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Politifact Florida

Agriculture Commissioner - and candidate for governor - Adam Putnam is claiming in his push for vocational-technical training that welders come out of tech schools making $28 an hour.

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Is Florida really going through its sixth straight year of record education funding, as Gov. Rick Scott claims? And we also look into how an attack ad is crafted, with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

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Do just one percent of licensed gun dealers supply more than half the guns recovered in crimes? And is Florida one of the only states that prohibits a gun registry? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the answers from PolitiFact Florida's Allison Graves.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state’s pending school marshal program is the “first-of-its kind” in the nation.

And the Congressman representing Parkland said mass shootings went up 200 percent in the decade after the national assault weapons ban expired.

WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

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In the wake of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, accusations are going around at a fast clip. 

Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claim? 

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Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claims? And did slaves really help build the "old" state Capitol in Tallahassee? PolitiFact Florida answers these claims by politicians.

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One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

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The year that was - 2017 - turned out to be quite the year for news. And quite the year for fact-checks about everything from "fake-news" - last year's catchword - and all sorts of dubious claims.

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Is the only tax that half the voters in the country pay the payroll tax? That's what U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said. We tackle that claim and another by Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wants the entire state to be a "sanctuary" for people in the country illegally.

PolitiFact/Tampa Bay Times illustration by Ron Borresen

It's that time of the year again for PolitiFact's Lie of the Year. And this year's whopper goes to... drum roll please... President Donald Trump. That may not be such a surprise, given the president's propensity for - shall we say - stretching the boundaries of the truth.

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Has Gov. Rick Scott really cut taxes 75 times in office, cutting $7.5 billion dollars from the tax rolls? And has that resulted in over a million new jobs being created in Florida? WUSF's Steve Newborn and PolitiFact Florida's Allison Graves look at that claim and another from candidate for Gov. Chris King, who says Hispanics have started three times as many businesses as white men.

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Did Gov. Rick Scott really brag about the state's low wages during business trips? And is there a critical shortage of nurses in Florida? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Did Obamacare exacerbate the opioid crisis in America? And is expanding the child tax credit the only way the middle class will get a break from the GOP's proposed tax plan? We tackle those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Photo courtesy PolitiFact Florida

Now that the election season is in full swing, the claims are coming fast and furious from political aspirants.

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Are Florida's beaches and stormwater systems up to the test in the face of perhaps more - and more intense - hurricanes because of global warming? 

Photo Courtesy PolitiFact Florida/Miami Herald

The subject of illegal immigration is never far from the front burner of politics, especially in the wake of President Trump's recent decision to look at rescinding DACA. That could revoke the legal status of children brought illegally into the country.

Did U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson really align himself with "communists and dictators" and support "murderers?" WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida about that claim, as well as whether St. Petersburg's mayor didn't refute a comment during a recent debate that blacks should "go back to Africa."


PolitiFact, the national fact-checking service that got its start in the Tampa Bay area, turns 10 this year. Before a reception Tuesday night at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg - which owns the Tampa Bay Times, its parent company - Associate Editor Amy Hollyfield reminisced about its beginnings.

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State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam of Bartow comes from a long line of citrus farmers, so it's no surprise he's in favor of a continued flow of migrant labor to help pick that fruit. But is he in favor of "amnesty"  for all people in the country illegally? 


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has been criticized in some quarters for not holding a Town Hall on the Republican attempt to repeal and possibly replace Obamacare. So he recently held an audience-free Facebook Live post, saying reports that Floridians will be kicked off of Medicaid under the pending Senate health care bill are missing the mark.

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The south side of St. Petersburg - best known among locals as "Midtown" -- is a predominantly African-American area with a high rate of poverty.

Photo Courtesy Bradenton Herald

The claims are flying fast and furious around the proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. A version proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives would replace it with the American Health Care Act.

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A man from Orlando by the name of Desmond Meade is a convicted drug offender who later turned his life around, got a law degree, and is now leading the charge to automatically restore voting rights to felons. Now, all he needs is 700,000 signatures on a petition to put it on next year's ballot.

Photo courtesy PolitiFact Florida

A lot of big promises came up before this year's legislative session in Tallahassee. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, said this way back in November:

"On your desks are the most aggressive, transformative rules in the history of the Florida legislature. These rules make us a national leader in transparency and accountability."

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The Florida legislature is poised to pass a program that would encourage charter schools to set up near academically troubled traditional schools. The bill creates what Republicans call the “Schools of Hope” program, funneling hundreds of millions of dollars toward charter schools.

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The swirl of controversy after the decision by Orange County State Attorney Aramis Ayala not to apply the death penalty in cases assigned to her has filtered down to a discussion of cases on Florida's death row.

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Would a bill that would penalize Florida cities and counties for offering sanctuary cities be the toughest in the nation? And do undocumented immigrants have Constitutional rights? WUSF's Steve Newborn poses these questions to Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

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Even though violent crime has been steadily decreasing, can that be attributed to Florida's decade-old Stand Your Ground Law? WUSF's Steve Newborn poses that question - and another - if nearly half of all gun sales aren't registered - to Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott gave his sixth State of the State address recently. He touched on some familiar themes, such as claiming to have helped create more than a million new jobs. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida to examine Scott's claims on commercial leases, teacher pay, tax cuts - and of course, jobs.

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