High Five: Our most-clicked items in May

Gov. Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP Chairman Reince Priebus all made our High Five of most-clicked items for May.
Gov. Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan and GOP Chairman Reince Priebus all made our High Five of most-clicked items for May.

Our five most-clicked items in May ranged from True to Pants on Fire.

Not surprisingly, the latter item topped the list.

1. In a news release, Gov. Scott Walker said the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee had a ratio of 2.8 students per faculty member -- the second-lowest level since 1994.

But he cited the student to faculty ratio for individualized instruction, such as a thesis mentor or independent study, rather than the overall student to faculty ratio. The actual student to faculty ratio is much higher — 29 to 1.

The second part of his claim, that the ratio was the second lowest in history, was also off: The ratio has trended steadily upward since 1994.

These two wrongs made for a Pants on Fire rating.

2. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Hillary Clinton took money from the kings of four countries: Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Oman and Yemen.

The claim -- from 2015 -- came during a discussion of the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization overseen by the Clinton family. Priebus did not specify that the donations were made through the foundation, and not directly to Clinton’s political campaign.

Our research found that the monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Oman have contributed to the Clinton Foundation, but Yemen, which does not have a king, has not.

We rated Priebus’ statement Half True.

3. Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, speaking to reporters on a phone call to boost Clinton’s presidential campaign, said that the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers would be the big winners under Donald Trump’s tax plan.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that under Trump’s tax plan, the top 0.1 percent of earners would receive 18 percent of the tax cuts while the bottom 60 percent of earners would receive 16.4 percent of the cuts.

We rated Shilling’s statement True.

4. A super PAC attack ad said former U.S. Sen.  Russ Feingold, a Democrat, got a 2009 memo about potential harm to veterans at the Tomah VA facility and did nothing.

The memo’s author added a notation saying the letter was hand-delivered to Feingold, but later reversed her position and said the memo was never delivered. Freedom Partners, was unable to provide evidence that the memo was delivered, and Feingold’s representatives said he never saw the memo.

Because there was no evidence Feingold ever received the memo, we rated the statement False.

5. We used the Flip-O-Meter to determine whether U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, had changed his position on supporting the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

Ryan said that while he intended to support the Republican nominee, he wasn’t ready to support Donald Trump. He didn’t say he never would, but he said he couldn’t support him at the time.

Back then — a month before Ryan eventually endorsed Trump — we rated Ryan’s change a Half Flip.