The Washington Post tracked the source of Paul Ryan's phony anecdote about what a poor child had allegedly once said to this woman - - Eloise Anderson, Scott Walker's Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services - - and who but Joe Scialfa, formerly Charlie Sykes' talk show producer and WTMJ program director surfaced as the government-paid flack helping to straighten everything out:
So we asked Anderson when she met this boy and heard his story. Joe Scialfa, communications director for the department provided us with this answer:In the course of giving live testimony, Secretary Anderson misspoke. What she had intended to say was the following:
“Once I heard someone say, ‘what was important to him as a boy was that he didn’t want school lunch, he wanted a brown bag because the brown bag that he brought with his lunch in it meant that his mom cared about him.’”
Secretary Anderson was referring to a television interview which she had seen with Maurice Mazyck.
It’s important to note that there is no discussion in the book about the school lunch program, and we could find no interview with Mazyck in which he said that.
He simply repeats the story as told in the book, without any larger political context about federal programs to help hungry children. Moreover, this incident happened more than 25 years ago; Mazyck is no longer a boy but in his late 30s.
Kevin Seifert, a spokesman for Ryan, said: “It’s unfortunate to learn that while testifying before the House Budget Committee, Secretary Anderson misspoke, but we appreciate her taking the time to share her insights.
After our inquiry, Ryan posted a notice on Facebook saying, “I regret failing to verify the original source of the story.”