Steve Contorno, Times Staff Writer

Steve Contorno

Steve Contorno is a staff writer for PolitiFact in the Tampa Bay Times Washington, D.C., bureau. He previously covered Congress and Virginia politics for the Washington Examiner as well as state and local governments in Wisconsin for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Steve graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism and a minor in political science, and holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield, where he covered the Illinois legislature for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Phone: (202) 463-0575

Email: scontorno@tampabay.com

The Contorno file: PolitiFact.com

Twitter: @scontorno

  1. PolitiFact reviews Americans for Prosperity's history, backers

    National

    If you don't know who the Koch brothers are — and the latest survey says half of you probably don't — get ready to hear their names a lot this election season.

    David and Charles Koch are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan., parent company of several manufacturers and energy companies, like papermaker Georgia-Pacific and refinery Flint Hill Resources.

    They also like politics: Their financial backing helped found Americans for Prosperity, a group that has spent millions on ads this election cycle in battleground races like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina to help Republicans win the Senate....

    Charles Koch
  2. PolitiFact: Is healthcare.gov working 'great' now

    Health

    With a March 31 deadline fast approaching to purchase health insurance or risk a penalty, the White House is engaged in a media blitz encouraging people to check out healthcare.gov.

    " Healthcare.gov works great now," President Barack Obama said this week during a video appearance on comedian Zach Galifianakis' faux talk show Between Two Ferns....

    This image from the video shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on the faux talk show Between Two Ferns. Obama’s appearance was posted Tuesday on the comic website Funny or Die.
  3. PolitiFact: Sorting out the truth of attack ad on Alex Sink and Obamacare

    State Roundup

    A new ad from national Republicans in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young features something old, something new, something borrowed, but not much that is true.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee unveiled the TV ad Wednesday — a 30-second attack on Democrat Alex Sink's support of President Barack Obama's health care law.

    "Alex Sink's loyalty is to them, not Florida. Why else would she continue to support Obamacare?" the ad says, while flashing a picture of Sink, Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "Three hundred thousand Floridians will lose their current health plans, $700 billion cut from Medicare for seniors. And now nonpartisan government analysts say Obamacare will cost our economy up to 2.5 million jobs."...

    Democratic candidate for U.S. House Alex Sink is attacked in a Republican TV ad about Obamacare.
  4. Obama has signed 168 executive orders, not 1,000+

    National

    The statement

    President Barack Obama has issued upward of 1,000 executive orders, more than any modern president.

    Chain email

    The ruling

    The tradition of executive orders dates back to our first president, George Washington, though it was used sparingly through the first 100 years of the union.

    Executive orders are official actions taken by the president directing the federal government and bureaucracies. They carry the power of law, but can be revoked or amended by future administrations and are limited in scope. For example, Obama cannot use executive orders to raise the minimum wage for the entire country, but he can (and plans to) raise the minimum wage for workers hired under new federal contracts to $10.10 an hour....

  5. Reader poll results for PolitiFact's Lie of the Year

    National

    PolitiFact offered readers 10 finalists for the Lie of the Year for 2013. It's the fifth year in a row we've asked readers to weigh in via an online poll. We received 14,278 votes this year, a record turnout.

    First place among readers overwhelmingly went to President Barack Obama, for his repeated statement, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."

    Here are the full results:...

  6. PolitiFact: Too simplistic to say 500,000 signed up for Obamacare

    State Roundup

    A lot of numbers were thrown at us when the White House finally announced Nov. 13 how many individuals had signed up for health care coverage through online marketplaces. The general consensus, including from many Democrats, is that the early returns were underwhelming.

    Still, there was a lot of confusion. How many successfully navigated through the error-laden federal marketplace website? Who actually purchased coverage? Where does Medicaid fit into all of this?...

  7. PolitiFact: Statistics show per capita GDP is at its highest rate ever

    National

    The statement

    The United States "has never been richer, if you look at per capita GDP."

    U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Nov. 12 in an interview on MSNBC

    The ruling

    As congressional Democrats and Republicans sit down for high-stakes budget talks, the rhetoric has flown furiously to familiar territory. Republicans want cuts and reforms to entitlement programs, while Democrats insist that revenue must be on the table, too....

    U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, center, is making the case for revenue in the current budget talks by noting that per capita gross domestic product in the country is at its highest level ever.