Monday, January 23, 2006

WSJ fails the disclosure test

The post-State of the State Wisconsin State Journal story blasting Gov. Doyle's usage of job creation statistics contained this notable "expert" quote:

Economist David Ward of NorthStar Economics in Madison was clear on what he would use in a study.

"What you want to be using is seasonally adjusted numbers."

Now, there are a couple of interesting things about this. First of all, as has been previously noted in this blog, is WSJ's quoting of Northstar Economics in this piece - the same firm that totally botched an economic "study" of the Madison paid sick leave proposal the prior week.

Just as interesting though, is the failure of the reporters to note that the quoted economist, David Ward, was a financial contributor to Doyle's opponent in 2002, Scott McCallum. He gave not once, not twice, but thrice to that doomed campaign (proof enough, mayhap, of the soundness of his economic judgement - but I digress).

Stories quoting incompetent "experts" are bad enough. Stories quoting incompetent "experts" attacking an elected official whose opponent they financially supported (without disclosing that fact) are irresponsible. For the record, the guilty parties are WSJ reporters Phil Brinkman and Jason Stein.

Oh, and by the way, let us not forget amidst this tempest in a teapot the most important fact: since he took office, Gov. Doyle has created at least 69,500 new jobs for Wisconsinites.