Sunday, June 24, 2018


Louis Jacobson, Politifact senior correspondent

Louis Jacobson, Politifact senior correspondent

Louis Jacobson is the senior correspondent for PolitiFact and a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times. He has served as deputy editor of Roll Call and as founding editor of its legislative wire service, CongressNow. Earlier, he spent more than a decade covering politics, policy and lobbying for National Journal magazine. Since 2002, he has handicapped political races, including state legislatures, governors, congressional seats, state attorneys general and the electoral college, currently for Governing. He is senior author of The Almanac of American Politics 2016 and The Almanac of American Politics 2018 and also contributed to the 2000 and 2004 editions. In 2004, Jacobson originated the “Out There” column on politics in the states, which ran in Roll Call and later in and which won five annual awards from Capitolbeat, the association of state capitol reporters and editors. He received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014, and in 2017, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers gave him a Best in Business award for his economics coverage.

Ulrica Fontenot and her daughter Takeisa pray after leaving flowers at a small  memorial outside of Santa Fe High School on May 19 in Santa Fe, Texas.(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PolitiFact Florida: Have more students been killed in schools than soldiers in combat zones?

After a student gunman killed 10 people in Santa Fe, Texas, a claim circulated widely on social media that compared the number of deaths in the military with the number of deaths in school shootings.One of the politicians who shared it on...
Published: 06/18/18
President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]

PolitiFact: Donald Trump says Canada levies 270 percent tariff on dairy. Thatís basically right

The statement"Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didnít tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!"President Donald Trump, June 8 in a tweetThe...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/21/18
The TECO power plant at Big Bend has been providing power to people in Tampa for years. (News Channel 8 photo by KATE CALDWELL)

PolitiFact: Have 101 utilities cut their rates thanks to the GOP tax bill?

The statement"101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts."PresidentDonald Trump, June 7 in a tweetThe rulingFor months, President Donald Trump has been...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18
FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2015 file photo, Minnesota Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks to attendees at the North Star Ball in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is set to name his choice to replace Al Franken in the U.S. Senate, with the top contender seen as Lt. Gov. Smith. Dayton was expected to make the appointment Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, nearly a week after Franken announced his plan to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File) MNMIT201

PolitiFact: Is the minimum wage worth less now than 50 years ago?

The statement"Taking into account inflation, the federal minimum wage is actually worth less than what it was worth 50 years ago."Sen. Tina Smith,D-Minn., May 21 in a tweetThe...
Updated one month ago
Vice President Mike Pence attends the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, outside the Capitol in Washington, May 15 2018. President Donald Trump spoke at the event. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

PolitiFact: Is Mike Pence right that religion is gaining new life in U.S.?

Speaking at a commencement ceremony at Hillsdale College in Michigan, Vice President Mike Pence told the graduates that religion in the United States is going strong."The percentage of Americans who live out their religion on a weekly basis ó...
Updated one month ago
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks to Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 9, 2018. Manchin, who has long found a way to win in West Virginia by creating a Democratic identity apart from the national party, faces perhaps the toughest race of his life in 2018. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times) XNYT217

PolitiFact: Will interest on the debt exceed defense spending by 2022?

The statement"By 2022, just the interest payment on our debt will be greater than the defense of our country."Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., May 9 in an interview with Hoppy KerchevalThe...
Updated one month ago
President Donald Trump speaks about the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, during an event in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

PolitiFact: Can Robert Mueller subpoena Donald Trump? A look at the legal precedents

President Donald Trump has said heíd "love to speak" to special counsel Robert Mueller but that some of his lawyers advise against it.The latest member of Trumpís legal team, Rudy Giuliani, said Trump is under no obligation to comply with a...
Updated one month ago
In this Dec. 13, 2016, photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump and Kanye West pose for a picture in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump, Kanye bromance

The statement"Kanye (West) looks and he sees black unemployment at the lowest itís been in the history of our country. He sees Hispanic unemployment at the lowest itís been in the history of our country. He sees (womenís...
Updated: 2 months ago
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., April 18, 2018. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) XNYT146

PolitiFact: Can taxpayers expect card-sized tax forms next year, as Donald Trump says?

The statement"This will be the last time ó April ó that youíre going to (fill out) that old-fashioned, big, lots of pages, complicated tax form. Because next April youíre going to, in many cases, (file) one page, one card. Itís...
Updated: 2 months ago
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2017, file photo, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks about the Trump Administration's energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) WX126

PolitiFact: Ryan Zinke wrong that gas prices are down 40 percent under Trump

The statement"Under the previous administration it was Ö $100 to fill a car. American energy has delivered. Now itís $60. Thatís $40 you have in your pocket Ö that you wouldnít have."Interior Secretary Ryan...
Updated: 4 months ago