The Murphy file:
Murphy Tim Murphy

Editor

Tim Murphy, PolitiFact Rhode Island editor, has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Connecticut and Rhode Island for nearly four decades. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, he started at The Journal as a reporter in 1983 and has held several positions, including Sunday editor, city editor and, most recently, assistant managing editor for public policy.
 

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The latest Truth-O-Meter items from Tim Murphy

In Rhode Island, "Nearly 9 percent of covered employees go out on short term disability every year, with an average outage from work of almost 12 weeks each."

"A grant for $5,000 [from the Governor’s Workforce Board] went to teach an employee at a company that makes ornamental business card holders how to use Facebook and Twitter."

"By a two-to-one margin, Rhode Islanders want to ban assault weapons and we have a very small percentage of gun owners in this state, less than 13 percent."

"Today’s marijuana is 300 percent to 800 percent more potent than the pot of yesteryear."

UPDATE: "Nine out of the 10 poorest states are Red states."

After hiring a campaign manager in 2006, "I got this $100 and something fee ... for hazardous materials."  

In the U.S., "African-Americans continue to be arrested at nearly three and one half times the rate of whites" on marijuana charges.

Under a bill before the legislature, "you’d have to go to court to fire an employee."

"Marijuana contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco."

Seventy-five percent of the young adults in this country are not mentally or physically fit to serve.

Recent stories from Tim Murphy
March mailbag: Physically fit adults and carcinogens in marijuana

It's time once again for a peek into the PolitiFact Rhode Island's mailbag to look at some of the reactions we've gotten from readers to recent fact checks.

Red State debate top PolitiFact Rhode Island item in March

What piqued the interest of PolitiFact Rhode Island readers last month? According to our website data, they were interested in whether the poorest states are Red states, if today's young adults are fit for military service, and the degree to which cancer-causing chemicals are present in marijuana smoke.

Fact-checking Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on climate change

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., joined other Democrats on the Senate floor this week to stay up all nigh tand talk about climate change. Whitehouse actually gives weekly speeches about climate change, and PolitiFact Rhode Island has been fact-checking him.

Fact-checking U.S. Sen. Whitehouse's claims on climate change

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, one of more than two dozen senators who took part in an all-night talkathon this week on the Senate floor to warn about the dangers of climate change, was on familiar territory.

Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, has now made 60 Senate speeches on climate change, returning to the floor each week the Senate is in session.

He comes armed with facts and figures, and staff-produced charts and posters, to back up his warnings of drastic environmental and social consequences if serious actions aren’t taken to address global warming.

Whitehouse and the other senators took turns from late Monday through Tuesday morning to call attention to an issue he says has largely been ignored.

PolitiFact Rhode Island has fact-checked many of Whitehouse’s claims about climate change; overall, he has fared well with the Truth-O-Meter. Here's a sample:

Clay Pell's full-time residency in R.I. tough to measure

Has Clay Pell, one of the Democrats running for Rhode Island governor, lived a full calendar year in Rhode Island?

Pell, the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, was asked that question twice during a television interview. He never answered with a simple yes or no, leading some to question how strong his ties really are to the Ocean State.

Because Pell’s Rhode Island residency has become an issue in his first-ever run for political office, we took a closer look at his record. Here's what we found:

Our 2013 Top 10 rulings

In the past year, PolitiFact Rhode Island has published nearly 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings on such weighty issues as gun control, same-sex marriage and climate change.

Not surprisingly, all of those topics were represented in our Top 10 rulings of 2013, along with some subjects that were, shall we say, slightly less serious.

We thought we’d look back on our most popular items of the year -- and our most popular item of all time, which involved Congress. And baboons.

Mailbag: "Are you kidding me?"

It's been a busy few months for PolitiFact Rhode Island, and it's not even an election year.

We’ve checked claims on school test scores, whether the U.S. military prohibits donations to the Tea Party, Obamacare and a host of other topics.

And many of our readers have let us know what they think of our rulings. We thought we’d share some of their comments with you.

U.S. Rep. James Langevin says 60 percent of the weapons used in crimes come from 1 percent of U.S. gun dealers

During a panel discussion on gun violence at the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Public Health Association, U.S. Rep. James Langevin startled the crowd when he declared that 1 percent of gun dealers nationally are responsible for selling 60 percent of the weapons used in crimes.

His Oct. 21 comment took us aback as well. Only a tiny fraction of gun dealers have provided the weapons for most gun-related crimes in the United States?

We decided to check.

R.I. Rep. Charlene Lima takes umbrage at Pants on Fire ruling

Our Truth-O-Meter rulings sometimes provoke strong reactions, especially when they involve pants aflame. One Rhode Island legislator recently took to the floor of the House of Representatives to respond to a Pants on Fire ruling she received.

Truth be told, PolitiFact Rhode Island turns 3!

There's a match being lit, but it's not being used to set someone's pants on fire.

It's to light three birthday candles.

PolitiFact Rhode Island is now three years old.

We think it's a cause for celebration and, from what our readers have told us, they have reason to celebrate as well.

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