On JSOnline, Politifact gives liberal blogger Chris Liebenthal a much needed backhand for his regular campaign of lies. Politifact noted that Liebenthal - on his spiteful little blog called the Cognitive Dissidence - accused Governor Scott Walker of increasing his salary while stiffing state employees with a two-year pay freeze. Like most liberal bloggers, Liebenthal doesn't have the journalistic integrity of checking most of his facts.
As Politifact noted, Liebenthal and other liberal bloggers saw that the state's compensation plan gave Governor Walker an annual salary of $144,000. Since this is about $7,500 more than his predecessor Governor Jim Doyle, they deduced from pay discrepancy that Governor Walker must have given himself a raise. (The nerve of doing this while making government employees pay more for health care and pension benefits!)
What Liebenthal and others didn't realize is that the state constitution bars elected officials from giving themselves pay increases. Walker's 2011 salary was established well before he was elected to office. A simple phone call to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau or a web visit to the State's blue book would have cleared up any misunderstanding; but Liebenthal has never checked his facts, so why start now?
What's more, Governor Walker's pay raise was approved by Governor Doyle's Administration. We wonder if these bloggers will focus their ire at their own party. After all, they are lining the Governor's pockets with our hard-earned money.
I seem to remember liberal bloggers getting their facts wrong about Walker's supposed pay raise back when he was the Milwaukee County Executive. Yes, in October of 2009, Cory Liebmann of Eye on Wisconsin accused Walker of giving himself a 72% pay raise while cutting the pay of county workers by 13%. What Liebmann didn't say was that this pay raise didn't actually increase Walker's salary.
Since taking the office of County Executive in 2002, Walker voluntarily gave back $60,000 a year of his own salary to the county government. Over the span of his tenure, Walker shared the pain and gave back $360,000. In 2009, Walker decided to scale back his givings from $60,000 to $10,000 a year. Liebmann considered this a lavish pay raise - anything for a soundbite.
In conclusion, we give the Politifact a rating of "true" for calling attention to Liebenthal's usual misinformation.