Politifact Shreds WI GOP’s Claim Of 25,000 New Businesses Under Walker: “Mostly False”

Published On November 3, 2014 | By james |

Last Wednesday, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued a press release claiming some bold numbers from Koch-supported governor Scott Walker’s term.

Most notably, the release claimed that;

“Over 110,000 new jobs and 25,000 businesses have been created since Walker took office.”

Not so fast, counters fact-checking website Politifact.

The site first notes that Walker had originally promised 250,000 new private sector jobs on his watch – a figure the site has ranked “Promise Broken.” In fact, with 4  months left in Walker’s term, new jobs in Wisconsin barely tally %40 of his promise.

In looking at the claim that he has created 25,000 new businesses, the site again scoffs. In reaching that figure, Politifact explains that the campaign uses the figure of registered “business entities,” from the state’s Department of Financial Institutions. Those figures include;

“…filings by newly formed business corporations, non-stock nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and partnerships, common law trusts, veterans organizations and certain religious corporations.”

Noting that the number “rise and falls,” as existing businesses are shut down and new ones are launched, the actual number of new businesses under Walker is at 24,947 – a modest 7% increase since he took office. But that’s nowhere near the whole story, and it’s beyond deceptive. In reality, those numbers;

“…have very little to do with actual operating businesses and job creation… the count of newly registered “business entities” includes not only new ventures that bring new jobs, but thousands with no workers on the payroll at all — and little if any prospect of hires to come.”

Politifact rates the claimMostly False,” saying the numbers touted by the state’s GOP include;

— Thousands of limited-liability companies set up by real-estate investors solely to hold ownership of property or properties. Even investors as far away as Australia are on the list because they bought Wisconsin rental properties.


— Out-of-state firms that registered in Wisconsin because they may want to do work (there).


— Hundreds of nonprofit organizations, often volunteer-run, including Scout troops, condo associations, youth sports leagues, volunteer fire departments, historical societies, “friends” fundraising groups, scholarship funds and many more.


— Start-ups that are just getting organized and not yet able to pay employees.

In 2013,Politifact rated 7 statements made by Walker as “PANTS ON FIRE,” the highest rating the site gives for false statements and information, prompting one group to deliver fireproof pants to Walker’s office in the state capital.

In addition to that, 57 other statements made by Walker  – who appears to be readying for a presidential run in 2016 – were rated as “lies,” “mostly false,” or “half-truths,” in 2013. In all, Politifact rated only 9 out of 84 Walker statements analyzed as “true” last year.

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