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

Email: ksanders@tampabay.com

Twitter: @KatieLSanders

Blog: Deal Divas

Website: PunditFact

  1. No truth to Michele Bachmann meme about Fort Hood shootings

    National

    The statement

    Says Rep. Michele Bachmann said President Barack Obama might be to blame for the Fort Hood shootings.

    Facebook meme, April 2

    The ruling

    U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is no fan of President Barack Obama. In recent weeks, like most weeks, she skewered his administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, the IRS scrutiny of tea party groups and the health care law....

  2. Rent the Runway: Temporary glamour at a realistic price

    Blog

    My group trip to Vegas was months in the works, giving me plenty of time to shop for good deals on going-out dresses. Even better, I got a complimentary checked bag on the flight there, so I arrived with a roller stuffed with seven dresses. I wanted to be prepared for anything.

    This isn't the story of how my final-sale finds from Piperlime and Express served me well in Sin City. It's about how I abandoned them for the allure of temporary designer glamour and have zero regrets....

    CLICK FOR SLIDE SHOW | Oh, this dress? NBD, it's just a $1,000 Badgley Mischka dress (that I rented for $30).
  3. Today's question: You found $200. Do you splurge?

    Blog

    A hypothetical money pile is on the ground. It didn't fall out of anyone's wallet. There's no one frantically searching for it in the park who is likely to say "bless your heart" for returning it.

    It just appeared. For you. Now are you going to splurge on something or what?

    I started thinking about this question when I spied a gorgeous rose gold Michael Kors watch with a cobalt blue face for $195. I would never buy a watch for that price. One, I don't wear watches. And two, the colors are trendy now but bound to go out of style, making it hard to write off as a classic buy I will have forever (not that we do that, no, never)....

    This is a clutch made to look like a newspaper by Kate Spade, and it's rare and expensive and Deal Diva Keeley wants it.
  4. PunditFact: Medicare really does spend millions on penis pumps

    National

    The statement

    "Medicare has spent $172 million on penis pumps in the last five years at $360 a pop."

    Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, March 12 on The Daily Show

    The ruling

    "Vacuum erection systems" (that's a more technical term) are one of several ways a man might treat erectile dysfunction, which affects 30 million men, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse....

  5. Wednesdays only: Save 25 percent at The Trunk Stylists

    Blog

    Here's a deal for fans of Central Avenue boutique shopping: Save 25 percent off your purchase of regular priced items at The Trunk Stylists every Wednesday through the end of April.

    The deal is meant for people who receive the store's email blasts, so bring your phone or print out your email with the details.

    Don't get emails from The Trunk? Owner Dustin Pentz tells us he'll give you the discount if you sign up for their emails at checkout. On a Wednesday, remember....

    They have some men's stuff too, like these hipster dog socks.
  6. Let's talk about the alleged hair trend of 2014: the tuck

    Blog

    My friend Jessica and I were deep in conversation over brews on Sunday, a really gorgeous day except for the wind that kept whipping our hair across our faces. 

    Lacking a hair tie, Jessica secured her long hair under the strap of her sundress ("Is this weird?" "No, do it!"). I copied, thinking it a bright and practical idea, and pulled mine inside my puffy dress collar.

    At the time I was not thinking, I am so high fashion right now. ...

    Reader Ileana Morales, who writes for the Times' cooking section, tipped me off to the hair tuck trend AND sent me pre- and post-tuck pictures for the post.
  7. Gear up for St. Patrick's Day

    Blog

    You have two weeks to outfit yourself for St. Patrick's Day. Are you short on green?

    Yes, by that I mean green outfits and dollars. No worries! Here's a starting point.

    Modcloth's "treat of the week" sale is on a bunch of cute green wear (and home decor, though it probably won't help you avoid pinches around town). Save 15 percent on all of this green stuff with code GREEN15. Shades stretch from basically blue to trendy mint to traditional emerald. The offer expires at 6 p.m. PT. TONIGHT....

    I found this French Connection dress on clearance at the Dillard's in Clearwater's Westfield Countryside mall over the weekend. For those who crave all of the sequins, here you go. (Forgot to get the price, sorry!)
  8. My Outfit Monday: Wardrobe staples with touches of pizzazz

    Blog

    Happy Oscars Monday, possibly the Mondayest Monday of the year!

    We stayed up to watch the whole ceremony, including that adorable and relatable moment when Brad Pitt and Harvey Weinstein threw the equivalent of our life savings into Pharrell's Arby's hat -- for their share of delivery pizza. Now we're back at our desks, the opposite of bright-eyed and wealthy and glamorous.

    No surprise here, I feel blergh. To keep things simple this morning, I stuck to the basics. At first I agonized about the lack of adventure, but now I'm thinking it's better we have an honest conversation about closet essentials and how to brighten them (and not, say, to dwell over my dead celly, which contained pictures of cuter outfits I've tried out these last few weeks)....

    Here I am, just casually sipping from an empty coffee thermos in front of the newspaper building.
  9. PunditFact: Do 71 percent of Obama voters regret voting for him in 2012? Nope

    National

    For President Barack Obama's opponents, word of his latest downfall was stunning and welcome.

    Headlines and tweets all said just about the same eyebrow-raising thing: "Poll: 71% of Obama supporters 'regret' voting for his reelection."

    The purported statistic from a YouGov.com poll was the focus of a Washington Examiner post last week that spread quickly through conservative blogs, social media, radio and online forums. Tweets about the news by big guns like Fox & Friends and various accounts with smaller reach were hard to miss....

    In a YouGov.com poll, 10 percent of Obama voters said they wouldn’t do it again.
  10. Our BFFs Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir take on Oscar red carpet

    Blog

    We didn't need another reason to watch and tweet about the Oscars this Sunday, but this one will do just fine.

    What I'm really trying to say is Squeeeeee! Fresh off the plane from Sochi, America's fiercest color commentary duo, figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, are bringing their chemistry to the red carpet for Access Hollywood on NBC....

    From Russia to the red carpet, with love.
  11. PunditFact: Claim that raising federal minimum wage will cost 500,000 jobs is false

    National

    The statement

    A Congressional Budget Office report says President Barack Obama's executive order to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers "will cost the economy 500,000 jobs."

    Kai Ryssdal, host of NPR's Marketplace, on Tuesday

    The ruling

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office re-entered the spotlight last week with a report that offered a little something for everyone on the effects of raising the federal minimum wage....

  12. Bring old jeans to J. Crew, save 15%

    Blog

    Here's some good news about your busted jeans.

    When your hems turn ratty and your belt loops bust open, you don't have to throw your jeans away or live with them. Now through March 3, take them to J. Crew at International Plaza.

    The store will take 15 percent off your purchase and send them on to a good cause.

    J. Crew is partnering with Blue Jeans Go Green, an organization that recycles jeans into a special kind of insulation. Denim collected by Blue Jeans Go Green has been sent to Habitat for Humanity groups. Here's a FAQ for more info about the process....

    Part ways with your old jeans and allow them to insulate someone's house.
  13. PunditFact: Claim that Keystone pipeline would provide 35 permanent jobs is true

    Energy

    The statement

    The Keystone pipeline creates "35 permanent jobs" after construction, according to a government report.

    Van Jones, Feb. 3 on CNN's Crossfire

    The ruling

    The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would stretch 875 miles from Western Canada to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with existing pipelines and usher up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day to refineries on the Gulf Coast....

  14. Ways to save this week

    Blog

    Let's shave our shopping bills, shall we?

    * At Ann Taylor LOFT, save 60 percent off of sale styles (like this beaded sequin tee) and 40 percent off of regular styles. Use the code BEMINE in stores and online.

    * Sunshine Thrift's Tampa location is offering 50 percent off all clothing on Thursday. Present the coupon on your phone or with a print-out. (St. Peoples, your coupon comes next week, Sunshine says.) To get the coupon, like Sunshine's Facebook page or sign up for special offers here....

    Take an extra 60% off this blouse from Loft.
  15. George Will makes faulty claims about Pinellas election

    Elections

    It's no secret the March 11 special election to replace late Rep. C.W. Bill Young commands an audience far broader than Pinellas County.

    National politicians and pundits are closely watching what happens in Florida's 13th Congressional District, including well-known conservative columnist George Will.

    Will examined the dynamics of the race in a Washington Post column Thursday....