Our October High Five
After months with a heavy dose of Scott Walker items in our High Five, things changed in October, now that Walker is out of the 2016 presidential hunt. Indeed, our most-clicked item was from May.
On Oct. 22, 2015, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- the Democratic presidential front-runner -- appeared before a U.S. House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. That created new interest in the old item.
That item was based on a statement from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in the wake of an earlier visit to Capitol Hill by Clinton. In an opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson wrote:
"The State Department not only failed to honor repeated requests for additional security, but instead actually reduced security in Libya. Although no one can say with certainty, I firmly believe a relatively small contingent of armed military guards would have prevented the attack, and those four lives would not have been lost."
We rated the statement True.
We found that State Department headquarters in Washington did refuse repeated requests from its ambassador in Libya for more security personnel. And it decided not to accept an offer from the Defense Department to extend the stay of one of its security units in Libya, reducing the level of security that was available.
Here is the rest of our October High Five:
2. Throwing his support behind legislation that would make major changes to Wisconsin’s civil service laws, Gov. Scott Walker said the state had faced a situation where it couldn't fire an employee who had watched hours of pornography while at work.
We rated the statement Mostly True. In 2005, the Department of Corrections terminated a state probation and parole agent who had been watching pornography on his computer for hours a day. The employee was given his job back not by a state commission, but by a private arbitrator, who was chosen jointly by the department and the employee’s union per a collective bargaining contract.
3. Meanwhile, pressing for changes to the state’s Government Accountability Board, Walker rehashed a claim that stemmed to the 2011 petitions for a recall election against him and several Republican state senators.
Walker tweeted that the GAB had "wanted to consider Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler as valid signatures on recall petitions." In 2011, the conservative MacIver Institute released a short video with a similar claim that we rated Mostly False. The names would have been flagged for review. And there were several layers of review ahead.
Walker’s statement went further, saying the board wanted to consider the names valid. We ruled that False.
4. In a month that saw the first debate among Democrats running for president, a claim made by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at a July 1, 2015 rally in Madison cracked the High Five for the second time.
Sanders, among those challenging Clinton, said the "the top one-tenth of 1 percent" of Americans "own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent."
We rated his claim Mostly True. It was based on a finding from a study by two internationally known economists -- and other economists we contacted supported the figure. The study has been criticized for not including Social Security in the wealth calculations.
5. During the debate on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said the group spends millions to elect Democrats to Congress.
We rated the claim Mostly True.
By law, the medical clinics of Planned Parenthood cannot spend money in politics. But separate entities that are affiliated with Planned Parenthood can -- and they spent millions in the 2014 election cycle alone to elect Democrats.