The Kertscher file:
Tom Kertscher

Watchdog reporter

Tom Kertscher worked for newspapers in Oklahoma, Illinois and California before joining the Journal Sentinel in 1998. He has been a reporter for 25 years. At the Journal Sentinel, he has covered a variety of local government and courts beats. A Cedarburg native, he has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree from Ohio State University.   

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The latest Truth-O-Meter items from Tom Kertscher

Twenty percent of single adults, ages 21 to 25 with no kids, "are not working or even in school trying to find a job."  

Says Common Core is a federal mandate.

"Last year, I was involved with an effort to to help prosecutors get their first pay raise in more than 10 years."

"I’m running the second-largest county district attorney’s office … at 1985 staffing levels."

Says attorney general candidate Jon Richards "went so far to say he would only enforce the laws with which he personally agreed."  

The Wisconsin unemployment rate was higher than the U.S. rate during only three months when Mary Burke was state commerce secretary.

"He’s been in office nearly four years now, but 40% of Wisconsinites don't know who (U.S. Sen.) Ron Johnson is."

Says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has "deputies collecting overtime while sitting passively in chairs watching courthouse security personnel work."

Says the secret John Doe criminal investigation of his campaign has been "resolved" and two judges have said it is "over."

All 28 members of NATO have "pledged to spend at least 2 percent of their economy on defense. But only three countries do -- Britain, Greece and us."  

Recent stories from Tom Kertscher
The High Five: Scott Walker's clickability

Statements Gov. Scott Walker made about his Democratic challenger, the former Democratic governor and gay marriage were among our most-clicked items in July 2014.

A congressional hopeful’s claim about the Common Core school standards also made the High Five.

A first take on candidates for attorney general

Made plans yet for Aug. 12, 2014?

Yeah, it's just a Tuesday in the middle of summer.

But it's also Election Day -- well, primary election day. Among the state races on the ballot is attorney general.

Here's a look at a first round of factchecks.

Some of the themes that will shape the governor's race

More than four months out before the November 2014 gubernatorial election in Wisconsin, some of the campaign themes are coming into focus.

Gov. Scott Walker's record on jobs and the economy. How that record compares to that of his predecessor, Democrat Jim Doyle. And the record of likely Democratic nominee Mary Burke, both as Doyle's commerce secretary and as a former executive of Trek Bicycle Corp.

Fact-checking state Democrats

Wisconsin is second in the nation in losing jobs?

Milwaukee is second-highest in the recovery of children from sex trafficking?

In Wisconsin, a woman earns 80 cents for every $1 a man earns?

A look at 10 recent claims on the eve of the state Democratic convention.

Recent factchecks and articles about veterans and the military

Over the past year, we have done a number of articles related to veterans and the military.

They include factchecks of statements made by Wisconsin congressional representatives Paul Ryan and Gwen Moore, among others.

Digging into Scott Walker’s talk of 17,000 job-producing new businesses

Pivoting from his promise of 250,000 new jobs in one term, Gov. Scott Walker is talking up the idea that 17,000 new business entities in the state could get him to that mark in 2015 if he wins a second term. We examine the reality behind his rosy scenario.

The items our readers have loved the longest

Nearly a year ago we introduced the High Five, a review of the PolitiFact Wisconsin items -- fact-checks and sometimes other articles -- that got the most page-views the previous month.

As you’d expect, the most popular items each month had been posted in recent days or weeks.

But some of our most-clicked items were published months ago. Or even longer. 

Fact-checking the GOP

Wisconsin’s job growth in 2013 was the best since the 1990s?

At least 70 percent of residents approve of the state’s wildly controversial collective bargaining reform law?

When Republicans ran Washington, they let the food stamp rolls skyrocket?

We revisit these and other recent claims by Wisconsin Republicans ahead of their annual state convention.

Mary Burke, so far

The last time Marquette Law School did its statewide poll, in late January 2014, 70 percent of the respondents said they hadn’t heard enough about Mary Burke to have an opinion on her, or didn’t know if their view of her was favorable or not.

 

In Context: Were Paul Ryan's poverty comments a 'thinly veiled racial attack'?

The backlash to comments U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan made about poverty and inner-city residents suggested that the former vice-presidential candidate had been bigoted.

Was what he said, as U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee called it, a "thinly veiled racial attack"?

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