Politifact Publishes Partisan Hit Piece Against Chris Larson
Larson is factually correct that Abele has vetoed this funding in the past and has generally opposed it.
Milwaukee–February 9, 2016–The local Politifact, run by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, launched a partisan attack against State Senator Chris Larson today, attributing to Larson a position he doesn’t hold so they could label it false.
Larson has repeatedly criticized the incumbent Milwaukee County Executive for his unwillingness to provide an additional $300,000 to homeless shelters over the last three years. In the 2014 budget, the County Board of Supervisors added a $300,000 allocation to supplement the $418,000 already in the budget to cover for federal funds that had dried up. Abele didn’t veto it but lectured the shelters to find other funding.
In 2014, the County Board again added the $300,000 in supplemental funds for homeless shelters. This time Abele vetoed it and was overridden.
In 2015, Abele still didn’t put the supplemental $300,000 in the budget, the County Board again added the funds and, with an election around the corner, Abele let it stand.
Chris Larson’s position is that the County Executive should provide the support needed to house the homeless. Larson has repeatedly criticized Abele for fighting this supplemental $300,000. You can agree or disagree with Larson, but there is no doubt that this is his position.
Politifact ignored Larson’s position and instead isolated a Facebook post written by staff from January 6th that stated “Abele once proposed a plan to end county funding for the homeless.” It left out the word “supplemental” before the phrase “county funding.”
It is perfectly appropriate for Politifact to point out the error. Once it was brought to the attention of the campaign, the post was removed. The campaign behaved honorably in the face of a mistake. You would hope that more campaigns would behave like this.
However, what Politifact chose to do is ignore all of the instances when Larson has stated his actual position in speeches, press releases, on his website, etc. and hold that this one Facebook post was Larson’s true position. All of this additional material was provided to Mr. Nelson, he just chose to ignore it.
But it is not the only instance of Politifact’s dishonesty. In an active page on Politifact Wisconsin, they claim that Chris Abele has kept his campaign promise “to freeze the executive office budget.” But as Dan Bice and others have reported, in fact Abele has increased the executive office budget by 30%.
“I demand that Greg Borowski, the editor of Politifact, change this outrageously false statement that Abele kept his promise to freeze the executive office budget so that voters are not misled by Politifact,” said Larson campaign manager Josh Kilroy.
Kilroy continued, “Larson’s position on funding homeless shelters is that we should give them enough resources to meet the need. He criticizes Abele for opposing the $300,000 in supplemental funding provided by the County Board. Larson is factually correct that Abele has vetoed this funding in the past and has generally opposed it. It is wrong for Politifact to deem Larson’s facts as “false.”
Chris Larson for County Executive