Monday, February 21, 2011

trying to get some politifacts straight

Last week, in the midst of the unprecedented labor uprising in Wisconsin, Talkingpointsmemo.com ran an interesting, much-cited story about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker "ginning up" budget figures, and essentially causing a budget crisis through mis-timed tax cuts, which he then turned around and used as a reason to push through legislation limiting public workers' right to collectively bargain. TPM got that story from the local Wisconsin media, and Rachel Maddow picked up the story and ran with it--as did many other sources, including my own politicalcontext.org.

A conservative friend pointed out that politifact.com has called the "ginning up" story false.

So earlier this morning, I emailed Brian Beutler at talkingpointsmemo.com --who broke the story of Gov. Walker ginning up the budget crisis before Maddow did-- asking him to comment on the politifact.com analysis. I'll report his reply if and when I receive it--and I sincerely hope I do. If it comes out that this was a screw up on TPM's part, a lot of people will need to clarify their position concerning Wisconsin. Supporting the 70,000 + people in the streets in Madison, and the right of all workers to collectively bargain, does not stand or fall on whether Gov. Walker messed up the budget and lied about it. Public workers make less than private sector workers, and the whole blame game being lobbed against the public sector is ridiculous. And, Wisconsin Republicans aren't interested in facts and have rejected compromise offers by the unions. But we still need to make sure we get our facts straight--always, every time.

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