High 5: Governor's race (and beer) dominate the most-clicked fact checks
The race for governor, which heats up now that Labor Day has passed, attracted a large share of the page views at PolitiFact Wisconsin during August 2018.
Here’s a rundown of our High Five most-clicked items during the month.
1. Fact checks in the governor’s race.
Ahead of the Aug. 14, 2018 primaries, this article on the candidates running for governor was our most-clicked item of the month.
We’ve since updated that with a new article, which we’re continuing to add to, that focuses on the checks we’ve done on the two major-party nominees: Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger, state schools superintendent Tony Evers.
The general election is Nov. 6, 2018.
2. Brad Schimel: "We need an ID" to "buy a beer."
The Republican attorney general, who is also seeking re-election, made his claim while touting Wisconsin’s law that requires photo identification to vote. You can’t get a ballot without showing an ID, plain and simple. But, while sometimes beer sellers ask for an ID, it’s not a requirement that they do; and of course countless times a day people buy a beer without showing identification.
3. Third attack ad vs. Tony Evers in teacher porn has some of the same problems
This article summarized two previous fact checks while also addressing a third attack ad against Evers run by the state GOP.
All three attacks ignore crucial context: Evers had the authority to try to revoke the license of a teacher who viewed pornography at school. But state law at the time didn’t provide a legal basis because the teacher’s behavior (students weren’t present when he viewed the images) did not endanger children.
4. Dane County GOP: "The KKK was founded as the military arm of the Democratic Party."
Periodically, our older fact checks, like this one from October 2017, get new attention. We found that there is little doubt that the political interests of the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Party, at least in the early years, intersected. But there is no evidence the KKK was founded as part of the Democratic Party, or that the party ever even had an official "military arm."
5. Scott Walker: "A number of Democrats running for governor want to cut the prison population by 50%" and "that would require the release of thousands of violent felons."
Two Democrats running in the primary called for a 50 percent cut and two, including Evers, said that should be a goal. But evidence is lacking that such a cut would require the release of thousands of violent felons. While a short time frame might require that, a longer time frame — and reducing incoming inmates as well as releasing some others — would not.