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Off The Editor’s Desk – 10-10-2018

Facts or Fiction?

Have you had enough with the political ads on Television? But we still have about four weeks to go and we will be seeing more of them in that time period.

I watch most of these ads to see what a candidate has to say about the future and how they will address what they see that needs fixing and how they will get it done. But what I don’t like is the mud throwing against their opponent. If a candidate has done something wrong or violated the public trust, yes we need to know that with just plain old facts.

Many of those ads leave some doubt as to the truth that is stated in the ad. Some seem to bend what happened to fit what that candidate thinks will benefit them.

One of the best commercials that I have seen this election cycle was done for Congressman Sean Duffy. Duffy represents the Seventh Congressional District of Wisconsin, which includes St. Croix County, and the rest of the northwestern part of the state.

The commercial runs for thirty seconds and has pictures of his family, brothers and sisters, and parents. He states, “Rachel and I have eight children, I have 10 siblings, same parents, but different politics. Some supported Trump, Hillary, Obama and even Bernie. My brother Tim would rather cast a line than a vote. America is one big family too, and if we treat each other with respect we will be OK.”

What a great piece, we should all take heed of that statement about respect.

On the other side of the balance sheet is an ad promoting Tony Evers for Wisconsin Governor. He claims that present governor Scott Walker has shorted the public school system.

I looked up the site of “Politifact Wisconsin” to check on Evers statements about Walker and found that they listed eight items. Of those eight, six statements were false or mostly false while the other two were mostly true, while Walker’s report was not much better with eight of nineteen statements by Walker being rated as false or mostly false with the other eleven as true or mostly true, including the one that Evers made, “says that despite a recent increase in school funding, Scott Walker has taken over a billion dollars from the public schools.” Politifact states that that statement is mostly false.

That brings me to funding the public schools in the state. I know that come each October, local school administrators and school boards spend many hours to come up with a balanced school budget for the coming year and they make it work. The law that limits school spending also allows for a referendum, so the school can ask the voters for more money to the school district.

I have to say that over the years, voters have been very supportive of school referendums and as I drive around the state, communities’ public schools are mostly new and well-equipped facilities that are the pride of the town.

If you don’t believe me about how nice the schools in this state are, just drive around and look what we have built for sports facilities. I recently was in Durand for a Blue Thunder football event. The high school football field has artificial turf as does the football fields in Cumberland and Hudson, just to name a couple that I have seen. At Durand, someone told me that the turf alone cost over a million dollars.

I can remember back in 2009 when then Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle borrowed millions of dollars mostly from the Federal Unemployment Fund to support pubic schools. Did we see any benefit from that money in local schools? If we did I don’t remember anyone from the schools telling what it did. I would be open to hear where that money went.

But that borrowed money was placed on the backs of business in the state that had a required federal unemployment fund. I know that I paid interest on that loan for several years. My share of the interest on that loan was less than a couple hundred dollars a year. I worried about what my bill would have been if state businesses had to repaid the principal of that loan. I was very happy to learn that Scott Walker and the Republican led legislature found a way to pay it back without placing the burden on the back of businesses in the state.

Remember, the general election is November 6th.

Thanks for reading! ~Carlton

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