One Wisconsin Now Fact Checks ‘Facts-Free’ RPW Walker Ad

Touts Job Cuts for Milwaukee County, Ignores Walker's Four-Year $200,000 Raise

MADISON, Wis. — The first television advertisement for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s campaign for governor paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin not only is full of distortions and exaggerations, but also ignores the impact of his policies which have been disastrous for Milwaukee, a fact-check conducted by One Wisconsin Now concludes.

“The Republican Party is going to jaw-dropping lengths to whitewash Scott Walker’s miserable record of failure,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It’s alarming Scott Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin think his most notable accomplishment is that he cuts jobs.”

One Wisconsin Now’s fact check:

RPWClaim #1: “People elected Scott Walker to fight a pension deal that would make some government workers millionaires.”

OWN Fact Check: In 2007, Walker acknowledged his failure to fix the pension problem when it was revealed that 350 workers stood to gain another $50 million in extra pension benefits. He was also caught breaking his promise requiring his staff to take less-lucrative pension benefits. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/01/2007; 07/08/2004]

RPW Claim #2: “He promised to spend taxpayer money like it was own and he kept his word. Gave back $370,000 of his own pay.”

OWN Fact Check: In 2007, Walker announced he was giving himself a $50,000 pay raise — which will total $200,000 over his four-year term. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/19/2008]

RPW Claim #3: “Reduced the government workforce by 20 percent.”

OWN Fact Check: A private company that Walker outsourced courthouse security to employed a known criminal and sex offender on guard duty at the courthouse. Additionally, the cost savings Walker pledged when pushing through the privatizations was over $300,000 less than he claimed it would be. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/15/2010]

RPW Claim #4: “And while Washington and Madison run up the red ink on bailouts and fat government programs, Scott Walker’s reforms left his county with an $8.9 million surplus.”

OWN Fact Check: The state has not had a year-end budget deficit under Governor Doyle, yet Scott Walker has had two year-end budget deficits — 2003 and 2004. Like the state, Milwaukee County has frequently announced mid-year budget deficits, which they are required by state constitution to close by the year end. A report issued just this week reports a 2010 deficit for Milwaukee County of $6.6 million. As county executive, Walker proposed budgets that would have increased spending by 35%, far ahead of the 21% proposed by Governor Doyle over the same period. And the actual county property levy increased by 20% during Walker’s tenure. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/20/10; Analysis of proposed and adopted Milwaukee County budgets, 2003-2010; proposed and adopted State budgets, 2003-2010]

Further information about the mismanagement and skewed priorities of Scott Walker, which have devastated Milwaukee County, is available at:

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