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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. 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. ...

  2. 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.)...

  3. '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.
  4. 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....

  5. PolitiFact Florida: Teachers group says students spend 45 days a year testing


    Florida schools have become (in)famous for the amount of standardized testing they have students take, but a teachers organization said it's much more than people realize.

    Thomas James, spokesman for the Florida Badass Teachers Association -- it's a real thing -- and a Miami-Dade history teacher, said in a statement that enough is too much....

  6. Shedding light on Florida's Sunshine laws in wake of Pam Bondi's comments about Rick Scott and Gerald Bailey


    From PolitiFact Florida: Gov. Rick Scott is mere weeks into his second term, but he’s already embroiled in a controversy over the ouster of the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    Gerald Bailey said he was told to resign after he refused to do work to benefit the governor’s political campaign and had complained of meddling in law enforcement issues by Scott’s office. The members of the Florida Cabinet -- the attorney general, the chief financial officer and the agricultural commissioner -- originally okayed replacing Bailey with little discussion, thinking the longtime FDLE chief had resigned on his own. They backed off supporting Scott’s move after learning the governor forced out the commissioner....

  7. PolitiFact Florida: How much do the uninsured cost the insured per hospital visit?

    State Roundup

    The Florida Chamber of Commerce is weighing in on the state's rising cost of health care, decrying the Affordable Care Act's plans to expand Medicaid but acknowledging uninsured residents cost big bucks.

    "Floridians pay an additional $1.4 billion in hidden health care taxes to cover health care received by the uninsured," a chamber task force said in a recent report. "Insured Floridians pay about $2,000 for every hospital stay to cover the cost of the uninsured."...

  8. 'Resident Evil' gives up horror — and maybe the chance to come back

    Pop Culture

    If there's one thing I've proven in my years writing this column, it's that I have a certain soft spot for zombies.

    It goes way back to before the recent craze, the downtown zombie walks, the undead-themed burger joints in places like Des Moines.

    So imagine my joy at the announcement of the 10th installment of the long-in-the-tooth Resident Evil series — even more so after hearing Capcom was following the lead of Telltale's The Walking Dead distribution method and doling out the game in six episodes. (Release is sometime in the first quarter.)...

    At least we’ll get some familiar faces to help trade on RE nostalgia.
  9. Sony's PlayStation Vue adds to spate of cable-free TV options

    Pop Culture

    It looks like all you would-be cord-cutters will have a new TV option very soon.

    In an announcement this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai said the company's long-awaited PlayStation Vue service will arrive in the first quarter of 2015.

    While the likes of Comcast and Cox and Bright House Networks likely aren't quaking in their boots about losing too many subscribers just yet, it's good news for those of us sick of being held hostage by cable companies....

    PlayStation Vue, which will be offered on a month-to-month basis, offers live TV as well as access to a catalog of programming.
  10. PolitiFact Florida examines Jeb Bush's stance on same-sex marriage


    As same-sex marriages begin in Miami, PolitiFact Florida takes a look at former Gov. Jeb Bush's stance on the issue in a new fact-check.

    The Democratic National Committee went on the attack last week, as speculation mounted about a Bush presidential run in 2016. "Bush not only opposes marriage equality, he’s said he ‘personally’ believes gay couples should be banned from adopting children," the DNC said....

  11. PolitiFact Florida's five most popular fact-checks for 2014

    State Roundup

    A busy election season is over, but as PolitiFact Florida reflects on what our readers found most popular, we noticed an interesting trend — many of our most widely read fact-checks for 2014 weren't election-related at all. Whatever could pique readers' interest more than gubernatorial candidates' records on education spending or jobs numbers? Read on and find out which were the top 5 items of the year....

  12. PolitiFact Florida: Tracking Gov. Rick Scott's 2014 campaign promises

    State Roundup

    If his campaign promises are any indication, Florida is getting a different Gov. Rick Scott in 2015 than the one it got in 2011.

    In 2010, Rick Scott ran on a platform of growing jobs, downsizing government, drug testing welfare recipients and cracking down on illegal immigration. In 2014, he still made job growth his mantra and promised more tax cuts, but Scott also highlighted softer goals of improving education and the environment. ...

    Gov. Rick Scott gives his victory speech Nov. 4 the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs after defeating Democrat Charlie Crist.
  13. PolitiFact Florida adds new campaign promises to the Scott-O-Meter


    Now that Gov. Rick Scott has narrowly won a second term, PolitiFact Florida will be keeping track of a slew of new campaign promises.

    The fact-checking website has added 20 new pledges to its Scott-O-Meter, which rates the outcomes of Scott's promises to voters. PolitiFact previously had been tracking 57 promises from Scott's 2010 campaign, when the former hospital chain executive ran on a platform heavy on tax cuts, rebuilding the economy and slashing government spending....

    Rick Scott made much more populist promises in 2014 than he did in 2010.
  14. PolitiFact Florida: Kriseman hasn't kept promises on Pier, Rays


    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's first year in office is coming to a close. When it comes to making progress on his campaign promises, Kriseman has seen both success and failure.

    PolitiFact Florida has been tracking 25 statements from Kriseman's 2013 campaign on our Krise-O-Meter. So far we've looked at a little over half of those, with five Promises Kept, four Promises Broken, three In the Works, two Stalled and one Compromise....

  15. Best video game trends of 2014 focus on freedom

    Pop Culture

    It's the time of year when we all are supposed to reflect upon the bountiful year with a fond eye, then rank arbitrary totals of things in hasty lists slapped together in time for us to enjoy the holidays and read without thinking too much.

    So in that vein , might I present my five favorite gaming trends, in no particular order? Great!

    1. Cross-platform titles. It's good to see that even though the new hardware is out there and respective networks are up and running, you can enjoy almost any game no matter the machine on which you chose to spend a month's rent. ...

    Getting rid of that Kinect and giving us games for a third off? What a steal!