As the referendum on a tax to fund transportation projects for metro Atlanta nears, our fact check tally rises. Your PolitiFact Georgia scribes have completed nearly two dozen fact checks on Tuesday's referendum, which has made bedfellows out of earstwhile enemies. The Sierra Club has joined forces with members of Georgia's Tea Party to oppose the measure, while Chamber of Commerce-types have allied with sustainability advocates to rally for it. Want to comment on our findings? It's easy. Just go to our Facebook page and hit the "like" button. And you are free to express yourself, pro or con. Those for and against the one-percent tax increase say that the facts and figures are on their side. Sometimes they are. Other times they aren’t. We'll tell you who's right in this roundup of our rulings. And check back soon. We'll post more as we write new stories. Here’s how both sides have fared so far:
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 01:02 p.m.
A state investigation that confirmed reports of widespread cheating at Atlanta Public Schools sent politicians into full spin mode. Last week, PolitiFact Georgia found some of those pols were well worth a fact check -- or two. The Truth-O-Meter first put former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to the test. She said ex- Superintendent Beverly Hall, who was implicated in the scandal, left APS better than she found it. Franklin earned another check when she said that only a small percentage of district educators were involved in cheating. Midweek, PolitiFact Georgia took a break from education matters to see whether Gov. Nathan Deal fulfilled a promise on zero-based budgeting. Then we aimed the Truth-O-Meter at state Rep. Ralph Long, who laid some of the blame for APS cheating at the feet of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. How did politicians fare? Read shortened versions of these fact checks below. To comment on our findings, hit the "like" button on our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, July 17th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Trust your Truth-O-Meter and Deal-O-Meter to master topics as different as fiscal responsibility, President Ronald Reagan and landfill waste. Last week, the Truth-O-Meter examined an attack that blamed two Democratic congressmen from Georgia for the nation’s fiscal problems. It also performed a second check of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s knowledge of Reagan history. The Republican presidential candidate keeps name-dropping the conservative hero. Now, he’s comparing himself to him. To top it off, the Deal-O-Meter rated a promise by Gov. Nathan Deal that he will reduce landfill waste. Watch out. PolitiFact Georgia’s a quick study. To comment on our findings, hit the "like" button on our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
PolitiFact Georgia sent the Truth-O-Meter on assignment last week. Its destination: the past. It traveled to the civil rights era to assess whether Birmingham was truly the "cradle of the civil rights movement." It visited President Ronald Reagan’s successful 1980 campaign to check a claim by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and stopped during Reconstruction’s early days to look at similarities between current Georgia immigration laws and the infamous Black Codes. Then our gizmo, ever tireless, roved the fields of current-day South Georgia to check out a pilot program that uses probationers to ease a labor shortage. Abbreviated versions of those fact-checks can be found below. Want to comment on our findings? Just hit the "like" button on our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Presidential campaign politics put the Truth-O-Meter on overdrive. Two of Georgia’s sons are angling for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, and they gave us plenty of fodder last week. We took on statements by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich on government waste and right-to-work states, and former radio host and Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain on Islamic law. We also marked a milestone. The Deal-O-Meter handed Gov. Nathan Deal his first "Promise Broken." Deal accepted a perk from Delta airline, which broke his policy on accepting gifts. Hit the "like" button on our Facebook page to comment on our rulings. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, June 26th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Break out the bubbly. Despite the best efforts of politicians, PolitiFact Georgia has made it to its first birthday. The Truth-O-Meter had a colorful inaugural year. We covered 2010 midterm election high jinks, the struggling economy, the Georgia immigration debate and even a claim about zombies at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Political luminaries such as former Gov. Roy Barnes registered their discontent publicly. You were kind enough to read our work- - especially on zombies and presidential candidate Herman Cain, according to our top five list of fact checks by Web page views: 1. The Walking Dead: In the case of a catastrophic event, the Atlanta-area offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will self-destruct. Dec. 5, 2010 2. NFL Players Association: A National Football League lockout would cost Atlanta $160 million in lost jobs and revenue. Nov. 22, 2010 3. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "Very, very, very few people get a pat-down" when they go through airport security, May 7, 2011 4. Herman Cain: In the U.S. Constitution, "there’s a little section in there that talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." May 21, 2011 5. Herman Cain: Said Planned Parenthood’s early objective was to "help kill black babies before they came into the world." March 15, 2011 And now, to celebrate, here’s a sampling of a few of our more memorable fact-checks. Want to comment on our findings? Hit the "like" button on our Facebook page to join the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
PolitiFact Georgia has you covered on homeland security. The Obama administration trumpeted its reputation on border security recently, so last week, we checked claims about Transportation and Security Administration pat-downs and the border fence. We also switched on our Deal-O-Meter to check whether Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature on Arizona-style immigration enforcement legislation means he kept a campaign promise. For variety, we checked Deal on a claim about the cost of childhood obesity and presidential prospect Newt Gingrich on President Barack Obama and food stamps. Want to comment on our findings? Hit the "like" button on our Facebook page to join the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Last week, the trusty Truth-O-Meter took on everyone from President Barack Obama to a metro Atlanta Republican flirting with a presidential run to a University of Georgia student activist. And we threw in the governor for good measure. You can find our fearless engine of truthiness Sunday through Friday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and online. Want to comment on our findings? Find our Facebook page and hit the "like" button to join the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Jim Tharpe :: Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at 06:00 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. Want to comment on our findings? Go to our Facebook page and hit the "like" button to join the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
By Willoughby Mariano PolitiFact Georgia cares about your health. Our proof is this week’s Truth-O-Meter rulings, which covered a promise by Gov. Nathan Deal on health insurance, federal funding for reproductive health services and a statement conservative pundit Ann Coulter made on whether radiation can be good for you. Thinking about sticking your head into the nearest X-ray machine? Read our roundup first. And for variety’s sake, read our items about rising gas prices and whether the HOPE scholarship helped improve Georgia’s public universities, too. Want to comment on our findings? Just go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia) and hit the "like" button to join in the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga). You can find the entire fact-checks at our PolitiFact Georgia online site.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, March 27th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
From Sunday booze to overpriced oil, from streetcars to schools, PolitiFact Georgia’s Truth-O-Meter covered it all last week. Were you curious whether loosening restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales would lead to more drunken driving? Did Gov. Nathan Deal’s changes to the popular HOPE scholarship make Georgia stingy on education? Is President Barack Obama doing enough to keep oil prices down? Is there anything the Truth-O-Meter can’t do? Want to comment on our findings? Just go to our Facebook page and hit the "like" button to join in the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, March 20th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Last week, PolitiFact Georgia did its fair share of cluck-clucking. Claims about a proposed immigration measure, a reading of the U.S. Constitution by the backer of a "birther" bill and a take on federal law about the U.S. Supreme Court all ruffled the Truth-O-Meter’s feathers. We also updated the progress Gov. Nathan Deal made on his promise to end the Ga. 400 tolls and discerned whether a candidate for Gwinnett County chairman was a faux chicken farmer -- the accuser laid an egg on that one. Have something to say about our rulings? Squawk away on our Facebook page or tweet our successes or failings on Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, March 13th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Georgia’s political engine is revved up for this year’s legislative session, and the Truth-O-Meter and Deal-O-Meter are, too. Last week’s focus was on state issues -- ethics laws, health insurance and a major overhaul of the tax system. There was good and bad news. New Gov. Nathan Deal made headway on two campaign promises. Others’ claims on taxes and ethics lacked truthiness. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to comment and read our latest updates.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, January 30th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Politicians, the Truth-O-Meter’s got your number. Or rather, numbers. Georgia’s leaders use all kinds of statistics to shore up their stances. Some mean exactly what politicians claim. Others? Not so much. Last week, we analyzed numbers on Snowpocalypse 2011, the safety of the nation’s food supply, immigration and health care. For extra measure, we added up President Barack Obama’s batting average. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to comment and read our latest updates.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
Like the Truth-O-Meter? Then meet the Deal-O-Meter. AJC PolitiFact Georgia's new gizmo detects whether our freshly minted governor, Nathan Deal, lives up to his campaign promises. We rolled it out just in time for Inauguration Day on Monday. It has already ruled on promises Deal made on ethics, personal finances and a slew of other issues. Not that the Truth-O-Meter is idle. We sent it to south central Georgia to learn about wild hogs, then to D.C. for an item on the national debt. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to comment and read our latest updates.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, January 16th, 2011 at 06:00 a.m.
The new year approaches, and your AJC PolitiFact Georgia team is growing misty-eyed. Although we launched only six months ago, we already have cherished memories of pants we've burned, or slightly singed. As the AJC Truth-O-Meter winds down for the year, we thought we would share a few of those moments when we smelled flames. Here, in chronological order, are the summaries of some of our favorite untruths and misrepresentations of 2010:
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 06:00 a.m.
Election Day is tomorrow. Don't panic. Your Truth-O-Meter is here to help. It's been working hard all election season, which means that AJC PolitiFact Georgia can now present to you a roundup of some of our rulings on the governor's race. Our findings aren't pretty. Experts told us the rivalry between Democrat Roy Barnes, a former governor, and Republican Nathan Deal, a former U.S. congressman, will go down as one of the ugliest in recent history. The state's biggest congressional race, which is in a district that snakes through the center of the state, also took a stroll through the mud. And the Atlanta area's toughest General Assembly race is in flames. Brace yourselves. And don't forget your Truth-O-Meter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest updates.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 06:00 a.m.
We're in the election's final stretch, and politicians have dynamite in their hands. As our sister site PolitiFact National noted in an analysis of this election season's claims, "campaigns often begin with a kernel of truth. But then they stretch it, twist it and blow it up." In Georgia, politicians went nuclear with claims on jobs, legislation on child abuse and ethics violations. This week's wreckage could have been far worse. We ruled Mostly True on a claim by Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes. But our overall analysis of the gubernatorial campaign shows that if we had a Nastymeter, it would have spun like the Wheelie ride at Six Flags Over Georgia. Don't try this on an empty stomach, ladies and gentlemen. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest updates.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, October 31st, 2010 at 06:00 a.m.
With only days to go until Election Day, candidates kept the Truth-O-Meter whirling last week. Our trusty meter ventured overseas and back again for claims on Mexican workers, Chinese wind turbines and Washington health care. Homegrown controversies over political TV ads on the rape shield law and education funding were also up for inspection. No one fared well. All our rulings were Half True or worse. Election Day is Nov. 2. Want to comment? Try us on Facebook or Twitter.
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at 06:00 a.m.
The ghosts of politics past and future haunted the Truth-O-Meter last week. AJC PolitiFact Georgia went back in time to explore unemployment during the era of President Ronald Reagan and looked at decades of GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal's tax returns. We also looked into the future. Deal's opponent former Gov. Roy Barnes promised one where an energy-efficiency retrofitting project brings 10,000 jobs to Georgia. An environmentalist predicted one of oil dependence. And President Barack Obama raised the specter of a country where Social Security is privatized. Here's how we ruled:
By Willoughby Mariano :: Published on Sunday, September 12th, 2010 at 06:00 a.m.
We want to hear your suggestions and comments. For tips or comments on our campaign promise database, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the promise number. For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.