April High Five: Scott Walker's $1 sweater and other campaign claims

Gov. Scott Walker in the $1 sweater in question. (AP photo)
Gov. Scott Walker in the $1 sweater in question. (AP photo)

Items from the presidential campaign trail dominated PolitiFact Wisconsin’s High Five for April. Once again, statements from Gov. Scott Walker, as he launches an all-but-certain campaign for the Republican nomination, were among our most popular.

Our most-clicked item came from Walker, who bragged to a New Hampshire audience that he was wearing a sweater that he bought for a buck at Kohl’s.

We did a little shopping and found that our governor has learned how to be a smart Kohl’s shopper. Combining Kohl’s deep discounts on winter merchandise with coupons and "Kohl’s Cash" rewards can yield such a deal. That claim was True.

Here are the rest of the April High Five.

2) A tweet from Walker complained about the rise in health insurance premiums since Barack Obama became president. Walker said the average cost of family health insurance premiums had increased by $4,154 under Obama.

The figure is correct when comparing 2008 to 2014 and using figures from a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But that includes a period before Obama took office in January 2009. The increase since Obama took office is $3,459, and the rate of increases has slowed in recent year. Mostly False.

3) National GOP Chairman Reince Priebus said on "Face the Nation" that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took money from the kings of four countries.

We checked the countries that Priebus, a Wisconsin native, cited and found that the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Oman contributed to the Clinton Foundation -- but not Clinton herself. Also, Yemen, which does not have a king, didn’t contribute to the foundation. Half True.

4) Walker told an interviewer that Minnesota had an advantage over Wisconsin because, in Minnesota, there were "Republicans in charge of at least one part of government" for all but two years. He said in Wisconsin, Democrats "for many years" controlled both legislative chambers and the governorship before 2011.

Democrats were in control in Wisconsin for two years -- not many -- before Walker took office, and his claim was False.

5) A claim by state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) rounds out our list and brings things a little closer to home.

Wanggaard, author of a bill repealing a two-day wait for the purchase of a handgun, said waiting periods were not effective. "There’s no statistical evidence that it reduces violence whatsoever," he said.

We found research linking handgun waiting periods with lower suicide rates, but no evidence that waiting periods coincide with less violence being committed by one person against another. Mostly True.