Wisconsin

Fred Clark’s Latest Press Release Disturbingly Misleading, Doesn’t Pass Fact-Check

Campaigns

-For Immediate Release-

June 23, 2011

Contact: Brian Sikma, Communications Director

brian@mediatrackers.org – 262.241.7946

Milwaukee – Representative Fred Clark’s (D-Baraboo) state Senate campaign released a scathing press release yesterday attacking Senator Luther Olsen (R), Clark’s opponent in the recall race unfolding in District 14. Media Trackers, a Wisconsin group that works to promote accountability in government and the media, fact-checked the release and found disturbingly misleading information.

Rep. Clark’s release claimed that Sen. Olsen wants to “radically change SeniorCare” in a way that would force seniors to “sacrifice their health just to pay for the millions in corporate tax breaks that Senator Olsen wants to deliver to wealthy corporations.” This claim is flatly inaccurate because irrespective of corporate tax breaks allegedly supported by Sen. Olsen, Olsen did not support changes to SeniorCare during the recent session. In fact, he ardently defended the program as vital to the needs of Wisconsin seniors.[1]

Clark and his campaign went on to attack Olsen as someone who is beholden to party bosses in Madison while saying Clark is an “independent voice,” who will “fight” on behalf of the 14th District. The legitimacy of Clark’s claim to being an independent voice are questionable because Clark’s campaign press secretary is Gillian Morris, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party with an official Wisconsin Democratic Party e-mail address.[2] “This fact about the Clark campaign press release is quite ironic,” remarked Brian Sikma, Communications Director for Media Trackers. “It is highly misleading of Rep. Clark to suggest that he is independent of Madison special interests when his campaign communications arm is run by a Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesperson.”

“From his factually inaccurate charge that Sen. Olsen wants to change SeniorCare, to his misplaced claim of independence from Madison, Fred Clark is continuing to demonstrate who he really is,” Sikma asserted. “Voters saw him apologize for threatening to ‘smack around’ a female constituent, and now they are having to sort through this misleading press release. It would be helpful to the overall tone of the race if Rep. Clark decided to stick to real facts and not what he might imagine the facts to be.”

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[1] http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/sen14/news/Press/2011/col2011-013.asp

[2] http://wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=240201

PDF Version of this Press Release: ClarkReleaseFailsFactCheck.