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FACT CHECK: Tim Michels’ Baseless Crime Attack Graded “Pants on Fire”

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Michels “Mangled a Basic Concept,” “Widely Misses Mark” in TV Ads

In a recent fact check, PolitiFact roundly debunked Tim Michels’ line of attack on Gov. Evers, ranking the claims made in recent ads as “Pants on Fire” — the worst rating a claim can receive. The ads claim that Gov. Tony Evers has been letting hundreds of prisoners out on parole while former Republican Gov. Scott Walker released zero.

Here is the truth: more paroles were issued under Gov. Walker than under Gov. Evers. Parole numbers have been even higher under previous governors than under Gov. Evers, including under Republican governors. Additionally, many of the paroles in question were required by law — not decisions made by Gov. Evers, as Michels falsely claims.

And “when it comes to the numbers, Michels errs dramatically,” PolitiFact wrote. By claiming that Gov. Walker issued zero paroles, “Michels is mixing up pardons with parole.”

But when offered a chance to give backup for the claim, the Michels campaign “did not acknowledge the difference and instead continued to connect the two for maximum rhetorical advantage.”

“Since Michels has made the statement repeatedly, and continues to lump the two together in attacks even after being made aware of the difference, it’s clear this is not a semantic error,” PolitiFact reported. “For us, that makes this claim false and ridiculous. That’s what we call Pants on Fire!”

Read the full fact check here.