Why Are Fact-Checkers Watching 'Schoolhouse Rock?'

Aug 26, 2015
Disney Educational Productions

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, is giving up his seat to run for president -- and the battle has begun to take his job.

PolitiFact Florida recently put a pair of claims from two of the leading candidates on the Republican side in the 2016 race for the White House under the microscope.

First, on April 19, Senator Marco Rubio appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation," where his take on the subject of climate change veered into the economic effects addressing the problem would have.


  As debate over Indiana's new religious freedom law continues -- with one side saying it allows discrimination against gays and the other saying it protects one's right to observe their religious beliefs -- former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is defending Indiana's law.

And he says  Florida has its own version of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Fact-Checking Jeb Bush on Email Records

Mar 19, 2015

As attention centers on Hillary Clinton’s email records, one left-leaning political action committee is reminding folks about a communication flap from another potential presidential candidate -- former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush famously used his personal email address during his eight years as governor, and he recently posted them online. But the American Bridge 21st Centry PAC says Bush handpicked which emails to disclose.

According to Josh Gillin with PolitiFact Florida, the PAC's claim is Mostly True. 

It's looking more and more like Florida's Junior U.S. Senator is planning to run for president next year. Recently he traveled to West Des Moines, Iowa and spoke on radio station WHO.  As part of that discussion, Sen. Marco Rubio said that ISIS is now the "predominant Islamist group in Benghazi." 

The PolitiFact Florida team investigated this statement and determined that what he said was "mostly false" on the Truth-o-Meter.  According to Josh Gillin of Politifact Florida, "no one is in charge of Libya's second-largest city."

Fact-Checking Marco Rubio's New Book

Jan 14, 2015

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio hasn't said if he's running for president in 2016.

But if you want a peek at what some planks of his presidential platform might look like, just crack open Rubio's new book, "American Dream: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone."

PolitiFact Florida did just that and has fact-checked a couple of claims in Rubio's book.

Fact-Checking Mayor Bob Buckhorn's Promises

Dec 3, 2014

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn made a lot of specific promises when he ran for that office, from improved parks and public spaces to incentives to get police officers to live in the city, and more. 

How has he done on keeping those promises?

Fact-Checking the Popularity of Amendment Two

Nov 19, 2014

In the midterm elections earlier this month in Florida, the constitutional amendment to allow for the distribution of medical marijuana needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

Amendment Two received 57.6 percent.

Fact-Checking Jeb Bush

Nov 14, 2014

The 2014 midterm elections are over.

So it's on the the 2016 presidential race, right?   

Too soon?

Well, it wasn't too soon for a lot of would-be presidential hopefuls to use the midterm races to get a little bit of exposure - among them former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

And Bush was talking about some of his signature issues like education, along with voter touchstones like the economy.

Think you've seen every attack possible in TV ads in the Florida governor's race?     

Well, you are probably right.

Even new ads popping up in the week before the election November 4th have the same old talking points -- just in different packages.

That's the conclusion of PolitiFact Florida -- which fact-checked the new ads with old attacks.

Fact-Checking Lifespan of Greenlight Pinellas

Oct 22, 2014

One of the big local issues being voted on in the upcoming election is Greenlight Pinellas -- which would replace a property tax funding public transportation in Pinellas County with a one-cent sales tax.

That would fund an expansion of bus service and a light rail system from St. Petersburg to Clearwater.

Opponents say the tax is unfair, and in a recent email No Tax For Tracks claimed that the tax increase  is irreversible.

Fact-Checking Charge that Crist is Corrupt

Oct 15, 2014

Election day is getting close -- and the TV ad war between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist rages on. 

One of the latest ads from the Scott side pulls no punches. It calls Crist a "corrupt politician" who funneled taxpayer money into what amounted to a Ponzi scheme.

Fact-Checking Crist Flip-Flops

Oct 11, 2014

In the race for Florida governor, the TV ads just keep coming.           

The latest ad from the Republican Party of Florida attacks Democratic candidate Charlie Crist for his changing positions on everything from party affiliation to Obamacare to the economic stimulus plan and abortion.

PolitiFact Florida saw the ad and fact-checked the flip flop accusations.

If you watch television is the state of Florida, you have probably seen a TV ad from the Republican Party of Florida featuring a man who says he was swindled by Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

The battle for the Florida governor's office is fully engaged now.  

And, oddly, both Republican Governor Rick Scott and his challenger, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, appear to be using some of the same ammunition.

Both the Republican Party of Florida and the Crist campaign have recently cited convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein in ads slamming their opponent.

The hot ballot issue in Florida in November is Amendment 2, which would legalize the medical use of marijuana in the state.

Backers of Amendment 2 say it's the compassionate thing to do for people with serious illnesses whose symptoms can be lessened with marijuana use.

Opponents say it's just going to open the door for abuse.

Health insurers want to raise rates in 2015 -- but Florida's insurance regulators are pretty much powerless to stop that.

And the Republican Party of Florida says that's Obamacare's fault.

Is that true?

Fact-Checking Scott and Crist on Duke Energy

Aug 24, 2014

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has pledged to target candidates who he deems bad for the environment and as deniers of climate change.

And Florida Governor Rick Scott is one of the candidates in Steyer's sights.

Fact-Checking Who's Paying for All Aboard Florida

Aug 16, 2014

Governor Rick Scott declined to accept federal money for a high speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando.

But Scott is supporting the All Aboard Florida project -- a rail line from Miami to West Palm Beach that could eventually reach Orlando.

The difference, Scott says, is that there's not government money involved in this rail project.

Fact-Checking the Governor on Early Voting Laws

Aug 6, 2014

The governor of Florida got a dressing down from the Attorney General of the United States recently.

In a letter to Rick Scott late last month, Attorney General Eric Holder warned Scott that he's "carefully monitoring" voter access in the state.

Holder wrote that he is "deeply disturbed that during your tenure, your state has repeatedly added barriers to voting and restricted access to the polls."