Friday, October 31st, 2014
Mostly False
Tate
Says Gov. Scott Walker has dropped Wisconsin "to 45th in the nation in job growth prospects while campaigning for president out of state."

Mike Tate on Sunday, November 17th, 2013 in a fund-raising email

Scott Walker responsible for Wisconsin's low and dropping projected job growth, Democratic Party chief Mike Tate says

Gov. Scott Walker toured a mining products manufacturing facility on Feb. 28, 2012.

Two days before Gov. Scott Walker released his political memoir, Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate used a fund-raising email to highlight what’s not in the book.

He claimed Walker is doing a number of things badly, including:

"Failing at job creation and dropping Wisconsin to 45th in the nation in job growth prospects while campaigning for president out of state."

The Nov. 17, 2013, solicitation cites a low ranking and pins the blame squarely on Walker.

Is Tate right?

Tate's evidence

We asked Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff to flesh out the claim.

She said Walker has been campaigning out of state for president since at least March 2013, when Walker told Politico at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he gave a speech, that he would be visiting Iowa in May 2013. Walker at the time (and since) acknowledged he was open to a presidential bid and he declined to pledge to serve a full four-year term if re-elected governor in 2014.

Although Walker hasn’t declared himself a candidate for president, nor formed an exploratory committee, he has made many political trips across the country during 2013 and is increasingly mentioned as a potential GOP nominee, particularly since the release of his book.

As for Wisconsin dropping to 45th in job growth prospects, Baldauff cited Forbes’ annual "best states for business" feature, published in September 2013. Wisconsin's projected annual job growth was put at 1.3% over the next five years.

"The Badger State adopted the slogan of 'Open for Business' in 2011, erecting signs along the state border," Forbes said. "Results have been slow, but Wisconsin’s projected job growth has improved slightly, moving from No. 49 to No. 45 among the states."

So, one study ranks Wisconsin 45th for future job prospects, as Tate stated.

But contrary to what he claimed, the state’s ranking actually rose, albeit not by much.

Other rankings

A May 2013 report from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Wisconsin 15th in "economic outlook," up from 32nd a year earlier, based on 15 policy variables such as taxes.

But that report didn’t rank the states on future job growth and we didn’t find any others that did.  Several experts we checked with -- at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Wisconsin Budget Project and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy -- weren’t aware of any, either.

As for the rest of Tate’s claim, he directly blames Walker, even suggesting his political travels were a contributing factor.

But it goes without saying that the state’s projected job growth depends on more than the actions of one person.

As we’ve noted in previous fact-checks, a chief executive such as a governor has influence over jobs, but so do a host of other factors, such as national trends, that are beyond a governor’s control.

Our rating

Tate said Walker has dropped Wisconsin "to 45th in the nation in job growth prospects while campaigning for president out of state."

Forbes rates Wisconsin 45th, although that’s a slight improvement, not a drop. And Walker bears some, but not all of the blame, for the ranking.

For a statement that contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, we give Tate a Mostly False.

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