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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Politifact Plays Gotcha

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I am already the owner of two "Pants on Fire" Awards from Politifact -- a rating enterprise that has yet to find a single thing that I have ever said that was true, or even partly true. They could, of course, do that any day, but what would be the fun in that?  My streak is intact. Below is my latest exchange, including my response (which is unlikely to be quoted in true.)


Hi Charlie
I heard your show Monday and am doing a PolitiFact on your statements that the Capco program that Gallagher and Johnson wrote about on Sunday was a creation of Gov. Jim Doyle.
You made several versions of the statement:
This was a Jim Doyle era program.
This was, in fact, a Jim Doyle idea.
And you called it “One of Jim Doyle’s signature venture capital bills."
Can you please provide me backup for your statements.
Jim Nelson
(Journal Sentinel)
My response:
Ah, Politifact. As you know, Kathleen Gallagher already emailed me that the bill was passed under Tommy Thompson, and I replied that this was a fair point.. So you have begun the inquiry already knowing that you intend to label my comments false.
Conclusion first, comments second.
You might note that Gov. Walker had tweeted on this story, as follows:
Governor Walker@GovWalker
Headline "State spends millions for 202 jobs", missed rest of sentence:, "under program approved by Gov Doyle."
My point should have made clear that the time period covered ran from 1999 through 2008;  the story did not mention that Jim Doyle was the governor for most of that time. (January 2003 through expiration of the program.) Some of your readers had been mislead by the headline as assumed that this was a failed Walker initiative. The failure to create jobs was a story of the failure to create jobs in the Doyle era, not the Walker era. 
And, indeed, re-reading the story. Scott Walker's name is prominently mentioned, but, alas, Doyle's is not. But, yes, Tommy Thompson was governor when the bill was passed; which you knew when you decided to Politifact me.


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