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. PolitiFact Florida: Could Charlie Crist have expanded Medicaid in Florida?

    State Roundup

    To hear Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist tell it, the 2014 gubernatorial campaign isn't about policy positions, but more about which candidate did less as governor.

    Take the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. No, really, someone should take it, because neither governor did. Now each is berating the other for it.

    "He will not lift a finger to get Medicaid expansion done," Crist said during Tuesday's CNN debate in Jacksonville. ...

  2. PolitiFact checks Charlie Crist, Rick Scott statements in final debate

    News

    60,000 jobs for high-speed rail? No

    The statement: Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail would have created 60,000 jobs.

    Charlie Crist, during a debate Tuesday night

    The ruling

    Gov. Rick Scott refused $2.4 billion in federal funds for a proposed Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed line when he first came into office in 2011, joining several other Republican governors in rejecting federal stimulus money. But would it have created 60,000 jobs? By the Florida Department of Transportation's own estimates, the project would have created about 50,000 jobs — 23,600 direct jobs, like construction, and 26,300 indirect jobs, like those created for equipment suppliers. So right away, claiming 60,000 jobs is highballing the state's estimate. But even the 50,000-job figure is fuzzy. FDOT calculated jobs in "job-years," which refers to the number of jobs that will be funded each year. The best way to look at the rail project is to say that it would have employed directly or indirectly 6,200 workers in 2011, 21,600 workers in 2012, 18,900 workers in 2013, 2,100 workers in 2014. About 600 permanent workers would be needed to keep the rail running and about 500 spinoff jobs would have been created. That's a far cry from 60,000 jobs. We rate the statement False....

    MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 10:  Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks during a debate with former Florida Governor and Democratic candidate Charlie Crist during a televised debate at NBCUniversal/Telemundo 51 on October 10, 2014 in Miramar, Florida.  Governor Scott is facing off against Crist in the November 4, 2014 governors race.   (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) 516243409
  3. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking the tax swap for Greenlight Pinellas

    Local

    When it comes to discussing the Greenlight Pinellas mass transit initiative, two things are certain: Taxes and citizens complaining about taxes.

    If the measure passes on Election Day, the county's sales tax would go up 1 cent. So an opposition group has made the alleged unfairness of it all a cornerstone of its campaign. No Tax for Tracks, a grass roots group opposed to Greenlight Pinellas, said in an email to voters that not only is the switch from a property tax for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to an increased sales tax unfair, it's going to last forever....

    Greenlight Pinellas aims to expand bus service by adding routes and extending hours, but also would add a 24-mile light-rail line between St. Petersburg and Clearwater. [LARA CERRI | Times]
  4. PolitiFact Florida previews Friday's gubernatorial debate between Scott, Crist

    Blog

    PolitiFact Florida is ramping up the Truth-O-Meter heading into the first gubernatorial debate of the election on Friday in Miramar.

    The candidates, who are battling for the Hispanic vote ahead of the Nov. 4 election, will face questions at Telemundo’s studio at 11 a.m., and the debate will air at 7 p.m. The candidates will answer questions in English, and the station will translate into Spanish....

  5. Fla AG candidates spar in debate

    Blog

     Florida's three attorney general candidates highlighted stark differences in their views on issues ranging from Obamacare to gambling and medical marijuana during a televised debate Monday, but incumbent Pam Bondi didn't commit on the issue of the day — gay marriage.

    After the U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear appeals from five states seeking to prevent gay marriage, Bondi hedged when asked how her office will handle a U.S. District Court judge's decision to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. The Attorney General's Office previously has defended the ban on the state and federal levels and has appealed the district judge's decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta....

  6. Florida attorney general candidates spar in lone debate

    State Roundup

    ST. PETERSBURG — Florida's three attorney general candidates highlighted stark differences in their views on issues ranging from Obamacare to gambling and medical marijuana during a televised debate Monday, but incumbent Pam Bondi didn't commit on the issue of the day — gay marriage.

    After the U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear appeals from five states seeking to prevent gay marriage, Bondi hedged when asked how her office will handle a U.S. District Court judge's decision to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. The Attorney General's Office previously has defended the ban on the state and federal levels and has appealed the district judge's decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta....

    Attorney General Pam Bondi and her opponents, George Sheldon, center, and Bill Wohlsifer, participate in Monday’s debate.
  7. Attorney general candidates Pam Bondi, George Sheldon, Bill Wohlsifer square off in debate Monday night

    Blog

    Candidates for Florida attorney general take to the airwaves Monday night for their what may be their only debate of the campaign.

    Republican incumbent Pam Bondi, Democratic challenger George Sheldon and Libertarian candidate Bill Wohlsifer join moderators Adam Smith, the Tampa Bay Times political editor, Bay News 9's Al Ruechel and Ybeth Bruzual of Orlando's News 13 for an hour. Topics of discussion include gay marriage, Amendment 2, Stand Your Ground, utility rate regulation, public corruption and consumer protection....

  8. PolitiFact Florida: Did District 22 candidate push for state income tax?

    State Roundup

    Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes is facing a determined challenger in Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan for District 22, which stretches across Tampa Bay.

    The Republican Party of Florida, acting on Brandes' behalf, is attacking McLauchlan, a political science professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, on an issue where constituents are liable to pay most attention: their wallets....

    USF senior Christina Bush, (cq) left, laughs as Professor Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, (cq) right, passes out knit caps during a class entitled The Road To The White House at the USF St. Petersburg campus Monday, Jan. 12, 2004.  The caps were given to each student with a pair of mittens because 22 students will travel to New Hampshire Jan. 18 to work on a campaign for 10 days.  Staff photo-James Borchuck
  9. PolitiFact Florida: Was Gwen Graham a Washington lobbyist?

    State Roundup

    Florida's most competitive congressional race is a North Florida battle between Republican incumbent Steve Southerland and Democrat Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham.

    Rep. Southerland has been throwing attack after attack in the fierce campaign, including the dreaded "lobbyist" word.

    In a commercial, Southerland accused Gwen Graham of a host of left-wing positions....

  10. Adam Putnam says Florida should focus on energy, water use

    Blog

    Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is hoping a second term will allow him to look ahead to new challenges, including building strategies for energy and water use.

    The Bartow native told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Friday those were just some of the issues the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services faces as he seeks re-election. He named other worries ranging from citrus greening to giant African land snails....

  11. Bungie's 'Destiny' delivers the addictive goods

    Pop Culture

    You may have noticed Geek Speak skipped a week's installment. Or maybe you didn't.

    That would be appropriate, if you were consumed with playing Bungie's latest monument to addiction, Destiny. Because really, there's no other way to play it, except with the sweaty-palmed, dry-mouthed tremors of a truly lost cause.

    Is Destiny a good game? I really can't say that it is or it isn't. The setup and gameplay are dreadfully old hat, yet that doesn't mean it's bad. ...

    Join other Guardians in a quest for better fashion.
  12. PolitiFact Florida: Checking Pam Bondi's record on pill mills

    State Roundup

    Attorney General Pam Bondi has launched her re-election advertising campaign with a major milestone in Florida law enforcement: the death of the state's infamous "pill mills."

    In a Sept. 8 TV commercial, the incumbent touts her record of overseeing the demise of rampant prescription drug abuse enabled by Florida doctors.

    "With our amazing law enforcement, we closed down the pill mills," Bondi said. "Of the top 100 oxycodone-­dispensing doctors in this country, 98 of them lived in Florida. Today, there are none."...

    Attorney general Pam Bondi speaks about the supreme court's decision concerning the health care bill at a news conference on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.  The 5-4 decision meant the huge overhaul, still taking effect, could proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC101
  13. PolitiFact Florida: Rating Gov. Rick Scott on his campaign promises

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott has had nearly four years to enact the agenda he promised as a candidate back in 2010: a relentless focus on jobs, a downsizing of government and a hard line on illegal immigration.

    PolitiFact Florida has tracked 57 of his campaign promises over four years and found a mixed report. Scott is certainly trying on job creation. He has succeeded in shrinking government. But he has largely reversed himself on immigration. ...

    Gov. Rick Scott attends a groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion — and 250 new jobs — for GE Energy Management’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Clearwater in July.
  14. PolitiFact Florida: Tracking Rick Scott's promise to create 700,000 jobs

    State Roundup

    Heading into the November general election, Gov. Rick Scott's promise to create more than 700,000 jobs in seven years has either suffered a hiccup or continues unabated, depending on your point of view.

    July jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Florida lost 1,600 jobs last month — or gained 2,100, if you ask Scott. He has consistently ignored losses in government employment and touted private-sector growth. The state has lost 25,400 government jobs during Scott's term, U.S. Labor Department economist Timothy Ewing told PolitiFact Florida....

  15. Democratic CFO candidate William Rankin attacks Jeff Atwater's job performance

    Blog

    Charlie Crist isn’t the only former Republican-turned-Democrat running for major statewide office this November: Chief Financial Officer candidate William Rankin wants to join him....