Monday, March 2nd, 2015

W. Gardner Selby

Editor, Politifact Texas

W. Gardner Selby, former chief political writer for the Austin American-Statesman, has covered Texas politics and government off and on since working part-time for The Beaumont Enterprise at the Texas Capitol in 1982-83. He joined the Statesman as a reporter and columnist in 2005 having reported previously for four other newspapers at the Capitol. His background includes nearly five years as a state employee and nearly 40 parent-years as the father of two girls. A baseball book he read noted the popularity of "Horse ---" as an expression by ball players and umpires--perhaps an appropriate warm-up for the launch of PolitiFact Texas.


The latest Truth-O-Meter items from W. Gardner Selby

Mostly True

Obama said it. Just not 22 times

Recent stories from W. Gardner Selby

Sheila Jackson Lee did not invoke "wrinkly, white-aged has-beens"

Sheila Jackson Lee didn't wish death on "wrinkly, white-aged has-beens."   A Facebook meme whiffs.   AND: Homeland Security is the only federal agency not funded through this fiscal year, as Lloyd Doggett said.

Ted Cruz leading Scott Walker in Texas? Not in Pants on Fire ratings

A poll shows Ted Cruz barely still the favorite of Texas Republicans considering presidential prospects--with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker close behind (within the poll's margin of error).   Poll results oft change. But Truth-O-Meter report cards just get longer. Walker has been fact-checked more than Cruz; he  also has more Pants on Fire ratings. More ahead...   Source: News story, "UT/TT Poll: In Texas, Walker Ties Cruz; Clinton Soaring," the Texas Tribune, Feb. 23, 2015

Checking gay marriage claims across the country

For the first time, a legally-permitted gay marriage ceremony took place in Texas today, though that legality is under challenge by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as we type.   We're sharing the Austin American-Statesman's exclusive video of the Austin ceremony here as we recap Truth-O-Meter rulings on statements about marriage.

Greg Abbott's True/Mostly True 'State of State' claims

Greg Abbott’s first State of the State address included claims we’ve found factually strong -- plus statements about job gains, education and state workers in Texas, California and Illinois that we haven’t tackled.   Highlights ahead.

Greg Abbott's (50) promises

Did you know? Gov. Abbott, who gave his first State-of-the-State address Tuesday, took office after making about 50 campaign promises.   In his speech, Abbott touched on several of his promises -- which may cause the Abbott-O-Meter to show some movement in his favor (we've got fresh mulling ahead). Read all about his speech on Perhaps you noticed a claim we should fact-check!   SKIP AHEAD TO ALL OF ABBOTT'S CAMPAIGN PROMISES.

Fact-checking Alcee Hastings who called Texas 'crazy'

PolitiFact Florida has fact-checked several claims from the longtime congressman from Broward County, including provocative comments about Texas. 

Alcee Hastings: 'Crazy' Texas bars shooting bears from second-story windows

Alcee Hastings, the Florida congressman who declared Texas a "crazy" state, went on to say the Lone Star state has a law barring bears from being shot from second-floor windows, or words to that effect.   Not at all. Pants on Fire ahead!   ALSO: See PolitiFact Florida's look into whether Texas restricts the number of dildos a person may purchase.

Molly White says Muslim group at Capitol was named terrorist organization

Molly White was right about a country naming the group that organized a Muslim day at the Texas Capitol a terrorist organization.   But the Belton Republican failed to say the U.S. government disagreed with the designation.   ALSO: California, here we come -- PolitiFact California!

In Context: Barack Obama's call for a veterans hospital in the Rio Grande Valley

Greg Abbott’s fresh mention of Barack Obama made us wonder.   Nearly seven years ago, did candidate Obama promise Texas a veterans hospital in the Rio Grande Valley?

Shariah law in Michigan? Fact-check flashback

A Muslim rally shouted down in Texas reminded us of our past check of a claim about Shariah law being imposed in a Michigan community.   See that 2011 fact check here.