PolitiFact Florida’s Top 5 for June 2015
In June, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced at Miami-Dade College that he was officially launching his bid for the presidency in 2016.
Bush dominated our Top 5 most clicked-on reports in June. Also on our Top 5 list was an article about one of Bush’s rivals -- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio -- as well as a repeated claim by Gov. Rick Scott about the environment.
Here are our Top 5 reports counting down to the most popular:
In his announcement speech, Bush was mentioned to a Clinton speech about women’s rights worldwide, in which she talked about the rates of maternal mortality, domestic violence, lack of access to education and "reproductive health care." She said that laws must be enforced to protect those rights even if "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed."
So the only area where she said beliefs must change that has any possible connection to domestic issues was in the reference to the overall category of reproductive health. Bush was making Clinton’s remarks sound far more sweeping than they actually were. We rated this statement Half True.
4. Hillary Clinton said, "In Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the presidential election in 2000" and "in 2004 a plan to purge even more voters was headed off."
Clinton, who made this claim during a speech on voting rights at Texas Southern University, omitted that this effort started before Bush was in office, though it did continue under his watch. In 2004, the state scrapped another purge after officials admitted errors. We rated her statement Mostly True.
In response to a New York Times blog post about his traffic violations, Rubio told MSNBC: "Let me just say, I really don’t like red-light cameras. That’s a big scam. But that’s another topic for another day."
We didn’t rate his statement on the Truth-O-Meter, since that is a matter of opinion. But Rubio certainly has grounds here to criticize the cameras. Lawsuits have forced many cities to suspend or shut down their programs and refund fines. Also, the research about the effectiveness of the cameras in terms of public safety is mixed. See our findings in our article.
Scott made this claim at his economic summit for presidential candidates. Scott's team pointed to investments the state has made to restore the Everglades and springs during his tenure. While those are high-profile projects, he claimed that Florida has "record funding" for the environment overall, and that’s not the case. The budget for the state Department of Environmental Protection and for Florida Forever were not a record under Scott -- two major pots of money that relate to the environment. We rated his claim Pants on Fire.
Ultraviolet, which describes itself as a community "mobilized to fight sexism and expand women’s rights," posted an image labeled, "5 things you should know about Jeb Bush" to its Facebook page on June 15. The topics included actions or statements Bush had made related to single moms, abortion and rape. You can read our overview of all five here, but we also looked at two of them in more detail.
One claim was that Bush "appointed a guardian for the fetus of a rape survivor." Bush asked a judge in 2003 to name someone to act in the interests of the fetus of a mentally disabled woman raped in a group home. But the judge did not grant the request, because state law does not give a fetus the same protections as a person. We rated the statement Mostly False.
Ultraviolet also said that Bush "said low-income women should ‘get their life together and find a husband.' " He did make that statement, but it was two decades ago, during his first race for governor in 1994. We rated this claim Mostly True.
And before we sign off ...
One final note: Some of our older fact-checks and articles were also popular, including our tracking of Scott’s broken promise to require drug testing for welfare recipients, our 2013 fact-check of a statistic about black-on-black murders (see our May 2015 update about that) and a claim by the Florida Democratic Party that Rick Scott "oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the nation’s history."