High Five: Most-clicked include fact checks on Foxconn, Paul Ryan and fatal police shooting

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou (left) and Gov. Scott Walker have signed a memorandum of understanding for Foxconn to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, but it doesn't contain specific requirements. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou (left) and Gov. Scott Walker have signed a memorandum of understanding for Foxconn to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, but it doesn't contain specific requirements. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Wisconsin state Rep. Melissa Sargent of Madison is among Democrats who have questioned the up to $3 billion in incentives the state is offering to land a Foxconn manufacturing plant.
Wisconsin state Rep. Melissa Sargent of Madison is among Democrats who have questioned the up to $3 billion in incentives the state is offering to land a Foxconn manufacturing plant.

Our most-clicked fact checks in August 2017 included two on Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer that is promising Wisconsin up to 13,000 jobs, as well as claims about U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan not holding town halls; the number of transgender people in the military; and the circumstances involving a fatal shooting by police in Milwaukee.

1. On Foxconn deal, "3,000 jobs cost #WI taxpayers more than $3 billion in tax giveaways. Break it down: more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars per job."

Claim by: State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison.

Our rating: False.

The per-job cost could never reach $1 million if only 3,000 jobs are created; the full $3 billion would be paid only if 13,000 jobs are created.

2. Paul Ryan "has not had a public town hall within the district for over 600 days."
Claim by: Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Ryan’s congressional seat.

Our rating: Mostly True.

Bryce’s claim was broad and didn’t account for the emerging ways people can communicate with public officials, but Ryan, the Janesville Republican, hadn’t held a traditional town hall in almost two years.

3. "More than 15,000 transgender Americans" are "serving in the military today."

Claim by: U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison.

Our rating: Half True.

There are no official counts, so Pocan went too far in flatly stating his figure. But his figure matches one of two prominently cited estimates. A UCLA study estimated the figure is 15,500, while a more recent study by the RAND Corp. estimated 2,150 to 10,790.

4. Scott Walker "wants state taxpayers to dole out up to $250 million annually in incentives" to Foxconn "to lure a manufacturing plant to Wisconsin that he claims will generate $181 million in tax revenue."

Claim by: One Wisconsin Now.

Our rating: Half True.

Walker does want to offer $200 million to $250 million per year over 15 years in incentives in order to get Foxconn to put its plant in Wisconsin, and the estimate is that the project will produce $181 million per year in tax revenue.

But what’s left out of the statement by the liberal advocacy group is that the Republican governor and others are pursuing the deal in large part because the massive development is expected to generate other new businesses, new housing and other economic activity that will, in turn, produce even more tax revenue.

5. Dontre Hamilton "was shot 14 times by police for resting on a park bench in Milwaukee."

Claim by: U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee.

Our rating: Mostly True.

Two officers twice responded to calls about Hamilton sleeping in a park and allowed him to continue sleeping there and left. He was still resting there when a different officer later arrived and began patting him down.

That triggered a physical altercation, with the officer hitting Hamilton with his baton and then Hamilton taking the baton and striking the officer. The officer then fatally shot Hamilton 14 times.

In short, Hamilton was not shot simply for resting on a park bench. But the shooting occurred only because of a physical altercation that was sparked by the way the third officer began patting Hamilton down -- after two officers who came to the park twice decided Hamilton wasn’t doing anything wrong. In fact, the officer was fired for the way he approached Hamilton.