Friday, July 31st, 2015

The most recent articles on PolitiFact Georgia

Walker wants to build on early positives

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series from PolitiFact Georgia on the 2016 presidential candidates that appears on Mondays. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker entered the crowded Republican race for president July 13 with an edge over some of his competitors: a national conservative following built around his efforts against public employee unions. In his announcement speech, Walker, 47, said he will run for president as a Washington outsider who will cut taxes and reduce the size of the federal government.   Walker was first elected to a four-year term as governor of Wisconsin in 2010. But he was forced to face state voters again in 2012 after Democrats and organized labor collected enough signatures to force a recall election. They were upset by Walker's controversial plan to strip most public workers of union rights. Walker survived the recall election and was re-elected in 2014. "My record shows that I know how to fight," he said in a 45-minute speech announcing his candidacy for president. "And I know now, more than ever, that Americans need a president who can fight and win for America." PolitiFact has checked numerous statements by Walker in his tenure as governor and in the months that he has traveled the country in anticipation of entering the presidential race. As of last week, PolitiFact has fact-checked 145 statements by Walker, rating 16, or 11 percent, True; 32, or 22 percent, Mostly True; 27, or 19 percent, Half True; 22, or 15 percent, Mostly False; 38, or 26 percent, False; and 10, or 7 percent, Pants on Fire.

O'Malley on the trail but lagging

As the road to the 2016 presidential race heats up, PolitiFact Georgia is taking time to remind readers of our fact-checks from the candidates. Each week, we alternate between the large Republican field and the relatively sparse Democratic offering. Today, we look at our checks on claims made by former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who trails in the Democratic race.

Trump makes provocative entry into 2016 presidential race

Real estate tycoon and reality television star Donald Trump carried his legendary reputation for making provocative remarks into his opening foray into the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s comments about illegal Mexican immigrants snagged the spotlight in the already crowded presidential contest and set off political fireworks. Three weeks later, Trump is still fending off criticism for saying Mexico is sending people with drug and criminal problems, even "some rapists," across the border into the United States. Millions of Americans know Trump from the reality television show "The Apprentice" and its catchphrase "You’re Fired." He’s also been in and out of the news for decades for his high-profile business ventures, his marital woes and romances, political jabs and trivia spats. Remember his persistence with the birther claim on President Barack Obama? The feud with Rosie O’Donnell? Some of Trump’s statements have crossed our path. We’ve fact-checked 20 statements, none of which we rated True. We rated two (9 percent) Mostly True, three (14 percent) Half True, 10 (45 percent) False and five (23 percent) Pants on Fire. Click the headline to read a sampling of our fact-checks, plus a brief bio.

A look at claims from Lincoln Chafee

PolitiFact Georgia has begun an occasional series looking at statements from more than a dozen of the 2016 presidential candidates as part of our overall effort to parse fact and fiction in the political talk. Today, we turn our attention to claims from former U.S. Senator and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. (See previous stories on other candidates here)

Ted Cruz is in the race

ROAD TO 2016 The Ted Cruz file Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz Age: Born Dec. 22, 1970 ( 44) Political party: Republican Political experience: Domestic policy advisor to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign; associate deputy attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice, director, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission; solicitor general, state of Texas; elected in 2012 as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas. Education: Graduated with honors from Princeton University, with high honors from Harvard Law School, was law clerk to William Rehnquist, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Hispanic to serve in that position. Business: Private law practice Family: He and his wife Heidi live in Houston with their two daughters, Caroline and Catherine. Interesting factoid: Father was born in Cuba, survived being imprisoned and tortured. He fled to Texas in 1957, penniless and not speaking a word of English. He made 50 cents an hour washing dishes, put himself through the University of Texas and started a small business in the oil and gas industry. His father is now a pastor in Dallas. Source: Cruz Senate website, news reports  

Fact checking Hillary Clinton

With more than a dozen candidates announced for the 2016 presidential election, there will be plenty of claims coming from all political corners. PolitiFact Georgia has begun an occasional series looking at statements from the candidates as part of our overall effort to parse fact and fiction in the political talk. Today: a look at the statements from former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Last week's summary on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can be read here).

Jeb joins the pack

ROAD TO 2016 The Jeb Bush file John Ellis "Jeb" Bush Age: 62, born Feb. 11, 1953 in Midland, Texas Political party: Republican Political experience: Served as Florida secretary of commerce, 1986-1988; ran unsuccessfully for governor of Florida, 1994; elected governor of Florida, 1998 and 2002 Education: Graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., University of Texas with degree in Latin American affairs Business: Real estate development Family: Married to Columba Bush since 1974 and has three children, George P. Bush, Noelle Bush, John Ellis Bush Jr. Interesting factoid: parents are first lady and former President George H.W.. Bush and brother is former President George W. Bush. Fluent in Spanish.

PolitiFact at 5: True-rated fact-checks

What better way to close out our celebration of PolitiFact Georgia’s five-year anniversary than to look at claims that we researched and found were true. Just as the claims we’ve rated False or Pants On Fire point out when politicians got it wrong or played it fast and loose with the facts, the True-rated fact checks highlight when they did their homework and were right. That was the aim five years and more than 1,000 fact checks ago when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution launched PolitiFact Georgia, a unique journalistic attempt to parse political truth from political fiction. Summaries of a few of our True fact checks through the years are below. To comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own, go to our Facebook page ( You can also follow us on Twitter through our Twitter handle @politifactga.  

PolitiFact Georgia at 5 shares some favorite claims

PolitiFact Georgia continues celebrating its fifth anniversary today by showcasing some head-turning claims we’ve fact-checked over the years from politicians, newsmakers and social media. Some of the hard-to-believe claims proved to be true, and those easy to accept were sometimes shown to be rather outlandish. But all of them provided interesting fodder for our fact-checkers. Summaries of a few of our favorites are below. To comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own, go to our Facebook page ( You can also follow us on Twitter through our Twitter handle @politifactga.    

PolitiFact at 5 looks at some favorite Falses

PolitiFact Georgia is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week with a look today at claims that have ended up on the wrong end of the AJC Truth-O-Meter over the years. The Truth-O-Meter arrow struck False in these cases, even if the speaker didn’t always admit to an error. In other instances, we received the email or phone call that essentially said: Oops. My bad. I was wrong. Mea culpa. Summaries of a few of our favorite False rated statements through the years can be found below. To comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own, go to our Facebook page ( You can also follow us on Twitter through our Twitter handle @politifactga.  

Clinton avoids media on Atlanta visit but regularly hits Truth-O-Meter

Hillary Clinton came to Atlanta on Thursday to raise campaign cash, but left without speaking to reporters. She has, however, spent some time on the PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter over the years. So we thought it would be a good time to review a few of those fact-checks on key issues broached by the former Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president. Summaries of those fact-checks follow.

A look at local claims

With all the national doings, PolitiFact Georgia is shining the spotlight on some local and statewide claims.

Fact checking the new transportation law

Gov. Nathan Deal made filling potholes on Georgia's roads and fixing state bridges a step closer to reality by signing a sweeping transportation funding bill. The measure will raise about $1 billion a year - enough to tackle the state's mounting project backlog but not likely to make a dent in the overall need to keep all infrastructure up to date. PolitiFact Georgia kept tabs on the political struggle to get the bill passed, and has several fact checks to help explain what you can expect.

Same-sex marriage claims on the Truth-O-Meter

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments that could result in legalizing same-sex marriage across the country. At issue is whether the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which guarantees due process and equal protection, compels states to recognize such unions and whether states such as Georgia, which now ban the practice, must recognize the marriages performed in other states. PolitiFact Georgia has prepared a primer on the claims, including the Peach State's role in the issue.

Getting schooled on education issues

Georgia's schools will continue to be in the news as Gov. Nathan Deal launches his bid for voters to approve the Opportunity School District with the power to take control of failing schools, convert them into charters or shut them down. The bill allowing for the overhaul was one of a handful of education-related initiatives to come out of the recent Legislative session. PolitiFact Georgia was there.