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Reality Check: Walker ad uses some selective editing

Reality Check: Walker ad uses some selective editing

MADISON, Wis. - The candidates for governor have been turning to news clips for their latest ad material. In his latest spot, Gov. Scott Walker tries to make the case through news coverage that jobs are coming to Wisconsin.

"We promised we'd work to create more jobs," Walker says in the ad.

News 3 finds this is true, but Walker doesn't tell you his exact promise.

The governor pledged to help create 250,000 jobs in his 2010 campaign, but the ad doesn't mention that number.

Instead, Walker wants you to focus on the numbers you hear in a series of news clips.

"Amazon plans to add 1,100 full-time workers," one clip says.

"Added 1,500 jobs," another clip says, while video rolls of a vacant lot and a hotel rendering.

"200 jobs coming to Marinette Marine," another news anchor says.

"Bringing in 700 jobs," you hear a news reporter say, while video of a building is shown.

News 3 finds some of this is true.

Amazon.com and Marinette Marine are both planning to add the jobs cited in the ad. Amazon's Kenosha distribution center is under construction and is slated to open by the end of the year. Marinette Marine is also adding jobs to work on Navy ships.

But it's the other two cases where you don't hear a company name that are misleading.

The 700 jobs cited in Green Bay footage aren't new. Schreiber Foods built a new facility in downtown Green Bay, but they consolidated existing jobs from six other facilities.

Then the clip from a Milwaukee TV station that shows a vacant lot cites 1,500 jobs with a graphic saying "New Hotel Plans" in West Allis. While the viewer may think this means a new hotel is creating 1,500 jobs in West Allis, that's not the case.

Instead, the story was quoting the West Allis mayor, saying 1,500 jobs have been added throughout the entire city over the year. The hotel pictured in the ad may potentially add 30 to 40 jobs.

"We've gone from losing over 133,000 jobs to gaining over 100,000 jobs," Walker says in the ad.

The news clips then continue, with anchors saying "More people in Wisconsin are finding work," and "Wisconsin's unemployment rate is a full percentage point lower."

News 3 finds this is true. Wisconsin lost jobs, as states around the country did during the great recession, from 2006 to 2010. So far in Walker's term, Wisconsin has gained 102,813 jobs. Unemployment rates are also down since Walker's term began.

Unemployment has gone from 7.8 percent in December of 2010 to 5.8 percent in July of 2014.

If you have an idea for a Reality Check, send it to us at realitycheck@channel3000.com.


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