WisDems-Obama “Truth Team” Not So Truthful?


By: Brian Sikma

The Wisconsin Democratic Party in conjunction with the Obama for America campaign today announced the formation of a new coalition named the Wisconsin Truth Team. Prominent and outspoken Democrats around the state are now a part of the Wisconsin-affiliate of the national Truth Team effort, an Obama campaign initiative to develop surrogates that can go out and defend the President’s alleged achievements of record during the 2012 campaign. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a potential candidate for governor in the looming recall election, said in the announcement release, “it will take all of us to stand up to the distractions, distortions, and lies Republicans will come up with to try and remove President Obama from office.”

Barrett’s harsh tone is a little surprising considering how hard he and his advisors work to depict him as a moderate Democrat.

How successful the Wisconsin Truth Team is may depend in no small part on the credibility of its members. Right now, several of those members do not appear to have a tremendous amount of credibility judging from PolitiFact. While PolitiFact is an opinion piece and its conclusions should be accepted with a grain of salt, a pattern of negative ratings accumulated by Truth Team members does raise a lot of questions about the trustworthiness of their efforts.

Wisconsin Truth Team members with false ratings include:

Mike Tate, Chairman of the DPW, has led the DPW and himself to earn no less than six False, Mostly False and Paints on Fire ratings since PolitiFact Wisconsin was launched in 2010.

Jon Erpenbach, state senator, has earned a Mostly False rating from PolitiFact.

Lena Taylor, state senator, has earned a Mostly False rating from PolitiFact.

The presence of several individuals who have between them earned so many negative ratings from PolitiFact makes the credibility of the Wisconsin Truth Team seem more than partisan: it seems they also have less than a passing acquaintance with the truth.

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