Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fact Check: Krause Commercial Goes 0 for 3 on Truth

For Immediate Release: Oct. 20, 2010

OSHKOSH - With just two weeks before the November 2 election, Republican candidate for the 54th Assembly District Jonathan Krause is airing a commercial that makes three claims, none of which is true.

Ø CLAIM 1: Krause claims on his website and in his TV commercials that Gordon Hintz raised taxes by more than $5 Billion.

FACT: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Politifact fact-checking website has called this charge, used by numerous Republicans against Democratic challengers this election cycle, “False”

Krause claims that the $1.5 billion dollar net increase in local property taxes should be counted. The problem is that local governments, not the state government, set the local tax levies.

But the next claim is the most outrageous. It is $130.4 million dollars to be raised by "enhanced collection measures." The Department of Revenue hired 30 more auditors to collect legally owed taxes from tax cheats. This revenue may ease the burden on law-abiding people.

Finally, there is $369.6 million dollars tossed in to round up the claim to $5 billion dollars. Krause and the Republicans don't even bother to come up with an explanation for this amount. We could call it a "rounding-up" error.

At the Oshkosh Northwestern’s October 18th debate, when confronted about his distorted $5 billion claim, Krause answered “The $5 billion that may or may not be correct”.

(1:01.12 into the Oshkosh Northwestern streamcast of the debate)

If it is not correct, than why does Jonathan Krause keep saying it?

Ø CLAIM 2: Krause claims Gordon Hintz voted to increase state spending by 10%.

FACT: The 2009-10 budget contained $3.2 billion in spending cuts from the general fund, some of the largest cuts of any state in the Midwest and the largest cuts in Wisconsin’s history. (2009 Act 28)

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the non-partisan agency that provides the financial numbers the Legislature uses for their budget, said in a September 21 Fiscal Bureau memo that state general fund spending (what our income, sales, corporate income tax pay for) went down 2.6 percent. All Funds spending increased 6.2 percent and includes federal stimulus and transportation spending.

The September 21 LFB Memo is attached.

Ø CLAIM 3: Krause claims that Gordon Hintz doubled the local Oshkosh garbage fee.

FACT: The City of Oshkosh has NO garbage fee. Garbage collection in Oshkosh is paid for by the local property tax just as it was in 2006 when then candidate Hintz opposed the locally proposed fee considered by the Council that same year.

“This is exactly what we can expect from someone who doesn’t understand how decisions at the state level impact decisions that need to be made on the local level,” Hintz said of his opponent. “Oshkosh needs someone who lives in the real world, not some ideological fantasy land where the hard choices are pushed off to local leaders.”

"Voters deserve more than just talking points conjured up in Madison," Hintz continued. "They need someone who understands that facts on the ground. If my opponent can't get his numbers straight, how are the people of Oshkosh going to expect him to recognize the more complicated problems hard-working people deal with on a daily basis?"


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