Koch Funded Pro-Walker Ads Prove The Need For Truth In Advertising Laws

I guess truth in advertising went the way of the Fairness Doctrine. Here is a shining example of just how far people can go in their advertising without consequence. Via PRWatch.org:

In the ad, the voice over intones: "They told us the sky would fall. And Wisconsin would end as we know it. But the sky's still there. And Wisconsin is stronger than ever. Thanks to our budget reforms." A charming family waves at the camera, but the family is not from Wausau, Waukesha or even Wisconsin. As MSNBC's Rachel Maddow first pointed out, they are "Family on a Bridge" I-stock photo number 10268583.

The problem with the ad is that virtually none of it is true.

The ad touts the fact that local governments and school districts now have more "flexibility" to balance their budgets. Interestingly, the website cites a February 2011 article quoting Dan Thompson, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, discussing Walker's limits on collective bargaining. "It will give us flexibility, yes," he said. But AFP/MacIver omits the rest of his sentence. Thompson also says "It goes far beyond what we asked for. We were not expecting to abolish the collective bargaining process altogether." The title of the article cited by AFP? "Local Leaders from Throughout the State ask GOP to Not End Collective Bargaining."

It is true that localities can extract massive savings from their workers, going far beyond the pension and health care contributions that Walker promoted. This may explain the $1.5 million surplus in Kaukauna and the $25 million "saved" in Milwaukee. But Milwaukee was also honest about the cost of Walker's measures -- the school district lost 1,661 teachers, aids and administrators, according to the school district survey.

Go read the whole PR Watch article for specifics about how they stretched the truth.

By the way, Wisconsin's unemployment claims were the highest in the nation in October. It could be argued that it's not working, not at all, and specifically because of the right-wing policies foisted on the state by Governor Scott Walker and his merry band of legislators.


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