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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: Marco Rubio on defense spending declines


    Even with combat in Iraq and Afghanistan officially over, potential presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for a reversal of a shrinking defense budget. "Inflation-adjusted defense spending has declined 21 percent since 2010, and even if we discount the drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has still declined by a dangerous 12 percent," Rubio said. PolitiFact Florida looked at those numbers and found that Rubio was largely accurate, though it's important to understand the full context of trends in defense spending. See the full report....

  2. PolitiFact Florida: Checking Jeb Bush's claim about Florida's achievement gap


    In his first foray into New Hampshire as a potential Republican presidential contender, former Gov. Jeb Bush talked up Florida’s record on education during his tenure.

    Bush, who was governor between 1999 and  2007, talked about how the state stopped automatically moving up third-graders to fourth grade if they weren’t deemed ready. (The old approach has sometimes been called "social promotion.") And he also touted that during his tenure Florida started the state’s voluntary prekindergarten program....

  3. PolitiFact Florida: Which is more dangerous, alligator attacks or concealed carry permit holders?


    The Florida Legislature is moving toward allowing guns on college campuses. House and Senate panels have voted in favor of a proposal that would let concealed weapon license holders -- who must be 21 -- have their guns in college facilities.

    Currently, Florida is one of 20 states that specifically ban firearms on campuses; seven others specifically allow them under state law. The rest leave the decision up to the university....

  4. PolitiFact Florida: Pants on Fire for AFP solar claim


    In arguing against changes to Florida law, Americans for Prosperity said recent solar energy policies in Georgia "have resulted in rate hikes and did not result in solar becoming any more economically viable." But the group fumbled its own talking point, and the evidence doesn't back up the claim anyway. PolitiFact Florida's verdict: Pants on Fire. Read the full report....

  5. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who wants Marco Rubio's Senate seat


    U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democratic political newcomer who ousted GOP firebrand Allen West in 2012, announced Monday morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Marco Rubio. Murphy plans to run regardless of whether Rubio makes a presidential bid or not....

  6. PolitiFact Florida: Liberal PAC says Jeb Bush edited his own public records


    Liberal political action committee American Bridge 21st Century is working to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton's email woes by comparing her situation to former Gov. Jeb Bush's own stockpile.

    The group said on its website that "Media accounts establish that Bush, not the State of Florida, decided which private emails to disclose – apparently nothing would have stopped the Bush team from selectively leaving out politically problematic emails."...

  7. Fact-checking Rick Scott on environment, sea level rise claims


    Gov. Rick Scott’s record on the environment has faced renewed scrutiny after a news report stated that administrators in his Department of Environmental Protection were banned from using the terms "global warming" or "climate change."

    Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, which broke the story, cited former DEP officials who said they had been told verbally to avoid such phrases....

  8. 'Project Bluestreak' heralds new era in free gaming

    Pop Culture

    Clif Bleszinksi, the creator of Gears of War, left Epic a couple years ago saying he wanted to really branch out, that he was basically tired of doing the big-budget, sci-fi shoot-'em-up thing.

    So it was great news when he showed up at PAX East on March 7 to talk about his new title for BossKey Productions, called Project Bluestreak — a completely new sci-fi shoot-'em-up....

    There’s no word what Project Bluestreak is about, but it sure is pretty.
  9. PolitiFact Florida checks Jeb Bush on black, Hispanic enrollment after ending affirmative action


    Former Gov. Jeb Bush brought up his record of ending affirmative action while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 27.

    He was referring to a 1999 executive order that ended race-based preference in university admissions, an order still being observed today. Bush asserted that there were more black and Hispanic students enrolled in state universities than there were before the order....

  10. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking Rep. David Jolly on Texas immigration ruling

    State Roundup

    A recent Texas federal court decision has given congressional Republicans new hope that they can stop President Barack Obama's executive action to delay the deportation of some illegal immigrants.

    Here's how U.S. Rep. David Jolly, an Indian Shores Republican, put it Feb. 26 during House floor debate:

    "I understand there's disagreement over the president's executive order last September. I think it was wrong. Members on the other side don't," Jolly said. "A federal judge has said it's unconstitutional."...

    Emiliana Ortiz, left, and Benito Ortiz of Dover would qualify under President Barack Obama’s immigration action.
  11. PolitiFact Florida: Examining claims about Selma and Voting Rights Act


    From PolitiFact Florida: This week marks the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" -- the day police beat voting-rights activists as they attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

    President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and nearly one-fifth of Congress will be in Selma this weekend to mark the anniversary. 

    On March 7, 1965, hundreds of peaceful protesters set out to march for voting rights. But as depicted in the movie Selma released earlier this year, police met them on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and attacked them with clubs, whips and tear gas. Selma became a turning point in the civil rights movement, leading to the passage of the Voting Rights Act just five months later under President Lyndon B. Johnson. The law was designed to prevent the denial of voting rights based on race....

  12. Rick Scott looks to Legislature on campaign promises on taxes, education, environment


    Gov. Rick Scott won a second term with a slew of promises to constituents about cutting taxes, spending more on education and improving the environment. In recent weeks, Scott has taken action to make good on his promises by putting forward those ideas for the upcoming legislative session, which opens Tuesday.

    PolitiFact Florida is tracking those second-term promises on our Scott-O-Meter. Most of the ideas are part of Scott's 2015-16 budget proposal, a blueprint released Jan. 28 that tells lawmakers how Scott would like to see the state handle its finances and spending priorities. ...

  13. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking attack on Debbie Wasserman Schultz about her pot votes


    As U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., weighs a potential presidential bid in 2016, a long list of politicians are considering whether to run for his Senate seat.

    That includes U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, according to a Politico report on Feb. 17. (She's not a lock on the Democratic side. A Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll suggests U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Palm Beach County and newly elected U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Leon County could also be strong contenders.)...

  14. 'Gamergate' drags on, but trolls will not succeed

    Pop Culture

    There's a moment, I think, in every devoted parent's life when they look at their child and think that anything is possible. This child, they think, can be anything or do anything she wants, and it's my job to help her get there.

    Often there are several moments like that, as the child develops a personality, skills, and interests of her own. It's a glorious feeling and I highly recommend it to those who haven't experienced it....

    Brianna Wu ID’d this person as making death threats earlier this month.
  15. PolitiFact Florida: High schoolers allegedly forced to recite Islamic prayer, make prayer rugs, websites say


    A flap over a high school world history lesson back in October has boiled over into a series of Internet squabbles after an Orlando TV station produced a story about it this month.

    Ron Wagner of Longwood complained to WFTV that his 15-year-old son was required to recite an Islamic prayer as part of a world history class at Lyman High School. in Seminole County. The students also had to make an Islamic prayer rug as a homework assignment, according to Wagner, who said lessons like that don’t belong in public schools....