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Politifact critiques Democrat attack on Tim Michels, the Republican who is running for governor in Wisconsin

by | Sep 21, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

This falls under the “even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while” category. A “Politifact” actually looked at the evidence and the “charge” against a pro-life politician and judged them to be “mostly false.” (We’re not foolish enough to expect a “false” verdict. The explanation for why it is “mostly false” is silly. But moving on…)

The target is Tim Michels, the Republican who is challenging Tony Evers, the incumbent pro-abortion Democrat governor.

Madeline Helm lays out the charge from “liberal groups” in a television ad:

Says Tim Michels’ family foundation “funded an organization that tracks women when they get near abortion clinics … he wants to treat women like they’re the criminals.” 

The headline for her analysis is “Ad is off-base with claim that Tim Michels wants to treat women like criminals.”

That’s a start. She offers a good synopsis under the category “If Your Time is short.”

  • Tim Michels’ parents’ foundation, which he was a trustee of until 2019, gave $20,000 to the Veritas Society, a digital marketing company that tracks the locations of women entering and leaving abortion clinics to send them targeted anti-abortion ads. 
  • But the ad falsely equates the practice with the ankle monitors used by law enforcement to keep track of people in the criminal justice system who are out of jail or prison. 
  • Plenty of companies use location tracking to better target advertisements to the public. It’s controversial and invasive, but it doesn’t mean we’re being treated like criminals. 
  • In any case, a woman headed into a Planned Parenthood clinic today wouldn’t be at risk of criminal activity — under Wisconsin’s ban, the person obtaining the abortion doesn’t face criminal charges, and the clinics haven’t been performing the procedure since the Supreme Court ruling in June.

So the big two takeaways are that “Plenty of companies use location tracking to better target advertisements to the public” and that showing an ankle bracelet is way over the top: “the person [aka the woman] obtaining the abortion doesn’t face criminal charges.”

Helm adds, “To match up to the ankle bracelet imagery, the system would need to be tracking locations nonstop after the people travel near an abortion clinic. But there has been no evidence presented that is going on.”

Categories: Media Bias
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