Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Jim Tharpe

PolitiFact Georgia Editor

Jim Tharpe, Georgia PolitiFact Editor,  has worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. For 11 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he has written about everything from state politics to whale sharks. A graduate of the University of Florida, Tharpe was a 1989 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.


The latest Truth-O-Meter items from Jim Tharpe


GA is 9th highest rate of working adults without high school diploma or GED


No doubt of growth but little evidence of specifics


Many urban dwellers sweet on idea of backyard chickens


Rate fluctuates but is up

Mostly True

The goal is uniform standards promoting professionalism

Recent stories from Jim Tharpe

Fact checking Marco Rubio

As we near the the next national GOP debate on Sept. 16, political watchers are keeping an eye on polls to see who in the crowded field will make the stage for CNN's broadcast. As part of PolitiFact's ongoing series examining statesment from candidates on both sides of the aisle, today we look at claims from one of the standouts of the first debate in August, Marco Rubio, Florida's junior senator.    

The week in fact-checks Aug. 27 (video)

PolitiFact Georgia breaks down the week in fact-checks.

Carson cuts own path in pursuit of GOP nomination

The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination includes members of political dynasties, a developer turned reality TV star and two candidates who have not won any other office. Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, is one of the two GOP hopefuls with complete outsider status. Today, we look at our checks on claims he has made as part of our weekly series looking at candidates from both sides of the aisle.

Fiorina emerges from crowded GOP presidential field

The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is so large, the first debate was split into two. Although the top 10 polling candidates drew the prime-time slot in the Aug. 6 events, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina drew media and voter attention with her performance in the "Happy Hour" debate among the seven remaining candidates. Today, PolitiFact Georgia looks at our checks on claims made by Fiorina as part of our weekly series on White House wannabees from both sides of the political aisle. 

Christie hopes his take-charge style will set him apart

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie entered the 2016 race for president, promising to bring his "tell-it-like-it-is" style to Washington and the nation’s problems. So far he’s struggled in the polls and in his efforts to stand out in a field of 17 Republican candidates, many of whom are better financed and arguably better liked. However, he did snag one of 10 coveted spots in the first presidential debate last week. Christie, 52, considers his now famously brash persona his biggest positive. ''We need strength, decision-making and authority back in the Oval Office,'' he said in his announcement speech. Christie was considered a rising star of the national Republican party in his first term as governor in traditionally Democratic New Jersey. He was encouraged to run for president in 2012, but said the time was not right and backed Mitt Romney. Because of his high profile, he was picked to give the keynote speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention. But, a month before the presidential election, Christie publicly praised President Barack Obama’s relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, a gesture that party conservatives considered a self-serving and troubling misstep. News reports out of the Northeast say a large percentage of New Jersey has soured on Christie as promises of an economic rebound have been replaced by sluggish job growth and a series of credit downgrades. Christie’s administration also has been plagued by problems with the state pension system and with scandals, including allegations that a major traffic tie-up at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 was orchestrated as payback against a mayor who did not support Christie’s re-election bid. Christie has said he had no prior knowledge lane closings. Christie voters are likely to come from the moderate wing of the Republican Party. He has strongest appeal with party activists and business people. But he may appeal to Republicans who are eager to recapture the White House, with his track record of winning twice in a heavily Democratic state. As of Aug. 4, Christie’ statements have been rated on the Truth-O-Meter 93 times. True or Mostly True ratings have come his way 39 times, or on 42 percent of his statements. He had 25, or  27 percent, Half Truths, 8 or 9 percent Mostly False, 14, or 15 percent, False and 7, or 8 percent, Pants on Fire ratings. See them all at:

RedState Gathering drawing 10 GOP presidential hopefuls to Atlanta

Folks were still cleaning up the debate podiums in Cleveland when 10 Republican candidates for president were on their way to Atlanta. They will be in town for this weekend's RedState Gathering, a convention at the InterContinental Buckhead for conservative and party activists. The event will be lived streamed here if you want to watch. Expected candidates and speaking times are: Friday Aug. 7: 10:30 a.m. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 11:30 a.m. — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry 1:30 p.m. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal 3:30 p.m. — Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina 4:30 p.m. — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Saturday Aug. 8 9:00 a.m. — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 11:30 a.m. — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 1:30 p.m. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 4:30 p.m. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — developer Donald Trump speaks at the event's "tailgate" at the College Football Hall of Fame  

10 to meet in prime-time presidential debate

The first official debate of the 2016 Republican race for president airs in prime-time Thursday night, featuring 10 of the 17 announced candidates. The debate, which airs live from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fox News, is being billed as the first major opportunity for the candidates to try to distinguish themselves from the pack and from frontrunner, Donald Trump. PolitiFact will be live-tweeting during the debates and sharing fact-checks we’ve done of the candidates’ past statements. Check them out for yourself below. Want to comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own? Just go to our Facebook page ( You can also follow us on Twitter (  

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)