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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


Twitter: @JPGillin

  1. PolitiFact Florida: Former NRA president Marion Hammer says 45 states allow open carry of handguns


    The former president of the National Rifle Association is defending bills in the Florida Legislature proposing the open carry of handguns, saying the vast majority of states already allow the practice.

    Marion Hammer, executive director of United Sportsmen of Florida, responded to criticism of Senate Bill 300 and its companion in the House, HB 163, in her Nov. 1 column that was posted on the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action website....

    Marion Hammer now leads the United Sportsmen of Florida.
  2. PolitiFact: Marco Rubio says Ted Cruz supports legal status and work permits for 'illegal' immigrants


    From PolitiFact Texas:

    Florida’s Marco Rubio, asked by a reporter if Texan Ted Cruz is perhaps more serious about stopping illegal immigration, shot back that the freshman senators competing for the Republican presidential nomination share common ground.

    Rubio, who helped propel Senate approval of an immigration overhaul in 2013 that included a path to citizenship for immigrants already living here, replied at a South Carolina event Nov. 12, 2015: "Ted is a supporter of legalizing people who are in this country illegally."...

  3. PolitiFact Florida: Florida Democrats attack Marco Rubio over spending, get it right

    State Roundup

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio railed against taxes during his career in Florida politics, but his presidential campaign has been facing accusations that he has a long history of being a spendthrift with other people's money.

    The Florida Democratic Party posted a message Nov. 5 on Facebook about Rubio's financial habits as incoming speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

    "Remember that time Marco Rubio spent $400K of your tax dollars remodeling offices, and building a members-only lounge? We do," the post read. It included a link to a 2010 Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald story about Rubio's use of a Republican Party of Florida credit card....

    It’s common for incoming speakers to spruce up the Florida chambers, and when Marco Rubio was there he reorganized offices and built a members-only dining room. 
  4. PolitiFact: Political group takes aim at Ben Carson's past statements


    While Ben Carson faces more and more questions over his personal history and grasp of historical facts, a political group wanted to remind the public of some of the retired neurosurgeon's more controversial policy positions.

    Ultraviolet, which says it is "mobilized to fight sexism and expand women's rights," posted an image about Carson on its Facebook page Oct. 26. Labeled "Ben Carson is leading in Iowa: Here's 5 things you need to know," the viral image listed five statements Carson has made, some before he declared his candidacy in May....

    Some of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s controversial statements deal with abortion, feminism and health care.
  5. PolitiFact Florida: Jeb Bush says that Florida has cheapest public college tuition, but that was years ago


    During a discussion about student debt at the CNBC Republican presidential debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talked about bringing down college costs, prompting Jeb Bush to chime in about the low cost of tuition in Florida.

    "We don't need the federal government to be involved in this, because when they do, we create a $1.2 trillion debt," said the former Florida governor during the Oct. 28 debate in Boulder, Colo. "In Florida, we have the lowest in-state tuition of any state, because there's accountability, just as John (Kasich) said. You'll create a much better graduation rate at a lower cost, and you won't indebt the next generation with recourse debt on their backs."...

    Jeb Bush, flanked by Mike Huckabee, left, and Sen. Marco Rubio responds to a question during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado on Oct. 28.
  6. PolitiFact Florida puts the Rubio and Bush tax plans to the Truth-O-Meter


    PolitiFact Florida looked at a couple of claims by Florida's GOP presidential candidates about which people would benefit the most from their respective tax plans.

    First, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sparred with one of the moderators at the Oct. 28 CNBC debate, John Harwood, over the impact of his tax proposal.

    Harwood asked Rubio, "The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you're the champion of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, don't you have that backward?"...

  7. PolitiFact Florida: Jeb Bush says the middle class gets the biggest tax break under his plan


    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said at a recent debate that his plan to streamline the tax system will benefit everyone, but it will benefit the middle class the most.

    "Look, the simple fact is that my plan actually gives the middle class the greatest break: $2,000 per family," Bush said during the Oct. 28, 2015, CNBC debate. He added that simplifying the tax code will boost economic growth....

  8. PolitiFact Florida: Marco Rubio's financial missteps are well-documented

    State Roundup

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio waved off a question about his economic smarts during the latest Republican presidential debate, saying stories about his personal financial decisions weren't worth discussing.

    At the debate Wednesday in Boulder, Colo., CNBC moderator Becky Quick asked Rubio how qualified he felt to guide national fiscal policy when he'd had so many money problems.

    "Sen. Rubio, you yourself have said that you've had issues. You have a lack of bookkeeping skills," Quick said. "You accidentally intermingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That's something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties....

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the Iowa GOP’s Growth and Opportunity Party in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.
  9. PolitiFact Florida reviews congressional candidate Charlie Crist's record


    It’s official: Former Gov. Charlie Crist will run for Congress in a St. Petersburg seat in what’s expected to become a Democratic-leaning district.

    "Public service is in my heart," Crist said at a recreation center surrounded by several dozen supporters at his Oct. 20 announcement.

    Crist will run in the 13th congressional district, a seat being redrawn amid a contentious redistricting battle. Since it appears that the district will end up being more friendly to a Democrat, the seat’s current holder -- David Jolly -- announced in July that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio instead....

  10. PolitiFact Florida: Scott falls short on claim of highest K-12 education funding in Florida history

    Amid his calls for legislators to cut taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars next year, Gov. Rick Scott bragged that Florida's education system is getting record funding on his watch.

    During a news conference Wednesday, Scott called for tax cuts beyond the $400 million that the Legislature approved earlier in the year. Scott had promised to cut taxes by $1 billion over two years, but lawmakers are signaling that may not be possible. ...

  11. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking Matt Gaetz's claim about open-carry laws and crime

    State Roundup

    Florida is one of only a handful of states left in the country that doesn't allow any open carry of firearms, and some state legislators want to change that.

    State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, is sponsoring a bill that would allow those with a conceal carry license to openly carry their firearms. Last week, a House panel voted in favor of the bill, which will now advance to other committees in anticipation of a January legislative session....

    State Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks about his bill that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to openly carry their weapons in Florida during a news conference last week in Tallahassee.
  12. PolitiFact Florida: Jeb Bush right that U.S. enjoys its fastest crude oil production increase


    The statement

    "Since 2008, U.S. crude oil output has increased by over 80 percent, an increase of over 4 million barrels a day. That is the fastest increase in U.S. history."

    Jeb Bush, Sept. 29 in his energy plan

    The ruling

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in his recently released energy plan that the United States should take advantage of its resurgent status as "a global energy superpower."...

    Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, speaks during a town hall style campaign stop, at the VFW in Englewood, Colo., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) COBL107
  13. PolitiFact Florida: Men named William do outnumber women in Florida elected offices

    State Roundup

    A pro-Democratic group has sent out the call that 2016 is the year Florida voters need to choose a female candidate: "Did you know that fewer women have been elected to statewide office than men named William?"

    The Sept. 22 email from Ruth's List Florida went on, "More women than men vote in Florida, but 26 men named William have been elected to statewide office, and only 7 women have had the honor."...

  14. Fact-checking statistics about refugees from Syria, background checks for gun sales


    Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump defended his change in position on accepting refugees from Syria on Sunday, saying he has concerns about how many able-bodied men seem to be fleeing the war-torn nation.

    "The migration was strange to me, because it seems like so many men," Trump said on ABC's This Week. "There aren't that many women, there aren't that many children. It looked like mostly men, and they looked like strong men."...

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters as he leaves an event Saturday in Franklin, Tenn.
  15. PolitiFact Florida: Jeb Bush's boasting about Florida only tells half the story

    State Roundup

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is hoping to sell voters on the idea that his time in Tallahassee means sound policy in the White House.

    "As governor, I cut taxes, cut spending, balanced budgets, and Florida led the nation in job creation," he said in a campaign ad released Sept. 8. Bush boasted that his "proven conservative record" during his two terms makes him more qualified than other GOP presidential candidates....

    Jeb Bush has often repeated the claim that he cut taxes by $19?billion while in office. [AP photo]