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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. PolitiFact Florida: Readers dig into Rick Scott drama, LeBron James' taxes in April

    Blog

    When Gov. Rick Scott walked into a Starbucks in Gainesville, he got an unexpected jolt when a customer attacked his record on spending for health care and Planned Parenthood.

    Scott fired back by defending his jobs record.

    The exchange, in which heckler Cara Jennings called Scott an "a------" drew more than 2.3 million hits on YouTube, made national news and led our fact-checks in April....

  2. PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking the debate between U.S. Senate candidates Alan Grayson, David Jolly

    Elections

    A pair of Florida Congress members invoked LeBron James' tax bill and Planned Parenthood investigations during an open debate in pursuit of Marco Rubio's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

    U.S. Reps. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, and Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, skipped ahead of their primary process and fielded crowdsourced questions about taxes, abortion, the environment and more during the debate Tuesday. Organizers said more than 80,000 viewers streamed the debate live, with 165,000 more views the next day. ...

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson referenced LeBron James.
  3. PolitiFact Florida: Alan Grayson scores with point about LeBron James and Social Security taxes

    Blog

    Not only has U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson endorsed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, he also has echoed one of the senator’s main platform planks that the rich should help shore up Social Security.

    At a Senate campaign debate with U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, in Orlando on April 25, 2016, Grayson said the Social Security payroll tax cap on earnings needs to be lifted in order to make the program solvent. He used the mind-boggling salary of professional basketball superstar LeBron James to illustrate his point....

  4. PolitiFact Florida: U.S. Rep. David Jolly says he voted against House Planned Parenthood investigation

    Blog

    Seeking Marco Rubio’s soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat, U.S. Rep. David Jolly said during a debate in Orlando that he’s committed to sticking to conservative principles, even if it means voting against his own party.

    Jolly met with U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, at an Open Debate Coalition event on April 25, 2016, to discuss the Senate candidates’ platforms. After a question about whether he would support defending or defunding Planned Parenthood, Jolly said he opposed abortion and could not support the group, which has been under fire after being accused of selling fetal tissue....

  5. PolitiFact Florida: U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson downplays potential for punishment in ethics investigation

    State Roundup

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson waved off a recent congressional report on his alleged ethics violations, arguing that the findings mean he's practically in the clear.

    The Office of Congressional Ethics on April 5 released a report recommending that a House committee keep investigating Grayson. The Orlando Democrat, who is running for Sen. Marco Rubio's soon-to-open seat, has been accused of improperly managing a hedge fund, not disclosing all of his finances and conducting business deals with the federal government that would be conflicts of interest....

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, has been accused of improperly managing a hedge fund, not disclosing all of his finances and conducting business deals with the federal government that would be conflicts of interest.
  6. PolitiFact Florida: U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson downplays potential for punishment in ethics investigation

    Blog

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson waved off a recent congressional report on his alleged ethics violations, arguing that the findings mean he’s practically in the clear.

    The Office of Congressional Ethics on April 5, 2016, released a report recommending that a House committee keep investigating Grayson. The Orlando Democrat, who is running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s soon-to-open seat, has been accused of improperly managing a hedge fund, not disclosing all his finances and conducting business deals with the federal government that would be conflicts of interest....

  7. PolitiFact Florida checks out viral Starbucks spat between heckler, Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    It starts like a joke — Gov. Rick Scott walks into a Gainesville Starbucks — but one patron wasn't laughing.

    Scott stopped at the coffee chain for a cup Tuesday after touring the recently opened factory and headquarters for biopharmaceutical company Nanotherapeutics. Cara Jennings, a liberal activist and former Lake Worth city commissioner, saw Scott in the downtown store and ripped into him from her seat over health insurance, cuts to women's health services and being an explicit word....

    A confrontation between a former politician and Gov. Rick Scott in a Gainesville Starbucks is captured on film. [Stephen Bender YouTube channel]
  8. PolitiFact Florida: Did Bernie Sanders fundamentally improve the lives of tomato pickers in Florida?

    Blog

    Bernie Sanders says he successfully changed the lives of exploited tomato workers in Florida.

    In an ad for Sanders, which ran nationally on Univision, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., praises Sanders for taking up the plight of Immokalee tomato workers.

    "He went and visited personally. Then he came back and convinced Ted Kennedy to hold some hearings, and it fundamentally changed the lives of those workers."...

  9. PolitiFact Florida: Terrorists from groups besides ISIS crossing U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis says

    Blog

    Instead of worrying about ISIS infiltrating the country, U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Ron DeSantis is concerned that members of other terrorist groups have already been caught trying to sneak across the border from Mexico.

    The Ponte Vedra Beach Republican called a hearing of the House Oversight Committee’s National Security subcommittee to discuss what to do about what he considered a growing threat....

  10. Rick Scott's misleading talking point about 'record' funding for HIV/AIDS

    Politics

    Asked to explain a discrepancy in the state's number of new HIV cases, Florida Gov. Rick Scott only crowed about how much is being spent on prevention programs.

    Florida had the dubious distinction of leading the nation in new HIV cases a few months ago, even as the country's overall trend was declining. Then the state Department of Health's division of disease control revised the numbers, which is a routine practice....

  11. PolitiFact Florida: Checking an attack on Debbie Wasserman Schultz about payday loans

    Blog

    A law professor running against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of South Florida says she is in the pocket of big banks and isn’t looking out for consumers who get crushed by debt from payday loans.

    "My opponent, after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks, has voted to prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFTP) from regulating payday loans and addressing racial discrimination in car loans," said Tim Canova on his website....

  12. Pants on Fire! Donald Trump says winning 66 of 67 Florida counties is 'unprecedented'

    Politics

    Billionaire Donald Trump won an easy victory in Florida's 2016 Republican presidential primary — so easy, he said, that he garnered an unparalleled amount of support in the process.

    "Out of 67 counties (in Florida), I won 66, which is unprecedented. It's never happened before," Trump said March 21.

    Was Trump's near sweep of Florida counties really so historic?

    Hardly.

    It is true that he won 66 counties (Sen. Marco Rubio won his birthplace of Miami-Dade before dropping out of the race), but Trump's nearly unanimous win is hardly unprecedented....

    Donald Trump speaks Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. His win of 66 counties in Florida’s primary is far from unprecedented, as results from the last few decades show.
  13. PolitiFact Florida: Don Gaetz claims budget has $428 million in property tax relief

    Legislature

    The Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott didn't see eye to eye on much during the 2016 session, but they both acknowledged education spending should go up.

    Even then, however, they couldn't agree on how to do it.

    Scott wanted to pay for it almost entirely by increasing a share of property taxes known as the "required local effort." Legislators balked at that idea, especially in the Senate, because they didn't want homeowners to bear most of the burden by paying more in taxes....

    Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, was careful to say “tax relief,” not tax cut, giving himself a lot of leeway over definition.
  14. PolitiFact checks out Harry Reid's claim that Democrats 'never held up' a Supreme Court nomination

    National

    Polar-opposite Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., kept wrangling over the stalled Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland on Sunday.

    McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said the Senate will not hold hearings for President Barack Obama's third Supreme Court nominee even after the November election, which NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd said conflicts with McConnell's past criticism of Democratic resistance to GOP presidents' nominees. ...

  15. PolitiFact Florida: Our most read fact-checks of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in 2016 GOP presidential race

    Blog

    What began as a battle between two Florida Republican politicians ended in a rout by New York billionaireDonald Trump Tuesday night when he slay the chance of any Floridian winning the GOP presidential nomination this year.

    Marco Rubio lost the Florida primary by a landslide and suspended his campaign March 15. Weeks earlier, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropped out after the South Carolina primary....