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Joshua Gillin, PolitiFact Florida/Times Staff Writer

Joshua Gillin

Joshua Gillin is a staff writer for PolitiFact Florida and the Tampa Bay Times. He previously was a reporter, editor and blogger for tbt*, the daily tabloid edition of the Times, and still writes their bi-weekly video game column, Geek Speak. A Nebraska native, he has a degree in journalism from his home state university and is a diehard Cornhusker. Besides a stint writing about media news for The Poynter Institute, he has worked in many writing and editing capacities in news, sports and features at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He lives in St. Petersburg.

Phone: (727) 893-8337

Email: jgillin@tampabay.com

Twitter: @JPGillin

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  1. Fact-checking fake news reveals how hard it is to kill pervasive 'nasty weed' online

    Perspective

    No, the United Nations did not order former President Barack Obama to pay African-Americans reparations.

    A distraught GOP Electoral College voter did not choose suicide over Donald Trump.

    And, in case you weren't sure, Sarah Palin did not call for a boycott of the Mall of America because it had a black Santa.

    For the past six weeks, we at PolitiFact have been digging deep into Facebook's news feeds to identify and disprove "fake news." Working with Facebook, we've been fact-checking news stories that have been flagged by readers as potentially fake or deliberately misleading. If we agree that a story is false, readers who attempt to share the post on Facebook first receive a warning. ...

    This photo combo of images provided by Facebook demonstrates some of the new measures Facebook is taking to curb the spread of fake news on its huge and influential social network. The company is focusing on the “worst of the worst” offenders and partnering with outside fact-checkers to sort honest news reports from made-up stories that play to people’s passions and preconceived notions. (Facebook via AP)
  2. PolitiFact Florida: Utility group says Amendment 1 protects seniors, but measure offers no new regulations

    Elections

    Organizers for a proposed constitutional amendment about electricity generated by solar power have told voters their proposal would safeguard consumers — especially seniors.

    Consumers for Smart Solar, the utility-backed group behind Amendment 1, has spent millions to promote the measure in commercials, mailers and web ads.

    "Amendment 1 protects Florida seniors from scams and rip-offs," claimed one ad on YouTube....

  3. PolitiFact: Trump's claim about weak economic growth under President Obama rates Mostly True

    Business

    The statement

    Says President Barack Obama "is the first president in modern history not to have a single year of 3 percent growth."

    Donald Trump, Oct. 28 in a campaign speech

    The ruling

    When Trump talked of growth, he likely meant the percent change in gross domestic product, called GDP, which is the total value of goods and services in the country. The time frame he's using is indistinct, but "a single year" probably relates to the annual change in GDP....

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Selma, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) NCEV218
  4. PolitiFact Florida: No, Hillary Clinton did not meet with Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes

    Blog

    As early voters in Florida started casting votes, conservative websites buzzed about new evidence of crooked campaign tactics by Hillary Clinton to secure the crucial battleground state.

    The alleged scheme centered on left-leaning Broward County, already in the news for distributing some mail-in ballots without Amendment 2, a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

    The claims originated from Roger Stone, a Donald Trump supporter and former campaign operative who talked of a "secret" meeting in an interview to conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones on Oct. 26....

  5. PolitiFact Florida examines Al Gore's warning about utilities' plan for solar amendment

    Elections

    Stumping for Hillary Clinton in South Florida, former Vice President Al Gore wanted to enlighten a crowd of supporters about a controversial ballot measure on solar energy.

    Gore said the utility companies that back Amendment 1 make it sound like it fosters solar, but it's a "phony-baloney" initiative.

    "The things they claim protect solar are protections you already have," Gore said at Miami Dade College's Kendall campus on Oct. 11. "But they are trying to fool you into amending your state Constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry."...

    During a rally for Hillary Clinton at Miami Dade College, former Vice President Al Gore called Amendment 1 a “phoney-baloney” initiative that could give utilities the power to kill net metering.
  6. Utilities behind solar amendment are trying to trick voters into ending net metering, Al Gore says

    Blog

    In the Miami area to stump for Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore wanted to enlighten a crowd of supporters about a controversial ballot measure on solar energy.

    Gore said the utility companies that back Amendment 1 make it sound like it fosters solar, but the true aim is darker than that. He called it a "phony baloney" initiative propped up by utilities.

    "The things they claim protect solar are protections you already have," Gore said at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus on Oct. 11, 2016. "But they are trying to fool you into amending your state Constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry."...

  7. PolitiFact Florida: Vote No on 2 warns of 'kid-friendly pot candy' with medical marijuana amendment

    Politics

    Opponents of Florida's medical marijuana amendment are warning that cannabis-enhanced edibles will endanger children, hoping that voters will eat up their dire predictions and reject the measure.

    "Amendment 2 will bring kid-friendly pot candy to Florida," the antidrug campaign Vote No on 2 said in a recent mailpiece.

    The campaign is run by the Drug Free Florida Committee, an antidrug group started in 2014 by longtime GOP fundraiser Mel Sembler and his wife, Betty, with financial backing from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson....

  8. PolitiFact Florida: Unions say Marco Rubio wanted to slash school funding by billions, get rid of Department of Education

    Blog

    Two liberal labor unions say that Sen. Marco Rubio’s priorities are wrong for Floridians.

    A TV ad by AFSCME People and AFT Solidarity accuses Rubio of favoring cuts to Social Security and Medicare and also says he "voted to slash school funding by billions of dollars and would eliminate the Department of Education."...

  9. PolitiFact Florida: Koch-backed group makes outdated attack on Rep. Patrick Murphy

    State Roundup

    An antiregulation group is accusing U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of wanting to use the Senate to adopt policies that would raise the cost of just about everything, starting with your utility bills.

    "Vote against Patrick Murphy," reads a mailer we received Sept. 12, from Americans for Prosperity Florida. "We can't afford his 'Pay More' agenda."

    The flier cautions electricity and grocery prices will go up as wages go down with Murphy in the Senate....

    A flier speaks of Patrick Murphy’s “Pay More” agenda.
  10. PolitiFact Florida: Patrick Murphy attacks Marco Rubio for voting against gun ban for people on no-fly list

    Blog

    When U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled a gun safety bill Sept. 15, his Democratic rival for re-election attacked him for failing to support important gun safety legislation months earlier.

    "After the tragedy in Orlando, Rubio used the deaths of 49 innocent Floridians to run for re-election while voting against every bill that would have helped keep our families safe," U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy said in a campaign statement. "He even voted against a bipartisan measure, introduced by a Republican, to prevent people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns."...

  11. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking the crime crossfire in the Crist-Jolly debate

    State Roundup

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. David Jolly sparked a memorable moment during Monday's 13th Congressional District debate, getting a rise out of Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by pointing out his fondness for chain gangs during his days as a Republican state senator.

    As the audience at the Palladium listened in silence, Jolly, R-Belleair Bluffs, painted a vivid picture of Crist traveling to Alabama in 1995 with Florida's first African-American corrections secretary to inspect a chain gang in operation. ...

    The 13th Congressional District debate between U.S. Rep. David Jolly, the Republican incumbent, left, and Democrat Charlie Crist was held at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg on Monday. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  12. PolitiFact Florida: U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy's policies will raise utility bills by $500 a year, Koch-backed group says

    Blog

    An anti-regulation group is accusing U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of wanting to use the Senate to adopt policies that would raise the cost of just about everything, starting with your utility bills.

    "Vote against Patrick Murphy," reads a mailer we received Sept. 12, 2016, from Americans for Prosperity Florida. "We can’t afford his ‘Pay More’ agenda."...

  13. PolitiFact Florida checks a pair of claims about Patrick Murphy's resume, votes on Zika funding

    Blog

    PolitiFact Florida has checked a pair of claims made by U.S. Sen Marco Rubio against his Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

    Rubio says that Murphy "has trouble with the truth." In a TV ad, Rubio said that his Democratic opponent misled voters about his work experience and educational background.

    The ad includes a clip of a WPTV news anchor Michael Williams on May 23 saying: "Murphy embellished, according to reports, his University of Miami academic achievement."...

  14. PolitiFact Florida debunks claim that Patrick Murphy was one of 'least effective congressmen'

    National

    A TV attack ad portrays U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy as a "fabulously phony failure."

    Murphy, D-Jupiter, is taking on Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate battles in the nation.

    "Patrick Murphy was named one of America's least effective congressmen," states the ad by American Future Fund.

    The fund is a political nonprofit organization that does not have to disclose donors and has spent millions of dollars this year largely attacking Democrats....

    The criticism of Patrick Murphy comes from a narrow analysis of bills he sponsored as a freshman minority-party representative.
  15. PolitiFact Florida checks National Republican Senatorial Committee attacks on U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy

    Blog

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee says it’s fact-checking U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s resume as a certified public accountant and small business owner.

    Murphy, a Jupiter Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

    The NRSC’s TV ad begins with a video clip of Murphy saying in 2012, "I believe that my background as a CPA and a small business owner is exactly what we need."...