PolitiFact Florida’s Top 5 for April 2015
Claims by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a GOP presidential contender, dominated our most-clicked fact-checks posted in April.
We fact-checked Bush’s claims about gun permits, school spending and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our article about claims related to same-sex marriage and a fact-check about gun sales were also popular.
Here’s a look at our Top 5 among new fact-checks and articles we posted this month, counting down to the most popular:
"Suntrust Bank cancels account because company sells guns," FloridaNewsFlash.com said.
Actually, the bank decided recently to end relationships with pawn shops, payday lenders and check cashers, but it will still work with firearms dealers. The FDIC has warned banks to examine relationships with customers that use third-party payment processors, because of the risk of consumer fraud, a federal program called Operation Choke Point has investigated the same issue.. Gun rights advocates have argued that Operation Choke Point is a backdoor way of targeting gun shops, but there is no proof of that. We rated this statement Mostly False.
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Speaking of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Bush said that Florida "has a law like this." The law became a national flashpoint because critics feared it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Florida did pass its own version of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the laws and the context for their passage are different. Indiana’s law says government doesn’t have to be a party to the case, and it extends protections to corporations, and that’s different from Florida’s law.
Bush's statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. We rated his claim Half True.
On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments related to same-sex marriage bans. The outcome of the decision, expected by June, could mean either that same-sex marriage will become legal in all states or that some states will institute new bans on same-sex marriage.
Our article summarized our fact-checks related to same-sex marriage. We have fact-checked claims related to previous court rulings, the cost to couples who can’t marry and a proposal in Texas to strip salaries from clerks who issue same-sex marriage licenses. We’ve also looked at the views of President Barack Obama; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Does the United States spend more per student than most countries?
At a GOP event in New Hampshire Bush said, "We have an 80 percent graduation rate in high school after spending more per student than any country in the world other than Liechtenstein, I think, or Luxembourg and a couple other small countries."
The national average for the graduation rate was 81 percent in 2012-13, according to one method the federal government uses to calculate the rate. Among advanced countries, the United States ranked fifth in per student spending for secondary education behind Austria, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland. Liechtenstein wasn’t on the list, but since Bush expressed uncertainty, we think his statement is still accurate.
We rated this claim True.
Which states has the most gun permits?
During a speech to the NRA, Bush said Florida has the most concealed weapon permits in the nation, "nearly double that of the second state, which is Texas."
Bush is correct that Florida leads the nation in the sheer number of gun permits -- the most current figure is nearly 1.4 million. However, eight states have a higher per-capita rate of gun permits than Florida.
When he says that Florida has "nearly double" the number of permits as Texas, he is in the ballpark -- Texas has about 826,000. So Florida has about 1.7 times as many permit holders.
Where Bush misses the mark is when he says that Texas is the second state in terms of gun permits. Current data from the Pennsylvania state patrol showed slightly more than one million permits -- so more than Texas.
We rated this claim Mostly True.
And our readers also liked ...
One final note: Some of our older fact-checks and articles also drew considerable traffic this month including a look at statistics on black-on-black murders; our tracking of Gov. Rick Scott’s broken promise to require drug testing for welfare recipients; a claim about Scott overseeing the largest Medicare fraud in history and Rubio’s Truth-O-Meter record.