Claims About Illinois and Oklahoma-Truth! & Fiction!

Claims About Illinois and Oklahoma-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
A viral email cites stats that compare Illinois and Oklahoma in an effort to highlight the local impacts of Democratic and Republican policies.

The Truth:

Variations of this eRumor have been circling the web since 2008. In fact, reported on an earlier version of the story.
The eRumor is full of a number of true and fictional claims about these two states. Here’s a closer look at some of the specific claims:

There are more people on welfare than are working in Illinois – Fiction!
A quick glance at data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals this first claim is false. With an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent in August 2014, it’s not even close.

Illinois pays the highest wages to teachers in the nation, averaging $110,000 a year – Fiction!
A Chicago Tribune review of Illinois teacher salaries in 2009 found that about 4 percent of teachers earned more than $100,000 per year, including fringe benefits. A 2011 National Education Association study [Note: former posted on, but now offline] found the average salary was $64,509 per year, which ranked Illinois as the sixth highest paying state in the country.

There were 292 murders over a six-month stretch in Chicago – Truth!
The eRumor doesn’t cite a specific time period for the murders, but it’s claim that 292 people were murdered over a six-month stretch is on par with crime rates reported by Chicago Police throughout the 2000s. Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy said in July 2014 that illegal firearms were the biggest issue facing the city, the Huffington Post reports. More than 3,300 illegal firearms were seized by mid 2014.

There aren’t any Republicans in Illinois – Fiction!
Many Republicans serves as elected officials in Illinois at the state and federal level.

President Obama didn’t win one county in Oklahoma – Truth! Challenger Mitt Romney swept Oklahoma in 2012, capturing all 77 counties in the Sooner State.
Ten Commandments memorial at Oklahoma State Capitol – Truth!  An Oklahoma House bill authorized a monument of the Ten Commandments at State Capitol Park in Oklahoma City in 2009. The monument remains there despite numerous legal challenges, the most recent lawsuit was dismissed in September 2014, Fox News reports.
Oklahoma passed a law to deport all illegal immigrants who are arrested – Truth!
On April 23, 2009, House Bill 2245 gained unanimous approval in the Oklahoma Senate. The Oklahoma Criminal Illegal Alien Rapid Repatriation Act of 2009 “allows the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to immediately send inmates who are in the country illegally to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.” A lawsuit was filed in September 2014 to challenge the law, Oklahoma News 9 reports.
Legislation gives Oklahoma sovereignty – Truth!
Oklahoma House Concurrent Resolution 1028 will give the state sovereignty. The resolution’s author, state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, told reporters, “The point of the resolution is to tell federal lawmakers and the president to stick to their jobs as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and quit handing out federal money to failing companies.” There are several other state sovereignty movements in the nation including Texas, California and Alaska, WND News reports.
Law reaffirms right for Oklahoma residents to carry guns –Truth!
The Oklahoma House and Senate passed House Bill 1025 in 2009. The measure made it illegal for employers to ask job applicants if they owned or carried a gun, NewsOk reports.
Posted 09/29/14