John W. Eyster: Fact-check election campaigns

 

Listening and reading the debates and town halls meetings and candidate speeches, I often think, “That’s not true.”  Do YOU too find yourself thinking, “That’s not true.”  Other times, I have a question-mark in my mind.  You too?  I’m grateful for the development of quality FACT-CHECKERS who do the research to clarify the truth of statements/claims made by candidates for public office.  I wish we had the benefits of FACT-CHECKERS for municipal and county candidates in WI too.

I prize the message of the political cartoon by David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ with a child asking a question as daddy is reading her “Pinocchio” for a bedtime story, “Did Pinocchio get a bump in the polls every time he told a lie?” published on p. 9A of The Janesville Gazette, March 30, 2016.

I have developed the routine of checking the various FACT-CHECKER sources as I listen to and read about all of the current campaigns for public office.  These assessments of the statements/claims/proposals of candidates help me evaluate the quality of the candidates.

I was very interested to read the SUMMARY FACT-CHECK report, “The Final Five – on the Truth-O-Meter” published by Politifactlast Sunday, March 27.  The article provides an overview of the “Truth-O-Meter” ratings of the final five candidates seeking nomination for U.S. President.  I encourage you to review this summary report, but before you open these reports, you may want to guess which candidate has the highest number of “True” statements and which candidates has the highest number of “Pants on Fire” statements according to the “Truth-O-Meter.”  Were you surprised by any of the numbers?

Another valuable source of campaign assertions is Jessica Arp’s feature, “Reality Check” broadcast by WISC-TV3 from time-to-time.  The most recent “Reality Check” online was updated March 18, “Ad misleads on Jefferson County case.”

If you have other “FACT CHECK” sources which you use, I hope you will post in a comment with the URL so that I myself and other readers are able to access.  Your comments about the “FACT CHECK” you post will be valuable.

Keep checking the facts to make YOUR votes through 2016 on April 5 with our WI Spring Election, Partisan Primary IF needed, Tuesday, August 9 and then the General Election on Tuesday, November 8.

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