PolitiFact’s top 5 reports for March

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally on March 28, 2015. (AP Photo)
Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally on March 28, 2015. (AP Photo)

We fact-checked claims this month about religious freedom laws, sports stadiums, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz.  Here’s a summary of our most popular reports of the month, counting down to the most popular.

The dubious economic benefits of sports stadiums

The Pawtucket Red Sox want to move to Providence, and that has some critics of a new stadium deal crying foul. PolitiFact Rhode Island checked out this claim from Steven Frias, a Republican national committeeman:

"Research performed by economists has shown no consistent, positive impact on jobs, income or tax revenues arising from stadiums or sports franchises."

Frias hit a home run with this claim; read the PolitiFact Rhode Island report.  

Have Scott Walker’s college records been released?

PolitiFact Wisconsin has been fact-checking Gov. Scott Walker on his changing policy positions (three Half Flips, three full Flops) and whether a change to a historic education policy -- the "Wisconsin Idea" -- was made in error. (It wasn’t.)

Last month, readers checked out a claim from Walker that he had unsealed his college records from Marquette University. PolitiFact Wisconsin rated that claim False.  

If you want to know more about Walker’s college years, check out PolitiFact Wisconsin’s in-depth report on what was going on when Walker left school in 1990.

Fact-checking Fox News

PunditFact’s report on the fact-checks behind The Daily Show's 50 Fox news "lies" continued to grab eyeballs in March.

The Daily Show posted a Vine in February titled, "50 Fox News lies in 6 seconds." PunditFact fact-checked almost all of the statements they cited. You can see them all here.

Meanwhile, the Fox News scorecard is another popular page with readers where we you can see all the fact-checks on the pundits that appear on the network.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act

As part of our fact-checking of the Sunday shows, we looked at a claim from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defending his recent signing of a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics worry the law could be used as a defense for refusing services to gays and lesbians.

Pence said the bill was not about discrimination.

"Then state-Sen. Barack Obama voted for it when he was in the state senate of Illinois," Pence said. "The very same language."

Pence wouldn’t answer if Indiana businesses could refuse to serve gay couples, but he repeated his point about Obama a few times.

There’s something to Pence's claim, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Read our full report.

Ted Cruz announces for president

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was fast out of the gate with the news that he’s running for president. Cruz delivered the official announcement during an impassioned speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

The news sent readers flocking to our report, "Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president?" They also checked out the Ted Cruz file on the Truth-O-Meter.

Readers also liked our fact-check on whether Liberty University students faced $10 fine if they skipped Cruz’s speech (True). Meanwhile, opponents of Cruz said he was a flip-flopper on whether a president needs to be U.S.-born. PolitiFact Texas found no evidence that Cruz had ever criticized Obama (or anyone else) on that front, so they rated the claim Pant on Fire.