Did Aftab Pureval abuse his office, as a Steve Chabot ad says, or was he just a new-style serving the public?
The most recent articles on PolitiFact Ohio
We fact-checked claims in the primaries for governor and U.S. Senate about guns, immigration and other topics
They’ve weathered months of campaigning and a fusillade of attack ads. Now, the candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio will square off face-to-face in their first debate Friday. Here’s a guide to some of Ted Strickland’s and Rob Portman's favorite talking points.
Yes, there will be Pokémons at the Republican National Convention — security concerns and all.
PolitiFact Ohio discovered an erroneous statement when we were asked to check a claim on Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald's gubernatorial campaign website. It turned out to be a mistake that was quickly corrected, but it led to further confusion about a similar statement FitzGerald made in a speech. We try to clear things up.
Is it a myth that protection orders work? PolitiFact Ohio was interested. We found several studies that suggest protection orders can be effective in deterring further violence, but we also found there are pitfalls in trying to prove whether they provide actual protection. So we’re reporting our findings here, but not making a ruling on the Truth-O-Meter.
Rising Republican star Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, is being looked at as a potential presidential contender. But some question whether Cruz, who was born in Canada, could become the chief executive because of the Constitution’s requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen." We look at the legal issues.
Mitt Romney's claim about Jeep moving production to China at the expense of American jobs was last-ditch effort to win the election, but it hit a roadblock: the facts. People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.
Find yourself sitting beside a relative who has sent you lots of chain e-mails? Here's our annual guide on what to say. Stash it under the green bean casserole until you need it.
Critics harrumph that fact-checking doesn't work because politicians keep lying. But we're not writing for the politicians. Our target audience is the voters.
On the campaign trail recently, Mitt Romney brought up an issue that sounded familiar to us: the question of whether "In God We Trust" has been removed from U.S. coins. It's not a new claim, but now that it's emerged in the presidential campaign, we took a new look at its origins.
Four years ago, Barack Obama made an extraordinary array of campaign promises -- 508 pledges on everything from taxing the rich to ending the Iraq war. As Democrats convene in Charlotte, N.C., we review our Obameter to see how Obama has fared on his promises.
For more than two weeks, the Romney and Obama campaigns have argued about whether President Barack Obama insulted entrepreneurs. The dust up involves remarks Obama made at a stop in Roanoke, Va. The key phrase: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." A Romney video claims the president was saying success "is the result of government," not "hard-working people." We ran that assertion through the Truth-O-Meter.
Observers decrying a decline in the quality of political discourse used to cite 30-second sound bites as a symptom or cause. Thirty seconds is practically a filibuster now. The typical statement in broadcast news stories today is closer to nine seconds. Just enough time to recite a talking point. Just enough words to fill a 140-character Tweet. Long enough to grab our interest, to enlighten, mislead or enrage. Enough to make PolitiFact Ohio say "Really?" PolitiFact Ohio is celebrating two years of checking these sound bites, and looking forward to more.
Did you get the chain email that claims the health care law will institute a new tax on home sales? It boldly proclaims that the health care law includes "a 3.8% sales tax" on "all real estate transactions." The claim has persistently circulated for two years, but there's just one catch: It's not true. We ran it through the Truth-O-Meter.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in an ad that's airing in Ohio called "Where did all the money go" charges that stimulus money went overseas to pay for electric cars in Finland. We took a look to see if money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus act, helped to Fisker Automotive manufacture high-end, plug-in cars.
The debate over the Affordable Care Act will go on, even with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If history is any guide, the claims, both pro and con, that PolitiFact has been checking will continue to be used. Here's some of the leading claims that each were set ablaze on the Truth-O-Meter.
Is stimulus money paying for traffic lights on Chinese streets? That's a claim made by Americans for Prosperity in a TV ad running in Ohio and seven other states. The ad blames President Barack Obama for sending stimulus money overseas while Americans are out of work. The claim about traffic lights is the third one we've checked out.
Is your tax money paying for jobs in Finland? That's one of the claims in an ad Americans for Prosperity is airing in eight states, including Ohio. The ad takes aim at President Barack Obama, claiming that stimulus money was sent overseas while Americans are out of work. The claim about Finland is the second one we've checked out.
Americans for Prosperity takes aim at President Barack Obama in a ad running in Ohio and seven other states, claiming that stimulus money was sent overseas while Americans are out of work. "Tell President Obama, American tax dollars should help American taxpayers," the narrator says. Instead, $2.3 billion in tax credits funded jobs in Mexico, Finland and China, the ad claims. We checked it out the so-called funding for jobs in Mexico and found the claim somewhat incendiary.
Politicians of all parties have been bending the truth since the beginning of the republic. The two previous presidential administrations are perhaps best known for lies or untruths -- see Lewinsky, Monica, and weapons of mass destruction. And even in this, another presidential election year, rare is the day when a candidate does not utter or repeat a claim that will be debunked by an independent truth squad. Why do they do it? Those who study politics and communications say the consequences appear to be minimal.
China may be on the other side of the globe from Ohio, but it plays a central role in the worldview of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who regularly denounces its trade practices. The Niles Democrat had another chance to vent recently when The House of Representatives passed a bill to overturn a court decision that interfered with federal government’s ability to impose countervailing duties on Chinese goods. "Ohio has lost close to 100,000 jobs due to unfair trade practices by China," Ryan said. We checked it out.
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, the multi-state primary day, is less than a week away. Ohio is one of the key states, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP candidates.
Super Tuesday, the multi-state primary day, is less than two weeks away. Ohio is one of the key states, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP candidates.
Super Tuesday, the multi-state primary day, is less than two weeks away. Ohio is one of the key states, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP candidates.
Super Tuesday, the multi-state primary day, is less than a month away. Ohio is one of the key states, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP candidates. Rick Santorum said recently that he warned in 2006 of a meltdown in the housing market. We took a look.
The multi-state primary day, Super Tuesday, is less than a month away. Ohio is one of the key states voting that day, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP presidential candidates. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said recently that newly elected President Obama told America that if Congress approved the stimulus plan he would hold unemployment below 8 percent. It's a common claim that voters are likely to hear again, so we looked into it.
A persistent talking point used by House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans is that President Barack Obama’s policies have actually made it worse. We took on the challenge of trying to gauge whether the economy is really worse today than when Obama took office.
The multi-state primary day, Super Tuesday, is less than a month away. Ohio is one of the key states voting that day, so we're spotlighting statements from the GOP presidential candidates. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said recently he "never voted for a Democrat when there was a Republican on the ballot." We looked into it and found that's a matter of interpretation.
Ohio and several other states all were in the bidding to try to coax Sears to move its headquarters. But when PolitiFact Ohio tried to nail down a claim that the Buckeye State was runner up to Illinois, we found the answers elusive.
Whether appropriately bold or outrageous, President Barack Obama stirred up the dust when he used a recess appointment to make former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray the nation’s consumer financial cop. We were intrigued by an argument put forth by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: that Obama might have limited Cordray’s ability to do his full job because of the way he put the Ohioan in the director’s chair. But sorting the issue out on the Truth-O-Meter proved to be a challenge.
State Rep. Jay Hottinger served up a Whopper, er, Classic Triple, when he told a story about Wendy's founder Dave Thomas to illustrate why Ohio should repeal it's estate tax. We said "Where's the beef?" and made it one of our favorites from 2011.
Sen. Sherrod Brown hurled a high hard one in defense of the Cleveland Indians when he got some good-natured ribbing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. We raised our Chief Wahoo mug of morning Joe in salute and picked his claim about the Red Sox as one of the year's favorites.
Location is commonly cited as the most important consideration in buying real estate, and geographic location was the reason that Cleveland once was tagged as being -- or occupying -- "the best location in the nation." Gov. John Kasich put a new spin on that pitch to help sell Ohio. His claim became one of our favorites of 2011.
Demonstrations outside the Ohio Statehouse provided lasting images from the debate over Senate Bill 5, a proposal to restrict collective bargaining rights for organized labor. But did they do the particularly foul act that Senate President Tom Niehaus cited?
Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder loves telling a good story. An anecdote about a top Canadian official seeking medical treatment in Ohio that he included in a floor speech got our attention and became one of our favorite items for 2011.
Water pollution from sanitary sewer and storm runoff has long been a concern for one Cleveland councilman. His ward has nearly 2 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, much of which is public beach. He compared the water quality to that of the Third World. We tapped as one of our favorites for the year. Could it really be that bad?
Invasive species, like zebra mussels, round gobies and bloody red shrimp, have hitchhiked into the Great Lakes from foreign ports in the ballast water that ships take on for stability. So we were surprised when Rep. Steve LaTourette commented that the problem of invasive species in the Great Lakes today was due to ballast. We checked out the claim then. And now we've picked it as one of our favorites for the year.
No issue dominated Ohio headlines in 2011 more than the efforts to rein in collective bargaining rights for public employees. A claim by Gov. John Kasich put focus on a key point in the debate. We picked it as one of our favorites of the year.
In a newspaper column he penned earlier this, year Sen. Rob Portman made the claim that the U.S. government is the largest energy user in the country. We checked out his statement then and liked the item so much we tapped it as one of our favorites of the year.
None of the Founding Fathers is more quotable than Benjamin Franklin. Arguably the greatest mind of the founding generation his range of interests and prolific writing over his 84 years produced a shelf of memorable maxims, thoughts and observations. So when a state legislator said he doubted Franklin could have envisioned Ohio's estate tax, it got our attention (we had our doubts that there was anything Franklin couldn't have envisioned). We like this item so much we tapped it as one of our favorites of the year.
Led by Speaker John Boehner, Republicans cite the "Forgotten 15," which they describe as jobs bills that have passed the Republican-controlled House but not the Democrat-led Senate. But we found that nailing down the definitions needed to rate the speaker's claim about those bills wasn't so easy.
Yes, THAT Pat Boone! The singer is way off-tune in an Ohio campaign commercial that tries to scare seniors. Ain't that a shame?
Find yourself sitting beside a relative who has sent you lots of chain e-mails? Here's our guide on what to say. Stash it under the green bean casserole until you need it.
Readers weighed in after we reviewed a statement from Sen. Rob Portman on the costs of Medicare. Portman had described the program as unsustainable, and said a couple retiring today will get $3 in benefits for every $1 they paid into the program. That sparked a number of questions. Here's some answers.
Will increasing taxes on millionaires squelch job creation? That’s been an often repeated assertion of Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner. But how well does that argument hold up on the Truth-O-Meter?
After an overwhelming response from readers, we're changing the Truth-O-Meter. Barely True will now be called Mostly False.
We're celebrating one year of PolitiFact Ohio. We launched July 25, 2010. Since then we've posted Truth-O-Meter ratings on more 200 statements, including some surprising truths and some real whoppers.
When we asked for reader opinion about whether to change our Barely True rating to Mostly False, the floodgates opened. And the comments went heavily in one direction.
We are considering changing our rating system. We'd like to hear your thoughts on whether we should change Barely True to Mostly False.
Can't get enough of PolitiFact? Are you hesitant to leave your computer, fearing that you might miss our next Pants on Fire? Well, PolitiFact has gone mobile, so you can rest easy. We've released the PolitiFact app for iPhone and other smartphones and tablets. It's a mobile version of our Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism. The app combines the Truth-O-Meter, the Obameter and other popular features of our national website with new ones only available on the app.
The Kasich-O-Meter tracks Gov. John Kasich's performance toward fulfilling pledges he made on the campaign trail. We identified 21 specific promises he repeated several times, most of which deal with taxes, the state budget and education. Here's some recent updates.
Ed FitzGerald rode into office on a white horse of reform, promising a "new era in county government." Cuyahoga County's first executive made plenty of other promises, too. But can he possibly keep them all?
New Ohio Gov. John Kasich wasn't shy about setting the bar high for himself during the campaign. In a webcast he hosted he made it clear that success requires results. "Let’s think of the campaign as one part of a movement. If you win the campaign and you fail to carry out what you want to do, you failed." PolitiFact Ohio decided to take him at his word, and introduces the Kasich-O-Meter to track his performance.
The quirkyness of a statement from Rep. Marcy Kaptur caught the eye of the editors at PolitiFact Ohio. They chose one of her comments to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as the No. 1 PolitiFact Ohio item for 2010. Her claim: Electric utility FirstEnergy's annual revenues are greater "than the GDP of Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Iceland, or 15 African nations."
After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010. Today we offer No. 2: A statement about economically beleaguered Wilmington, Ohio, which radio host Glenn Beck characterized as a real life Bedford Falls.
After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010. Today we offer No. 3: A statement about Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and his views on gun control. The statement, from Sen.-elect Rob Portman's campaign, led to this story that debunked a decades-old myth.
After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010. Today we offer No. 4: A statement about quirky aspects of the tax laws that were part of health care reform legislation. Rep. John Boehner made the statement when he spoke to the City Club of Cleveland in August.
After making more than 100 Truth-O-Meter rulings, the editors who rate the items for PolitiFact Ohio looked back over the year and selected the Top 10 for 2010. Selections weren't just based on which articles were true or false. In fact, only two that got Pants On Fire ratings — awarded to statements that are both false and ridiculous — made the cut.
PolitiFact Ohio launched July 25 just as the election season was picking up steam. Since then it has reviewed more than 80 statements made by politicians. And while it's true that the bulk of the statements came from candidates and their campaigns, PolitiFact Ohio's mission didn't end when the voting ended. As governments in Washington, Columbus and hometown Ohio get back to work, we'll be watching.
Rep. John Boehner said this week that Congress' job, in light of the election, "is to listen to the American people and follow the will of the American people." PolitiFact Ohio and PolitiFact.com have been listening to Boehner, rating 31 of his statements for accuracy. They show that the speaker-to-be often speaks the truth.
John Kasich"s victory over Gov. Ted Strickland was the culmination of a hard-fought campaign in which both candidates at times taxed the Truth-O-Meter. PolitiFact Ohio ran eight of Kasich"s statements through the Truth-O-Meter. His average rating was slightly less than Half True.
One thing that's clear this election season: Neither Democrats nor Republicans have a monopoly on truth. To the contrary, their campaign ads suggest that concept is somewhat elusive for both. Of more than 80 statements PolitiFact Ohio was reviewed since its launch three months ago, nine (so far) were found worthy of the Pants on Fire rating -- five from Democrats and four from Republicans. False ratings were similarly even: six for Democrats and seven for Republicans. At the other end of the scale, 15 statements from Democrats and 13 from Republicans were found to be True or Mostly True.
PolitiFact Ohio was primed for this fall"s hard-fought governor"s race, ready to examine the candidates" statements on how they would lead the state out of economic hard times and deal with a multibillion-dollar budget hole. But the two leading candidates, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and Republican challenger John Kasich, haven"t come through with those details. They have, however, spent lots of time bashing each other. And when the candidates did focus on the positive and tout their own records, truth didn"t necessarily rule the day.
With just over a week to go before Election Day, candidates in key races across Ohio are showing no signs of letting up on each other. Recent polls have the governor"s race as a tossup. Several of the other statewide races remain close. And some key congressional races could play a big role in determining which party controls the House of Representatives in January. As candidates, and their surrogates, slug it out on the airwaves and in campaign mailings, truth sometimes is becoming a casualty.
With millions of ad dollars flowing into Ohio from outside groups — groups that do not coordinate their spending with the candidates, or at least may not legally — the claims are flying like wild pitches. PolitiFact Ohio and others are increasingly blowing the referee's whistle on the distortions. Yet the sponsors of the ads continue unabated, convinced, apparently, that the truth, or the whole truth, doesn't win elections.
PolitiFact Ohio marks its one-month anniversary, noting some of the high points and low points in statements we've reviewed. One pleasant finding: Ohio has politicians who do tell the truth.