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.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
The Flip-O-Meter spun like a top last week. And once the Truth-O-Meter burned. We owe this to the State Road and Tollway Authority, which voted to extend the toll on Ga. 400 to 2020. And Democrat candidate for governor Roy Barnes, who mentioned he'd like to run a "civil and polite" campaign to win back his old job. And there's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose office took a quote out of context. Hence the smoke. Others fared better. Citizens of the Republic, a group run by veterans of President Ronald Reagan's administration, stuck to the facts. And a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate got things half right. We invite you to join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. You keep reading, and we'll keep the old Truth-O-Meter churning. Here's how we ruled last week:
AJC PolitiFact Georgia went back in history last week on its search for the truth. Way back. Like a century ago -- the dawn of our nation's dependence on fossil fuel. That's when wooden pipelines were used to transport natural gas. We found out whether they're still in use today. And two decades ago, when Georgians debated whether to institute the lottery that now funds the popular HOPE Scholarship for college-bound high schoolers. Did former Gov. Roy Barnes, who's trying to reclaim his seat, oppose the scholarship? The Truth-O-Meter's other jaunts into the past had to do with more recent history. Think five years ago, when the state argued over whether to toughen its voter ID laws. Or the turn of the millennium, when Barnes, a Democrat, was governor. Republicans claimed he was weak on education and jobs back then. It's also when a DeKalb County school board member said she started handing over to the county what totaled $30,000 in unused travel money. Did she? This is how we ruled.
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:
The truth and politicos were strangers last week. The Truth-O-Meter ruled Half True and worse on statements about "dirty" campaign contributions, stimulus spending, the community center and mosque near ground zero, and sexual deviance. And our Flip-O-Meter, which detects whether politicians have shifted their opinions, found that a gubernatorial candidate inched away from his ideal of running a "civil and polite" campaign. Here's how the politicos fared:
PolitiFact Georgia had a week of relative truthiness. We tackled a potpourri of subjects in the past seven days. They included whether federal employees bring home more bacon than your average private-sector employee and a juicy article in Esquire magazine on Newt Gingrich that said his fundraising outshone even that of Republican superstar Sarah Palin. Two were statements made on national networks: One on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on NBC's "Today" and a second from NBC's "Meet the Press" on stimulus spending. The week's tally: one False, two Half Trues, two Mostly Trues and one True. Here's how the Truth-O-Meter ruled:
Are you voting in Tuesday's primary election? The Truth-O-Meter has caught Georgia's gubernatorial candidates uttering Truths, Half Truths and worse this political season. Here's a round-up of what they said and how we ruled.