Our May High Five: From Pants on Fire to True

Decrying the nation's military readiness, House Speaker Paul Ryan made a broad claim about Air Force pilots scrounging for airplane parts.
Decrying the nation's military readiness, House Speaker Paul Ryan made a broad claim about Air Force pilots scrounging for airplane parts.
Republican Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman on Nov. 4, 2014, celebrating his election win for a seat in Congress.
Republican Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman on Nov. 4, 2014, celebrating his election win for a seat in Congress.

The most-clicked fact checks at PolitiFact Wisconsin during May 2017 were rated on the opposite ends of the Truth-O-Meter -- No. 1 at Pants on Fire and No. 2 at True.

Meanwhile, claims about "Trumpcare," the president’s travel ban and Wisconsin’s photo ID requirement for voting rounded out the month’s High Five.

Here they are:

1. Paul Ryan's claim on Air Force pilots forced to scrounge for airplane parts in museums

Rating: Pants on Fire

It was a broad claim, but the House speaker’s office cited only one news article that quoted an Air Force captain as saying parts for seven planes were obtained from "museum aircraft."

Meanwhile, defense experts told us the Wisconsin Republican’s claim was highly misleading, in that any such museum scrounging is isolated. Indeed, the Air Force operates a base whose main functions include storing thousands of planes to be available for spare parts.

The experts also agreed that even as defense spending dropped under Obama, the Air Force had sufficient funding to prevent the need for pilots to hunt for airplane parts in museums.

2. Glenn Grothman says Planned Parenthood is leading abortion provider

Rating: True.

We found in checking the Republican Wisconsin congressman’s claim that the agency’s national network of clinics stands apart from other providers as the undisputed leader when it comes to providing abortion services.

3. The Republican replacement for Obamacare does not contain massive tax cuts for the wealthy?

Rating: False.

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., said the Republican replacement for Obamacare does not give massive tax cuts to wealthy Americans.

But the bill that some call "Trumpcare" includes the repeal of tax hikes that specifically target the rich. Indeed, over 10 years, hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts would benefit only those earning $200,000 a year or more.

4. Were the seven nations identified in Donald Trump's travel ban named by Barack Obama as terror hotbeds?

Rating: Half True.

This fact check, on a statement by Reince Priebus, a Kenoshan who is the chief of staff to President Donald Trump, has enduring popularity.

Priebus said in February 2017 that countries in Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned nearly all travel to the United States from seven nations were "identified by the Obama administration as the seven most dangerous countries in the world in regard to harboring terrorists."

Prompted by concerns about terrorism, the Obama administration did put those seven countries -- Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen -- on a list that makes travel into the United States somewhat more difficult.

But that list doesn’t necessarily identify the seven as being the most dangerous.

5. Did first-time use of photo ID cause a 200,000 drop in Wisconsin voter turnout in presidential race?

Rating: Mostly False.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said in a tweet: "Voter turnout in 2016 was reduced by approx. 200,000 votes because of WI’s photo ID laws."

A report she cited from a Democratic candidate-supporting group says a decline in voter turnout between the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections in Wisconsin was entirely due to the state’s new photo identification requirement for voting.

But experts said that while photo ID requirements reduce turnout to some extent, they question the methodology of the report and say there is no way to put a number on how many people in Wisconsin didn’t vote because of the ID requirement.