Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Louie Gohmert, Austin, Texas, EPA employment: PolitiFact Oregon Roundup

U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Tex., shown with Texas colleague Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed recently that 80 percent of Wall Street political donations go to Democrats. His assertion makes today's PolitiFact Oregon Roundup.
U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Tex., shown with Texas colleague Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed recently that 80 percent of Wall Street political donations go to Democrats. His assertion makes today's PolitiFact Oregon Roundup.

With April 15 quickly fading in the rear-view mirror, many beleaguered tax accountants are likely looking forward to taking a richly deserved day off.

At PolitiFact Oregon, it’s exactly the opposite. With each passing day, next month’s primary election grows closer. We’re spinning faster than a caffeinated gerbil on a wheel.

Our fact-checking colleagues around the country, thankfully, are doing the same thing so we’ll once again dip into their vast pool of checks for today’s PolitiFact Oregon Roundup.

1. Gohmert piles on Wall Street claim

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, picked up on a claim that made its way into Thursday’s roundup by saying that "80 percent of Wall Street executives and their spouses’ donations go to Democrats."

PolitiFact National’s check found that Gohmert would have had a stronger argument if he’d said that was the case six years ago, when candidate Barack Obama was "vacuuming up Wall Street donations. The problem is, it’s no longer true." Gohmert’s claim was rated False.

2. Something WIC this way comes

A PolitiFact reader asked about the validity of a blog post concerning funding levels for Georgia’s Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, or WIC. It’s a federally funded effort targeting low-income, nutritionally at-risk groups. Was the post correct, the reader wanted to know, in claiming that Georgia’s WIC program ranked fifth among the 50 states?"

PolitiFact Georgia found that the claim was based on outdated information. It was true as of 2009, but levels have since dropped the Peach State to seventh. The claim was rated Mostly True.

3. Ken Block and his dim view of disability leaves

In Rhode Island, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is concerned about what he sees as the high level of eligible employees go out on temporary disability each year. Nearly 9 percent of covered workers take that route annually, for an average of 12 weeks, he said.

PolitiFact Rhode Island found that Block fell short on the first part of the claim, which he based on 2011 numbers. He was closer on the second part. In both 2011 and 2013, the check found, the average duration of a claim was close to 12 weeks. Block earned a Half True for his efforts.

4. Mining some truth from a claim about the Environmental Protection Agency

In Virginia, U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith has long attributed the decline of the coal industry in his district and across the U.S. on Environmental Protection Agency Regulations. Griffith, a Republican, introduced a bill to cut 15 percent of the EPA’s budget, saying its workforce has increased by more than 100 percent over the years, while the number of total federal personnel decreased.

PolitiFact Virginia checked and found Griffith’s numbers pretty much on the money. Despite a minor quibble or two, his claim was rated True.

5. Austin may still be weird, but its hipness slips among young adults

Former Austin, Texas Mayor Will Wynn, a frequent speaker on urban growth, recent claimed that more 25- to 34-year-olds are moving to Austin than any other city in America.

PolitiFact Texas found that four major metro areas, led by Washington D.C. netted more new residents in the cited age group in the latest three years. Wynn’s claim has an element of truth, the story found, since Austin was the biggest draw for young adults in some recent three-year periods. But it’s fifth right now, leaving Wynn with a Mostly False for his claim.

From Austin to Rhode Island to Virginia, we’ve covered a lot of ground in today’s roundup. Thoughts on the findings? Ready for another road trip? Plan on one tomorrow and, as always, thanks for reading.