The McMillin file:
McMillin Zack McMillin

Editor, PolitiFact Tennessee

Editor of PolitiFact Tennessee and Assistant Metro Editor at The Commercial Appeal. Born and raised in Memphis, he has won many regional and national awards since joining The CA to write sports in 1995, after graduating from Vanderbilt University. Moved to CA newsroom after being selected as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan for 2006-07 academic year. He and his wife, Aimee, have a first-grader and third-grader.

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The latest Truth-O-Meter items from Zack McMillin

Says Delta Air Lines has "once again broken a promise they made to me and to the people of Memphis."

"More Tennesseans have hunting and fishing licenses than vote."

Says Tennessee’s higher education funding model "is 100 percent outcomes-based" and "we are already seeing this model changing the way our postsecondary institutions do business."

Says that "Tennessee law requires that schools receive half of proceeds -- $31 million per year" -- from a half-cent increase in the Shelby County sales tax.

Says that "when Congressman (Steve) Cohen took office in 2007, the unemployment rate was at 4.8 percent. The unemployment rate in Shelby County has reached 9.7 percent."

Says House Democrats "voted to use your tax dollars for abortions" by voting against bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

Signs letter saying Consumer Product Safety Commission is acting "without consultation or input from the company" to stop the sale of Buckyballs.

Signs letter saying Consumer Product Safety Commission is acting "without consultation or input from the company" to stop the sale of Buckyballs.

"All legislative mail, from the content to the timing, is approved by the speaker's office."

Says Tennessee is providing "millions of dollars" to virtual school company for "results at the bottom of the bottom."

Recent stories from Zack McMillin
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.

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.

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.

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 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.

 

Examining 'Don't Say Gay' bill sponsor's claims about AIDS, gay men, risks of sexual activity

State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, caused quite a stir with controversial assertions about origin of AIDS, risks of gay sex vs. straight sex and much more.

We put one claim on the Truth-O-Meter on Friday, but wanted to share what our research turned up on some of the others, as well.

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