Chris Nichols

Chris Nichols is the PolitiFact California reporter for Capital Public Radio. For the past dozen years, Chris has worked as a government and politics reporter at newspapers across California. Most recently, he covered the Capitol for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Previously, he worked at the North County Times in Escondido; the Lodi News-Sentinel and the Sonora Union-Democrat.

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Recent stories from Chris Nichols

President Trump’s Record With The Truth As He Visits California

President Trump's statements about what a border wall can do and how many people have been arrested at the border have often stretched the truth. PolitiFact California outlines Trump's recent border claims. 

How are school shootings defined?

There’s no legal definition or consensus for how best to define a school shooting. PolitiFact California examined how different advocacy groups define these tragic crimes to see where they fit in this unsettled debate. 

All of PolitiFact California’s fact checks on gun violence

Since PolitiFact California launched in late 2015, we have produced more than a dozen fact checks and articles on guns and mass shootings. We rated each claim based on information known at the time. Much of the work remains relevant as assertions over guns and gun violence continue to spill into the public square, some vetted and others devoid of fact.

How much privacy do you have when you buy marijuana in California?

California law does not require pot dispensaries to collect much customer data, but the stores appear to gather more information than consumers realize. PolitiFact California explored what’s collected and whether customers should be concerned.

Provocative Trump ad gives wrong impression on immigrants

President Trump’s re-election campaign released a provocative video featuring an undocumented immigrant accused of killing two Northern California sheriff’s deputies. The spot accurately captures the outbursts of the accused killer, but also fuels the stereotype that undocumented immigrants are largely violent.

Pot 101: Facts you should know about California’s legal marijuana

California's recreational marijuana law marks a milestone for the cannabis industry. But it doesn't offer the complete freedom to smoke, buy and transport pot anywhere you please. PolitiFact California examined many of the restrictions consumers still face.

Do only a fraction of California’s Latino and black students go to four-year colleges?

Candidate for governor Antonio Villaraigosa claimed only 13 percent of California’s Latino and black students go to four-year colleges. We found his claim gives the wrong impression for both groups.

The most outlandish, Pants On Fire! claims we fact-checked in 2017

President Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims on California voter fraud during the 2016 election plus a series of intentionally false stories about the state’s deadly wildfires all earned a Pants On Fire in 2017.

PolitiFact California’s Top 10 Most Popular Fact Checks of 2017

Eye-opening claims that California has the sixth largest economy on the planet, the highest poverty rate in the nation and that President Trump’s border wall will cost one and a half times as much as an aircraft carrier all made PolitiFact California’s Top 10 most popular fact checks of 2017.

Claims abound on California’s ‘highest-in-the-nation’ costs. Not all are factual.

Politicians often claim California has some of the 'highest-in-the-nation' costs. There's some truth to these statements, but others, including some by candidate for governor John Cox, exaggerate the Golden State's expenses.