Reality Check: The Truth About Those Wis. Political Ads

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Millions of dollars have been spent in the air war to win Wisconsin’s controversial recall elections. But is what you’re seeing even true?

Forget for just a moment that the voice you hear in this Wisconsin political ad is NOT the actor Morgan Freeman.

“Here’s what Shelley Moore thinks about taxes,” the ad begins.

It’s a Morgan Freeman sound-alike ad from a special interest group, attacking Democrat Shelley Moore.

And it’s not just a fake actor — the claims border on fiction, too.

“Moore and her union support a government-run health plan that would raise taxes by $510 a month for every Wisconsin worker, and give free health care to illegal aliens,” asserts the ad by the group, Citizens for a Strong America.

This is a clever distortion, and it’s highly MISLEADING.

Despite using the inflammatory words “illegal aliens,” most states, including Wisconsin, don’t provide health care for illegal immigrants.

EXCEPT: In the case of emergencies, and pregnancies. And that’s not new.

Meanwhile, a labor backed group called We Are Wisconsin uses comical drama to describe Republican Sheila Harsdorf, showing workers putting money in a jar, and a rich-looking woman dressed in diamonds and pearls taking money out.

“Thanks to Senator Harsdorf’s support of Governor Walker’s budget, families will pay more in taxes. But big corporations and the super rich will get millions in tax breaks,” the ad states.

Despite the ‘Richie-Rich’ flourish, the claim is PARTLY TRUE, but it is an EXAGGERATION.

Harsdorf voted for Gov. Walker’s budget, raising health care and pension costs for state workers, which the unions agreed to. The budget does include tax cuts for businesses and investors, including a tax holiday for new badger state companies.

By the way, the Wisconsin Democratic Party is asking television stations to remove the Morgan Freeman sound-alike ad.

It’s from a group called Citizens for a Strong America, which has not returned our calls for comment.

There are six recall elections statewide and the latest estimates are that $30 million will be spent, most of it by outside groups.

Harsdorf is outspending Moore — $437,000 to $338,000, which is also an unusually large amount of money for a State Senate seat.

Reality Check Links:
‘Morgan Freeman’ Sound Alike Ad
Health Care For Wisconsin Immigrants
Report: The Impact Of Illegal Immigration On Minnesota
Shelia Harsdorf Ad
We Are Wisconsin
Politifact On Wisconsin Ad
CBS News: Wis. Gov. Signs Budget
JS Online: Walker Signs Budget Bill
Wisconsin Democratic Party
Wisconsin GOP
Citizens For America
Leader-Telegram: Harsdorf Outspends Moore

More from Pat Kessler
  • Sarah Kennedy

    I watched Reality Check and I feel that there was a mistake in what was stated about tax increases that Senator Harsdorf voted for that directly affects taxes paid by low wage workers and the elderly and low income citizens.
    The budget increased taxes on 145,000 low-wage workers with children by cutting $55.6million from the Earned Income Tax Credit that is an anti-poverty program thus raising taxes on the working poor.
    The budget also increased taxes on some 277,000 low- income homeowners and renters because the state Homestead Tax Credit is reduced by $13.6 million. This credit was used to target property tax relief to working class homeowners and renters.
    These are the increases to working families the ads are referring to Not public employees paying more for their benefits. This is what Senator Harsdorf voted for

    Please pass this on to Mr. Kessler

    • Carol

      Come on, cuttig a program that is no longer need is not raising taxes.

      • David J. Conklin

        Who said it wasn’t needed? Where’s the proof?

      • Paul Solinger

        Carol, can we also agree then that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled would not be considered a tax increase, as some Republicans claim?

    • Paul Solinger

      You make a good point, Sarah. You can send Kessler and e-mail directly, too. You would have a better chance of him reading your post, and he will probably respond.

  • Tewin777

    Reality Check False info again!!
    Badgercare own Website from Wisconsin doe’s not show citizenship as a requirement!!!! That is ASSUMPTION by Pat.
    Secondly the Unions fought hard to block workersfrom paying more on their own insurance cost and retirement plan. The offer to pay more occured once the PUBLIC OPINION TURNED agaisnt those who are protesting in the MAD City!!!
    Also Ignores the fact that Taxes have gone up to pay for public schools, now the bill is law many school systems are no longer in the red!!
    Note they Still pay a lower percentage for Medical cost then the average worker.

  • Jake

    Ya, sure, Pat, tell us, the stupid public what we really need to know. The ‘morgan freeman’ stuff is OLD NEWS. The bottom line is that Wisconsin is kicking our collective butts right now, because their politicians GET IT, and have made the kind of changes that will help their state, while our goofy gov shutdown the state, which lost hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars in revenue, while continuing to shovel out welfare dollars for unproductive people.

    • TTT

      You are correct sir!

  • kally

    …that $30 million will be spent, most of it by outside groups.
    and this does not alarm anyone? We are being used as pupets by well funded special interest groups and George Soros…

  • Give me liberty

    Seems that Reality Check needs a reality check.

    Leave it to the liberal media to spin a segment called Reality Check.

    You can’t trust any thing you hear these days. Everybody has an agenda. When can we put this aside and do what is best for the country and future generations?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live