The March High Five: Walker on Marquette, Walker on UW

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addresses conservatives at the CPAC conference on March 16, 2013
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addresses conservatives at the CPAC conference on March 16, 2013

As Gov. Scott Walker continued to test the presidential waters, readers flocked to our March fact checks his claims about his college years and tuition on the University of Wisconsin System campuses.

Here’s a look at our High Five of most-clicked items from the month:

1. "I unsealed my records."

Walker told a conservative talk show host that he unsealed records of his college days at Marquette University, where he attended for four years but left a year short of graduating.

False, we concluded. He has taken only the very limited step of authorizing the school to confirm that he was in "good standing" during his time at Marquette and that he voluntarily withdrew. No official documents, such as transcripts, have been released.

We looked into Walker’s departure from Marquette in a story published in December 2013.

2. University of Wisconsin schools "will be much more affordable than just about any other campus in America" because "going forward we have a cap on it tied to inflation."

Contrary to Walker’s statement, we found that current rankings show the state is neither high nor low for student costs. And the inflationary cap described by the governor remains only a gleam in his eye. False.

3. Wisconsin is "dead last in the Midwest for job creation."

US Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), made that claim. Mostly True, we found: Among 10 Midwestern states -- in terms of percentage growth in private-sector jobs -- the latest figures show Wisconsin is tied for ninth. So, not quite "dead last."

4. Walker’s budget "would sell off Wisconsin’s state parks."

The state Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s claim is False, we concluded. That is not in the budget, and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said it was not under consideration. At best, what is up for discussion is the potential sale of naming rights as a way to derive extra revenue for the parks.

5. "White people control almost 90 percent of the nation's wealth."

True, we found. That matches the latest net worth figures from the Federal Reserve System.