Sunday, September 4, 2011

Again, Walker Speaks, And The Ruling is False+

You wonder when Gov. Walker's penchant for earning false or "Pants on Fire" ratings from PolitiFact will hit the tipping point and there will be a consequence for governing by lying?

The latest - - and Walker has had plenty - - is Walker's claim that an amended college tuition reciprocity agreement with neighboring Minnesota saves Wisconsin students money, when the complete opposite is true.

"Lying" too strong a word? The word is thrown around the Internet with too much ease, but in this case it's accurate and merited.

Look at the evidence Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie offers for his boss's money-saving claim, when simple math shows that the new arrangement adds significant costs to the Wisconsin students' bills:

Werwie didn’t have any. 
Do Walker and his people simply not care? Do they think no one will notice? Do they think it's standard operating procedure for a CEO in their "Government-Should-Be-Run-Like-A-Business World."

And there is a pattern to it:

Here's Walker's cumulative scorecard - - two-thirds of the 32 statements vetted are rated "Mostly False...False...Pants on Fire."

Is this a prescription for moral leadership, or a new low standard in governance by dissembling?

Remember when Walker claimed his administration would be exceedingly transparent?  I don't think he meant transparent, as in, we can see right through him.

And his party's leaders are in the same truth-challenged boat. Check their record.


Jim Bouman said...

It's seems clear, from time to time, that you retain a certain affection/respect for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Maybe it is just nostalgia or your relationships with specific honorable persons who were your colleagues decades back.

The simple fact is that it is an urban newspaper that long ago lost its way. It caters to outrageous, wheedling editorial positions that need to be condemned EVERY DAY.

I despise the kind of corporate/political calculations that led their publisher and editors to endorse/inflict Scott Walker on the State of Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't enter my house. I, of course, look at parts of it on-line. When and if they ever erect a paywall I will steadfastly decline such an offer.

The only way to get this newspaper to be anything but a craven butt- smoocher to the rich and powerful is to give them respect or money.

They chose to boost Scott Walker into the Governor's mansion. I encourage all true citizens who love the principles that have shone in our history to simply ignore, reject (and, incidentally, STARVE) the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Paul Trotter said...


Anonymous said...

his next statement to be analyzed - "i am not a crook."

Paul Trotter said...

Jim: Read their endorsement of Walker. It was a poorly supported endorsement. How they got to their endorsement I do not know. Someone got the last word.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jim of course Scooter is once again lying through his cavity filled teeth.

But if he repeats the lie often enough it becomes the truth. Aren't you living in today's reality? ;~}


Jake formerly of the LP said...

Politi-crap is more than willing to play semantic games on a little white lie like this, but God forbid they go after the BIG Walker lies. You know, such as how cutting take-home pay to hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites will improve the economy, or that businesses were overburdened in Wisconsin, not creating jobs and needed the help (Wisconsin added 45,000 jobs in 2010 and pay a lower % of taxes on their profits as ever).

As Paul Trotter and Jim Bouman accurately points out, the J-S endorsements of Prosser and Walker came from the corporate boardroom and their buddies at the MMAC, not the people in the know. I suspect they'll jump ship quite soon.

James Rowen said...

The newspaper editorially turned right after the merger in 1995 (I left in '96), and its limitations have been evident ever since.

It support for Walker was not a surprise, and the company has no doubt taken a readership hit as a result.

It's bigger risk comes from the Internet, alternatives, and a bad economy.

I would argue that now, and for years - - and there is data around to back it up - - editorials have waning impact. They make candidates and activists feel good but do not move numbers and voters.

The unsigned editorial is an anachronism and will probably go away, both to acknowledge its waning value and to save space. The paper no longer has editorials on Monday. The handwriting is on the wall.

News stories are more widely read that editorials. Letters to the editor are more widely read, too. There is value in cataloging and disseminating the cumulative tally of documented falsehoods uttered by Walker and his allies.

Remember also that PolitiFact is a national model and what appears here is readily available to others and it helps shape public opinion and awareness both in and out of the state.

It's not perfect,but I don't dismiss it.

Paul Trotter said...

I sincerely hope that the JS does not fold. Despite their unconvincing endorsement editorials and their insulting editorials dismissing the recalls, the vast majority of journalism in the JS is excellent. Imagine the state without the JS? Who else is going to dig up the fresh dirt on Walker and his cronies with such wonderful consistency. Opening up the JS every morning is one of those wonderful traditions/habits that I've enjoyed for years. It's simply not the same as opening up the iPad.

Jim Bouman said...

I don't disagree with Paul Trotter on the issue of the JS folding or ceasing publication. But they need to know that we don't pay for the kind of sludge that poisons their editorial positions, will not buy endless Ramirez cartoons, and that we choose not to subscribe to so much mindless right wing stuff in the opinion columns.

And, the last sentence of the 5th paragraph in my post of last night needs "no" in front of the words "respect or money".

Sue said...

Jim & others:
I supported the JS for as long as I could stand it because of the resources they devoted to investigative journalism. I thought that was important and still do. I still read it for awhile after the big "We Endorse Walker/What Do You Mean He's Going To Kill The Train Project" debacle.
Funny thing, though. It didn't survive my budget review after I realized I would have to cut several things when my own salary took a hit, courtesy of Governor Walker.

Paul Trotter said...

Yeah, we looked at several budget items but the JS delivery survived. With every cut we made I mentioned the reason (Walker).

Remember the days of a morning and evening papers? Ah- the joy of the green sheet. Life was simpler then.