that his budget will save the average property taxpayer $700: Politifact rated it False.

Walker's claim that the state "is broke" in a fundraising appeal to supporters: Politifact rated it Pants-on-Fire False.

Walker was untruthful much more frequently than the other swing-state conservative governors Politifact examined. Rick Scott of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio made false statements 33 percent to 35 percent of the time, respectively.

On a percentage basis, Walker trails only Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island when it comes to being untruthful. But Politifact only reviewed eight Chafee statements, of which six were deemed False or Mostly False.

Looking at pure numbers, Walker is by far the biggest falsifier among the eight governors, with 29 untrue statements, four of which were Pants-on-Fire False.

These results provide clear examples of the bait-and-switch tactics Walker frequently uses to advance his destructive agenda.

As a candidate for governor in 2010, Walker's signature campaign promise was to create 250,000 jobs. After taking office, however, Walker pursued a radical agenda he had kept secret from the voters.

As governor, Walker stripped workers of their rights. He slashed public school and university funding by record amounts. He attacked women's health programs and workplace protections. He provided billions in tax giveaways to corporations, special interests and the wealthy. And he tried to drop health care for 29,000 children until the Obama administration said no.

All the while, Wisconsin was losing jobs in record numbers. In fact, Wisconsin has lost more jobs than any other state since Walker took office.

Earlier this year during a televised visit to a conservative think tank in Washington, Walker said he was a "great believer in the truth" as he tried to defend his terrible record as governor.

Politifact hasn't rated this Walker statement yet, but this one's easy. It gets a Pants-on-Fire False.

 

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