Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Fact-checking the prank call and other Wisconsin claims

Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the Wisconsin state capitol on Thursday.
Protestors sleep in the rotunda of the Wisconsin state capitol on Thursday.

We don't typically fact-check prank calls, but when a blogger called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pretending to be a Republican power broker, the governor's recorded conversation included an interesting factual claim.

The governor said that "there’s a much smaller group of protesters almost all of whom are in from other states today."

Our partners at PolitiFact Wisconsin put that one to the Truth-O-Meter and found the governor was wrong about the protesters.

PolitiFact Wisconsin and PolitiFact National have also published several other new fact-checks on the budget brouhaha:

● The Wisconsin Democratic Party claimed on its Facebook page that the five states that outlaw collective bargaining for teachers all rank below 44th in the nation in test scores, while Wisconsin ranks 2nd. We found that False.

● Walker said Democrats were being hypocritical by fleeing the state to deny Republicans a quorum on the budget bill. "These are many of the same senators who, two years ago, rammed through a billion-dollar tax hike in 24 hours with no public input," Walker declared. We rated that True.

●  A Democratic state Sen. tested our knowledge of German history. "The history of Hitler," said state Sen. Lena Taylor, "in 1933, he abolished unions, and that’s what our governor’s doing today." We found that was ridiculously false and rated it Pants on Fire.