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OPINION - Her first message

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)  It matters because it’s her first communique. Until this month candidate Mary Burke (D) hadn’t aired a statewide campaign commercial. And it's a blatant lie. It’s not even the kind of ad that twists the facts and can be classified as part-opinion and plausibly true.

The TV commercial voice-over says, “under Walker, unemployment is up.” Actually that’s a broad enough statement that it could be spun. Up compared to when? Using whose numbers? For certain age groups? In certain parts of the state? The ad doesn’t say. But the ad has an accompanying video graphic that reads “4.8% UNEMPLOYMENT” and then spins upward to “6.2% UNEMPLOYMENT”. They are made up. Nowhere, anywhere, at any time during Scott Walkers time in office did unemployment rise from 4.8% to 6.2%. In fact, statewide unemployment was 7.7% when Scott Walker took office, and it is 6.3% today.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s politi-fact review classifies this as a pants-on-fire lie. So, will Candidate Burke change the ad? Will she apologize? Will she be asked about it by reporters? More importantly, if this is the starting point for her campaign, where do we go from here? 

Chris Conley
3.10.14

Image: Mary Burke from wsau.com