Mostly True

Mayor’s claim about gun violence may be off, but stats still alarming

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin claimed, “The latest statistics demonstrated that if there is a firearm available, it is 17 times more likely to be used either for suicide or for assaulting a friend, relative an acquaintance than it is to be used in fending off an intruder.” The Observatory rates his claim as Mostly True.

Mostly True

Will some money generated by Foxconn leave Wisconsin?

Gov. Scott Walker announces a deal in July 2017 with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to build an LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. At far left is Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn. Matt Flynn, one of Walker’s Democratic challengers for governor, says some of the state’s multi-billion taxpayer investment will flow to out-of-state companies. We check his claim.


Did Gov. Scott Walker add $638 million more in K-12 spending to the current budget?

“Our governor cut $1.6B from education … now is putting back $638 million. That’s not progress, it’s an insult,” Mahlon Mitchell, Democratic candidate for governor and president of the state firefighters union, said in a tweet. In examining Mitchell’s claims, the Observatory found it is true that the current budget contains about $638 million more in K-12 spending compared to the previous year. But it is not 100 percent accurate to claim that Walker cut education spending by $1.6 billion in his first two-year budget.


Did Milwaukee’s old residency rule lead to lower quality city workers?

Republican state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir posted on Facebook on March 6 that the residency rule in Milwaukee “prevented highly qualified teachers, police officers and firefighters from opting to work in the city” and that “removing these barriers helps Milwaukee retain and attract many valuable workers who were once discouraged by the residency rule.” The Observatory found this claim Unobservable.

Mostly False

Vos says armed citizens can defend against shooters; stats show that is rare

Amidst calls for tighter gun restrictions, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, addressed the notion of self-defense in a February claim, stating, “I certainly believe there are an awful lot of folks who are law-abiding who have done nothing wrong who could probably defend themselves.” The Observatory found his claim mostly false.


Bewley: State economic development spending low in northwest Wisconsin

Since its inception in July 2011, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has offered nearly $2 billion worth of financial awards, such as tax credits, loans and grants, to support economic growth in the state. However, State Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, asserted in a statement on Feb. 9 that WEDC financial awards aren’t equally distributed throughout the state’s regions. When The Observatory ran the math, we found Bewley was right.