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Katie Sanders, PunditFact Staff Writer

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders is a staff writer for PunditFact , a website founded by the Tampa Bay Times and Poynter Institute to fact-check talking heads. She previously reported on state politics and government for PolitiFact Florida from the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau and on breaking news for the Times in St. Petersburg. She earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and English from the University of Florida.

Phone: (727) 893-8037; cell: (850) 673-1511


Twitter: @KatieLSanders

Blog: Deal Divas

Website: PunditFact

  1. Fact-checking the Democratic debate


    Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded jabs over political identity and sharp policy differences Thursday in their first head-to-head debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

    They still ended the debate on good terms. "In our worst days, I think it is fair to say, we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate," Sanders said to close the debate.

    That's not for us to fact-check. But we did hear a number of statements by both candidates that needed clarification or were misleading....

    Democratic presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders shake hands during their MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire on Feb. 4, 2016, in Durham, New Hampshire. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
  2. Yes, Valentine's Day is coming up, and your boo needs those Cam Newton pants...


    But you can't buy those fyre graphic pants anymore. The $849 Versace pants sold out fast after Panthers QB Cam Newton wore them off the plane in San Francisco on Sunday before the Super Bowl.

    Newton told the NFL Network the pants had to do with the gravity of the occasion and a shortfall in his closet....

    Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton photobombs teammates Derek Anderson, Greg Olsen and Luke Kuechly after landing at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Sunday for Super Bowl 50. (TNS)
  3. Five tips for any Floridian heading into the freezing cold


    I've had the very fun opportunity this week of reporting on the presidential caucus craziness in Iowa for PolitiFact. Stationed in the capital of Des Moines, our three-person team has hit the (sometimes icy and very scary) road to see Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Carly Fiorina beg Iowa voters for their support in person.

    I wasn't nervous about any of that before the trip. But two words made me verrrry uneasy: "6 degrees."...

    Brave, brave girl braves the cruel, cruel outdoors of the Pizza Ranch parking lot without her hood. WHERE IS HER HOOD?
  4. Did you heart Kendall Jenner's trendy hair?


    It's a new year, and a lot of us are in deep on a bunch of ambitious new goals. We're reading more books, we're hunting for volunteer opportunities, and we're making time to journal our past so we better understand our future.

    But some things never change. Thousands of us are also trying to recreate something on Instagram posted by one of the Kardashian-Jenner women....

    Are you inspired? Perplexed?
  5. PolitiFact Florida's Top 10 fact-checks of 2015


    With several state residents in the presidential race, the fact-checkers at PolitiFact Florida kept busy in 2015.

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson all make an appearance in the year's most-read fact-checks....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio are competitors in the Republican presidential primary.
  6. 10 cheap but pretty looks you can still grab for New Year's Eve (under $35)


    A wise philosopher once said, "The cheaper the dress for New Year's Eve, the more expensive your bubbly."

    With high taste for champagne in mind, we've rounded up 10 options under $35 for any NYE outfit procrastinator (because the last-minute treatment doesn't just extend to Christmas gifts).

    If your party destination is chill, consider this embellished racerback tank from Express' clearance rack ($19.99, with extra 20% off at checkout). At Rent the Runway, this plus-sized option with shimmering florals and full black sleeves is $35 (and extra 20% off with code NYE20). Super classy....

  7. PolitiFact: Fact-checking the GOP presidential debate


    The Republican presidential candidates tangled over their approaches to defeating terrorism at home and abroad during the Las Vegas debate.

    Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul argued about the national security risks in each candidate's plan to fix the immigration system, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pushed back against Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban.

    Several statements missed the mark on accuracy....

    Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz on stage during the CNN republican presidential debate at The Venetian Las Vegas on Thursday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
  8. Eugenia Woods closing with a sale


    Sad news about local accessories shop Eugenia Woods: It's closing after five years.

    You may have seen the handpainted clutches and iPad cases of Eugenia Woods at Tampa Bay Fashion Week, indie markets, or a small space in the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.

    Owner and painter Rebekah (Eugenia) Lazaridis said her team is moving on to brighter adventures....

    The Eugenia Woods "meh" bags are anything but.
  9. My Outfit Monday: There's a hole in my heart, err, dress. Help?


    I snagged the snuggliest knit dress from Misred Outfitters ahead of the winter months. Loose but cinched at the waist, it worked well for a chill birthday party at my house, and then again today at work with maroon tights and boots (if it's under 70 degrees in the morning, it's boots for the day in my book. We have to be the December we want to see in the world.).

    Well, almost. There's this hole in the front, and the fault is all mine. Not even the cutest back buttons can hide my hole truth....

    Back to the positives: My cat-eye glasses. Thanks, Japan!
  10. I'm 4-5 seconds from buying the 'weather woman dress'


    A new #TheDress took the Internet by storm recently, but you may have missed the viral garment if your weather source is your phone and not local television.

    Slate has the story about why female TV meteorologists are snatching up the same dress from Amazon....

    The "weather woman dress" is pretty darn cute.
  11. A Chevy in Japan is indeed a rare sight. But why?



    Billionaire businessman Donald Trump's presidential campaign hinges on Americans who share Trump's assessment that the United States is losing all over the world.

    In Mexico, we're outsmarted on the border. In China, it's trade and currency manipulation. In the Middle East, it's the terrorist masterminds of ISIS.

    In Japan, we're losing at selling cars.

    "When did we beat Japan at anything?" Trump said in his campaign announcement speech back in June. "They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn't exist, folks. They beat us all the time."...

    A man drives an old but tricked-out Chevy Impala on the streets of Shibuya, a Tokyo neighborhood. American cars are a pretty rare novelty on Japanese roads.
  12. What it's like to sit through a fish pedicure


    I had the pleasure — no really, the pleasure — of trying out a fish pedicure during my recent reporting trip around Japan (dispatch No. 1 here, with reported stories to follow).

    I figured the price tag of 500 yen, or about $4, for five minutes would lend itself to a good story even if the experience of tiny fish swarming my feet and peeling dead skin left me hollow and shaken....

  13. Happy Halloween from Asia's fashion capital


    Quick bit of context: I'm in my first of three weeks in Japan today as part of a generous reporting opportunity from the International Center for Journalists. After conducting interviews this morning and afternoon, Times photographer Eve Edelheit and I set out to find Halloween in Tokyo. 

    When I told Junko, my Japanese translator, that I planned to check out whatever was happening in Tokyo for Halloween, she told me not to get too excited. Halloween "is not big here in Japan," she wrote by email a few weeks ago. The costume-loving country didn't embrace festive outfits and jack-o-lanterns like we do in America. ...

    Stores in the famous Ginza shopping district of Tokyo celebrate Halloween on Oct. 29, 2015. |
  14. PunditFact: Does Donald Trump's 'SNL' appearance trigger equal time for the Republican field?


    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will return to reality television, in a way, when he hosts Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7.

    You might be wondering, like we did, if the government's "equal time" rule means Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican presidential field will each get a shot at hosting the show.

    The answer, PunditFact found, is no. But candidates could score some free airtime in certain markets if they ask for it....

    Hillary Clinton, right, portrays Val the bartender serving herself, played by Kate McKinnon. NBC said Clinton appeared on SNL for three minutes and 12 seconds.
  15. Balmain X H&M hitting stores in November


    Just in time for your holiday party realness comes the fabulous collaboration between French fashion house Balmain and a favorite cheap house of Deal Divas, H&M.

    I couldn't picture what the clothes would look like when I read that Balmain's esthetic is "couture spirit and rooted in the moment, with a showbiz flair" in the press release. But in perusing the lookbook (h/t Elle), you start to get it. ...

    H&M's collaboration with Balmain is a sight for bored eyes. But will we ever afford it?