Our June High Five: Readers ran to Walker items

Gov. Scott Walker, shown here at a bill signing ceremony, was part of all five top-clicked items from June. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo by Mike DeSisti)
Gov. Scott Walker, shown here at a bill signing ceremony, was part of all five top-clicked items from June. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo by Mike DeSisti)

Claims surrounding Gov. Scott Walker, a top GOP presidential contender, once again dominated the High Five for June, our list of most-clicked items from the previous month.

The top-clicked item combined Walker with two other hot topics -- education and Act 10, the 2011 measure that curtailed collective bargaining for most public employees.

While at a Florida appearance with other contenders for the Republican nomination, Walker said that -- since Act 10’s passage -- ACT scores in Wisconsin "are now second-best in the country for states where more than half the kids take the exam."

In 2012 the state did move up to second in the rankings. Wisconsin had been ranked third behind Minnesota and Iowa the four previous years, and has long been near the very top.

But the better ranking wasn’t due to an improvement in ACT scores. The average ACT composite score in Wisconsin has stayed about the same, with Wisconsin’s climb in the rankings due instead to scores in Iowa decreasing. We couldn’t find any evidence that the collective bargaining law affected the test scores.

We rated the claim Mostly False.

Here’s a look at the other most-read items from June:

2. To garner support for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, Walker unveiled a new slogan: "cheaper to keep them."

Walker’s point: It would cost less to build the Bucks a new arena than to lose the NBA team.

Without any independent analysis of the costs, or even a draft of the bill, we decided it was too early to rate Walker’s claim on the Truth-O-Meter. Instead, our item explored what was known about the numbers on both sides of the equation.

3. A progressive group launched a new website declaring, "Governors Rick Scott (FL) and Scott Walker (WI) both run state governments that ban employees from talking about climate change."

We took a look at the part of the statement claiming government employees in Wisconsin couldn’t talk about climate change.

Turns out, one small government agency has a ban on workers engaging in work related to climate change while on the clock. But the agency isn’t under Walker’s  jurisdiction and a quick check of the state government website showed others talking about climate change.

We rated the claim False.

4. On a stop in Washington D.C., Walker called out President Barack Obama for his priorities on the military and foreign affairs, calling them "mixed up." 

Walker said Obama told graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy "the number one threat to the military and the world today is global warming."

Obama’s speech at the Connecticut school did focus a great deal on climate change. He called it a "serious threat" but did not say it was "number one." However, on other occasions Obama has said climate change was the most pressing threat to the world.

We rated the claim Mostly False.

5. Walker responded to a jab from Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for his support of voter ID laws.

In a statement aimed at Clinton’s remarks, Walker said "Hillary Clinton’s rejection of efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat not only defies logic, but the will of the majority of Americans."

On the main thrust of the claim, we found poll results showed a strong majority of Americans in favor of photo ID measures. It was a mixed bag when it came to "easier to vote and harder to cheat" isn’t as clear. Requiring an ID makes it more difficult to vote, but also tougher to cheat.

We rated the claim Mostly True.