Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The most recent articles on PolitiFact Tennessee

Opponent says DesJarlais voted against pay raises for veterans

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper, and his Democratic opponent, Eric Stewart, have been squabbling over veterans’ issues for much of the campaign. We take a look at one of the claims.

Haslam cut taxes, raised surplus -- but Cato gives him a 'D'

With a Republican governor presiding over a Repuplican-dominated legislature, it would seem to follow that Tennessee would be earning high marks from organizations like the Cato Institute. But Cato recently gave Gov. Bill Haslam a 'D' and assigned him a number grade putting him among the lowest-ranking governors in the country. This, despite Haslam cutting taxes significantly and raising the state's rainy-day fund. What gives?

University of Memphis claims it has "safest" big metro campus in state

University of Memphis fans may remember when former basketball coach John Calipari needled rival Tennessee over which campus was the safest. With students back on campuses across the state, we decided to examine the basis of the U of M’s many claims about its campus being the "safest" large metropolitan campus in the state.

On Tennessee Lottery revenues, reserve funds and Gresham’s False ruling

When the Tennessee Lottery on Monday reported another record year of revenues, everyone from all parties said they were pleased. But as our ruling from March points out, there is a definite difference in opinion on whether the lottery should be considered in good financial health and how much of the proceeds and massive reserve fund should go toward helping students fund college tuition.

Is holding hands gateway sexual activity?

Tennessee Senate Bill 3310, which would subject instructors who promote or condone "gateway sexual activity" to a $500 fine, has drawn national attention. So, what really is gateway sexual activity? Does it, for example, cover hand-holding? How about sitting on someone's lap?

Does the EPA really want to regulate farm dust?

U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, a farmer in rural Crockett County, continues to sound warnings about the possibility of the Environmental Protection Agency focusing on regulation of "farm dust." He did so most recently at a forum in Dyersburg, so we decided to look into Fincher's specific claims and determine if the EPA really was concerned about dust kicked up at rural farms.

Did these marijuana claims go up in smoke?

The Truth-O-Meter takes a look back at some recent fact-checks concerning marijuana. Our partners at PolitiFact Georgia rounded up a few of the more interesting PolitiFact items.

Fact-checking a pair of claims on crime

The killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., has driven politicians of all stripes to make claims about firearms and crime. Here is a look at two of them.

No shortage of energy claims -- true and otherwise

Our partners at PolitiFact National recently featured some of the more recent and interesting energy-related claims, and PolitiFact Tennessee has plans to use our rulings and those of our national and state partners for a package in conjunction with Earth Day.  

Rhetoric rises over payment advisory board

When Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted March 22 to eliminate a a Medicare payment advisory board – a vote the Associated Press noted was really just "symbolic" – the rhetoric was flying. Some representatives went a good deal farther than Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn, who nonetheless floated a statement about the Independent Payments Advisory Board taking "control" of health care decisions away from patients – and that we’ve ruled False. Most news organizations wrote something similar to the AP about the vote – the Republiucans actually want the IPAB around as an issue through the November elections. It’s worth taking a closer look at the various statements that have been made and consider the actual statutory power IPAB does or does not have.

Checking the facts on Santorum and his speech near Knoxville

Our national partners at PolitiFact.com put Rick Santorum claims from a speech near Knoxville, Tenn., before last week's Super Tuesday primary to the Truth-O-Meter as part of a continuing series fact-checking the stump speeches of the presidential candidates.

Lamar Alexander's wind claim: Is it for the birds?

For Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, there are lots of reasons to loathe wind power. The East Tennessean loves his unobstructed mountain views and much prefers the consistently reliable power output from nuclear reactors. And lately he has been claiming that wind turbines lead to a yearly slaughter of birds. His claim about turbines being "a Cuisinart in the sky" for birds reflects at least one estimate, but others show lower numbers. And there's this -- among manmade hazards, wind turbines play a tiny role in bird deaths.

Super Tuesday guide: Finding truth in the attacks

As 10 states prepare to vote on Super Tuesday, here’s PolitiFact’s guide to the multimillion-dollar ad blitz. With the field down to four Republican contenders, campaigns and super PACs are attacking their opponents with hot-button allegations about supporting Planned Parenthood, Obamacare and even Nancy Pelosi.

Super Tuesday preview: GOP claims you may have heard, may hear again

With the GOP presidential primary just more than a week away, we know some Tennesseans may be just tuning in. Others may have already heard it all before. But which claims are true? Which are the most misleading? With help from our partners, PolitiFact Tennessee presents a preview of GOP talking points that may proliferate in the run up to the March 6 primary.

Bergmann attacks EPA, says it arrests for infractions that make "no sense"

Count Memphis's perennial 9th Congressional District Republican candidate, Charlotte Bergmann, among those Republicans targeting the Environmental Protection Agency for overreach in how it enforces of the nation's laws aimed at protecting the environment. A statement on her website claims the EPA has been making arrests and cosing small businesses over what she characterizes as nonsense enforcement "to anyone but the EPA." We thought we would take a closer look.