Our October High-Five: Back to the False end of the scale

When it came to our most-clicked items in October, not surprisingly it was all about Scott Walker and Mary Burke.

And those items were most often False -- a turnaround from September, when the most-clicked items were dominated by statements we rated True.

Three of the statements in our October High Five were about jobs, the hottest of topics in the Nov. 4, 2014 election -- which ended with a second term for Walker.

The top items:

1. A claim by Burke that Wisconsin is "dead last" in Midwest job growth. Burke repeated this claim in ads, interviews and campaign rallies. We rated it False. The statement cherry picks jobs numbers and ignores the most recent 12-month performance.

2. Our roundup of claims from the first of two debates between Walker and Burke. The Oct. 10, 2014 debate was dominated by statements we had rated True, Mostly True or Half True.

3. A claim from Walker in the second debate that the next state budget will begin with a $535 million surplus. We rated it False. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the state faces a $1.76 billion shortfall, at this stage, for the 2015-’17 budget.

4. A claim from a Walker TV ad that Wisconsin’s job creation performance ranked "third in the Midwest."  We had rated an earlier similar claim Mostly True. But this one was rated False.

The numbers had been updated, and the comparisons to other states worsened. After our rating, Walker updated the talking point to reflect that the most recent numbers showed the state fourth, at least for the last one-year period.

5. Burke said in a radio interview that job growth has gotten worse every year of Scott Walker’s term. We rated the claim False. Records show that the jobs performance has been up-and-down under Walker. Employers continued to add jobs, albeit not at a strong pace.