Reality Check

Reality Check: WMC Attacking Doyle Record in TV Ad

Business Lobbying Group Against Doyle Vetoes

MADISON, Wis. - A heavily-played TV ad targeting Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle criticizes the first-term incumbent for vetoes on nursing-home funding, property taxes and lawsuit liability.

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The ad, from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, is mostly accurate and is set up as a phone message to a governor who isn't listening, WISC-TV reported.

"Hello governor, Wisconsin calling," says the female narrator. "We need you to stop vetoing laws that help our families."

The ad goes on to focus on vetoes made by Doyle.

"You vetoed critical funding for nursing homes. That's our parents and grandparents," says the TV narrator.

WISC-TV finds this claim to be "true." Doyle vetoed a $15 million increase in 2005 to nursing home reimbursements in an effort to give more money to schools in his last budget.

"You [Doyle] vetoed a tough property tax freeze, twice. Some families' bills are up 14 percent while you've been governor," the ad continues. This claim "needs clarification", according to WISC-TV.

While it's true that Doyle twice vetoed the GOP-supported property tax freeze plan, he essentially signed a freeze plan into his budget which roughly had the same effect on property tax bills.

However, instead of strict limits on government spending sought by Republicans, Doyle shifted money from other areas of the budget -- like transportation -- to essentially buy down the property tax.

But, the claim about some bills going up 14 percent is true. That's the total increase from when Doyle took office.

Finally the ad speaks about "lawsuit abuse."

"When we tried to end lawsuit abuse, you vetoed that three times. Our families need jobs," says the ad.

This also "needs clarification", according to WISC-TV.

Doyle vetoed three bills, which would clarify who can sue, for how much money and under what circumstances. But, the term "lawsuit abuse" is fairly subjective. Someone else might consider the same bill as restricting patient rights. So, it's really up to voters to decide what's more important.

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