Articles from December, 2014

Fact check of Census Bureau mandate proves No. 1 in reader views in 2014

We tuned in to the morning show hosted by KOKE FM's Bob Cole and, waddya know, heard a grumble touching off our most-viewed fact check of 2014.   Upshot: It's Mostly True federal law requires U.S. residents to participate in the government's American Community Survey.

Ted Cruz claim about ISIS nailing Christians to trees led to a most-read fact check of 2014

Ted Cruz, critical of ISIS, said the group had gone so far as to nail Christians to trees.   Truth-O-Meter said: False.   Our check of Cruz on this front was our No. 2-most-viewed story of 2014. (The No. 1 story, coming soon, arose from Bob Cole's mail.)

Debunked claim about Texas prisoner ordering a child for last meal among 2014 reader hits

Ridiculously, a website got traction with stories suggesting a Texas inmate had requested a child for his last meal.   Our recap of this "order" getting debunked (by Snopes.com) was our third-most-viewed story of 2014. Our countdown to No. 1 continues.

Our look into Obama ordering deaths of Americans among our popular fact checks

A U.S. Senate aspirant charged President Obama will killing four Americans with drone strikes.   We concluded three were not intended targets. And this fact check proved our fifth-most viewed story of 2014.   Our countdown to No. 1 continues.

Michele Bachmann didn't say Bible written in English

Michele Bachmann, who's leaving Congress, has some Pants on Fires to her name.   But readers this year flocked to our story on a Pants on Fire claim about Bachmann supposedly saying the Bible was originated in English (not so).   We continue our countdown of the top 10 most-read PolitiFact Texas stories of 2014.

Lesson of 2014: Check the facts behind Mexico border claims

A trio of fact checks of flawed claims about activities near the Texas-Mexico border drew reader interest, each one landing among our 10 most-read stories of 2014:   * Ted Cruz incorrectly said Barack Obama has promised amnesty to illegal immigrants   * Pants on Fire: Duncan Hunter makes unconfirmed claim Border Patrol caught at least 10 ISIS fighters   * Rick Perry claim about 3,000 homicides by illegal immigrants not supported by stat

Wendy Davis needed to clarify claim about Greg Abbott siding with company that hired rapist

Only one claim by a gubernatorial candidate landed among our top 10 most-read fact checks of 2014.   We found Mostly True the statement by Democrat Wendy Davis that as a Supreme Court justice, Greg Abbott found that a company whose vacuum cleaners were sold door to door "had no responsibility" in the hiring of a salesman who raped a customer.   Read the original fact check here.

Austin judge did NOT sentence man to death for having marijuana

Our most-read fact check of the year is pretty much Bob Cole's fault. (That's a hint.)   But other fact checks -- including our finding False Sen. Ted Cruz's claim about Christians getting nailed to trees -- also drew lots of reader interest in 2014.   Our countdown of the year's Top 10 most-read fact checks starts with our recap of a Facebook claim about marijuana.  

Texan Pete Gallego: This Congress the least productive, least popular in U.S. history

Pete Gallego of Texas slipped this into his farewell remarks on the House floor: "This Congress made history as the least productive, most unpopular Congress in the history of this proud nation."   Ever ever ever?   See the full fact check of U.S. Rep. Gallego, D-Alpine.

Austin Mayor-elect Steve Adler on the Texas Truth-O-Meter

Steve Adler, set to be sworn in as Austin's mayor in January, already has a record on the Texas Truth-O-Meter.   See Austin Mayor-elect Steve Adler's PolitiFact report card.

PolitiFact names its 2014 Lie of the Year

The emergence of Ebola in the United States sparked a political and media frenzy, but many of the claims made were far from accurate. Collectively, they are PolitiFact's sixth annual Lie of the Year.   Meanwhile, in Austin, runoffs for local offices are Tuesday. See related fact checks here!

Checking Austin candidates for mayor, city council

If you vote in Austin, you (should) know about 10-1; the soon-to-be reconfigured Austin City Council will have 10 members elected from individual districts plus the mayor elected citywide. Runoff elections are Tuesday.   We ended up doing more than 10 city-related fact checks. Here's a snapshot.   See every fact check related to Austin city government here.

Texan not in running for lie of the year

No Texan made it into the nominees for PolitiFact's lie of the year. You can vote anyway.   Vote now in PolitiFact Readers' Poll for the 2014 Lie of the Year.

Does Obamacare give businesses a $3,000 incentive to hire illegal immigrants?

Did President Obama's November announcement potentially affecting millions of unauthorized residents also create a $3,000-per-immigrant hiring incentive?   PolitiFact in Washington wondered.

Texas hits in November: Greg Abbott fact checks, Twin Towers recap

Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott figured into two of our most-read fact checks in November. But a 9/11 story won the month, per online reader views. More ahead or below.   The Texas Cinco:   * "Greg Abbott says he has sued Obama administration 25 times"   * "Roger Williams: Obama policies contributed to raising gas prices from $1.89 in 2009 to $3.51 today"   * "Americans must answer U.S. Census Bureau survey by law, though agency hasn't prosecuted refusals since 1970"   * "Greg Abbott plan doesn't mandate standardized testing of 4-year-olds, but school districts could take that tack"   * "In Context: Laura Pressley’s ‘something was planted’ in World Trade Center"

Texas worst in voter turnout? Maybe Indiana

Jason Stanford was hardly the only person to say Texas had the nation’s worst voter turnout this November.   But when he made his declaration, we noticed--and checked.