The August High Five: Election for governor dominates

Scott Walker faces Mary Burke in the Nov. 4 election for governor.
Scott Walker faces Mary Burke in the Nov. 4 election for governor.

With Gov. Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke locked in a close battle, statements related to the Nov. 4, 2014 election topped our most-clicked list for August.

From claims made in interviews to a tweet and comments by bloggers, here is a look at our August High Five:

1. Walker claimed Act 10, his signature legislation that curtailed collective bargaining rights for most public employees, "saved the taxpayers some $3 billion."

The law required state and local government workers to contribute more to their health care and pensions, saving government employers $2.35 billion in pension costs alone. School district and state government savings in health care costs totaled $682 million.

Walker’s math was on target. But those costs haven’t been eliminated. They’ve been taken on by public employees who are also taxpayers.

We rated Walker’s statement Mostly True.

2. Various bloggers claimed that Wisconsin ranked last in personal income growth since Walker took office -- a claim made after Walker touted more recent improvements.

We determined that quarterly figures put Wisconsin at the bottom during Walker’s three year term. We rated the statement True.

3. Walker tweeted that Wisconsin tops its Midwest neighbors in personal income growth over the past year.

The data showed that in that period, from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014,  Wisconsin did go from laggard to leader on total personal income, a measure that includes wages, property income and government assistance. We rated the statement True.

4. Burke declared her affection for the New Glarus Brewing Co. and it’s top seller, Spotted Cow. Burke said the ale was only available in Wisconsin, a fact that surprised some beer lovers. We rated that statement True.

5. Walker’s statement that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t run on his business resume stirred plenty of interest. Romney and his supporters repeatedly cited his experience.

And Walker did the same in 2012, saying: "We know that Mitt Romney had an incredible career in the private sector, turning businesses around that otherwise would have failed, and thousands of people owe their jobs to that today." We rated that claim Pants on Fire.