Some claims held water. Others needed to be flushed.
By Willoughby Mariano
Published on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 6:00 a.m.
PolitiFact Georgia had a week of extremes.
The Truth-O-Meter dished out one Mostly True and a True to the head of a conservation group on water issues and prospective GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on prisons. The Deal-O-Meter ruled Gov. Nathan Deal was making progress on a promise he made about the Race to the Top education program.
Then the Truth-O-Meter lit Georgia presidential prospect Herman Cain’s Pants on Fire. He claimed Planned Parenthood was started to kill black babies before they were born.
The Obameter gave a "Promise Broken" to President Barack Obama’s on foreclosure prevention.
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Sally Bethea, founding director, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper: "In three years we could find close to 50 million gallons per day through a toilet replacement program."
Despite decades of legal squabbles over the Southeast’s precious water resources, the problem still looms large over Georgia.
But take heart. And look down. Some of the solutions can be found in your toilet, Bethea, the head of the conservation group, said recently and made the above statement.
While saving nearly 50 million gallons of water per day appears unlikely in light of data we considered, it isn’t impossible. The amount could easily be much lower.
Since Bethea said the region "could" save 50 million gallons per day, not that it "would," we rate her claim Mostly True.
Newt Gingrich: Says "some [states] with the largest reductions in crime have also lowered their prison population."
In the wake of the Great Recession, some conservative political leaders are considering saving government money by lowering the prison system population.
Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman, onetime U.S. House speaker and a presidential prospect, made the above claim in an op-ed he co-wrote in The Washington Post.
Research by the Pew Center confirms this. It showed that four of the 10 states with the greatest drops in crime were also among the top 10 states in lowering their incarceration rates.
There is some debate about what factors are causing a decline in crime, but the Pew figures support Gingrich’s point. So does the National Institute of Corrections data. Therefore, we rate Gingrich’s statement True.
Promise: Will continue Sonny Perdue's implementation of Race to the Top program.
Many people wondered how Gov. Nathan Deal would manage Georgia’s Race to the Top.
The $4 billion federal grant program rewards states that are making significant strides in education. Georgia won $400 million in August.
Deal said during one debate during last year’s campaign that he would not accept federal funds for the competitive grant program, then backtracked hours later.
Last week, Deal announced that he would create a $19.3 million fund through Race to the Top for schools and organizations that "develop or implement innovative and high-impact programs" producing positive results for students.
The state will seek contributions from philanthropic organizations, nonprofits and businesses as startup money.
We rate this campaign promise as In The Works.
Promise: Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners.
When it comes to President Barack Obama's promise to create a foreclosure prevention fund, he's kept to the letter of law, but his administration has completely failed to meet its spirit.
During the campaign, Obama said he would create a $10 billion fund to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Soon after his election, Obama outdid the promise of $10 billion, creating a foreclosure prevention fund that totaled $75 billion. We gave Obama a Promise Kept.
But as many months went by, the program never lived up to its promise. As of January 2011, the program had given permanent loan modifications to only about 500,000 homeowners.
The evidence has been mounting for some time that the foreclosure prevention fund has fallen far short of its goals. If it ever rights itself, we'd be willing to reconsider our rating. But for now, it's a Promise Broken.
Prospective GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain: Planned Parenthood’s early objective was to "help kill black babies before they came into the world."
This presidential election season, Georgia’s homegrown prospect Cain is talking about race.
The black, conservative Republican recently said the media is "scared that a real black man may run against Barack Obama," and made the above claim about pro-abortion rights group Planned Parenthood.
(Cain was a talk show host on AM 750 and now 95.5 FM WSB, which, like The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is part of Cox Media Group.)
Every academic PolitiFact Georgia consulted said that Cain’s claim is wrong. Cain also got his facts mixed up.
We found no evidence that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger advocated -- privately or publicly -- for anything even resembling the "genocide" of blacks.
Mainstream black leaders helped lead some of her birth control efforts.
Pants on Fire.
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