6:05 am
Wed July 17, 2013

PolitiFact: How Well Do Food Stamps Work?

KUT's Emily Donahue sat down with PolitiFact Texas' Gardner Selby to see if U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego's claim that 97 percent of stamps are properly distributed.
KUT News

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, recently said 97 percent of all food stamp benefits reach those in need – meaning the benefit program, which caters to those at or below the federal poverty level, has an error rate of only three percent.

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6:20 am
Wed July 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Is Abortion the Second Most Common Surgery?

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States. But is abortion even medically considered surgery?
KUT News

Last week, Gov. Rick Perry said on a radio program that abortion was the second most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.

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8:46 am
Wed July 3, 2013

PolitiFact: Do the Majority of Texans Support the Abortion Bill?

This week, KUT's Emily Donahue and The Austin American-Statesman's Gardner Selby discuss Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson's claim that the "majority" of Texans support Abortion regulation in Texas.
KUT News

As Lawmakers take up a abortion measure this week – we review comments made by State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson aboutabortion measure Senate Bill 5 after it died at midnight at the end of the last special session. 

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8:42 am
Thu June 27, 2013

PolitiFact: 'Pants on Fire' for Texas Rep's Rape Kit Claim

A Texas lawmaker said the evidence-collection kits are like the medical procedure known as dilation and curettage.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Do so-called rape kits in Texas include an internal surgical procedure similar to abortion? That’s what a Republican legislator recently  suggested in a House debate.

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5:43 am
Wed June 19, 2013

PolitiFact: Sure, Americans Invented Pong - But What About Space Invaders?

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz recently said an American invented one of the first videogames ever, Space Invaders. How will that claim stand up to the Truth-O-Meter?

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz recently praised American ingenuity at a college graduation in Michigan, saying “Americans were the first to walk on the moon. We invented ‘Pong,’ ‘Space Invaders’ and the iPhone.”

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5:32 am
Wed June 12, 2013

PolitiFact: How Democratic is Austin's Redistricting Council?

A city worker rolls the barrel with the names of commission contenders in late May.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

For the first time, the City of Austin is adopting an electoral system that will assign council members to specific geographic regions of the city. The process of creating those boundaries is, of course, political, and a Republican consultant claimed the first eight people chosen to draw new council districts are overwhelmingly Democrats.

Derek Ryan Tweeted, "Seven are D primary voters, only one has voted in an R primary." Is that true? Gardner Selby with the Austin American-Statesman's fact-checking project, PolitiFact Texas, came by to tell us what they found out. You can listen to our conversation with the player above and read the fact-check online.

5:45 am
Wed June 5, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Schools Offer $10,000 Degrees?

Gov. Perry said recently that 13 schools offer $10,000 degrees, but how does that rank on the Truth-O-Meter?

Since 2011, Governor Rick Perry challenged lawmakers to provide “a bold, Texas-style solution” to the challenge of affordable higher education: a $10,000 degree for Texas students.

In a recent press release challenging Texas schools to initiate the low-cost degree, Perry said that 13 schools in Texas already offer or are planning to offer such a degree.

We talked to Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas to check the accuracy of the claim. Listen to our conversation using the player above and read the fact check online.

5:22 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Politifact TX on KUT is Two Years Old! (And a Fact Check, Too)

KUT and PolitiFact celebrate 2 years of fact-checking and we examine a claim from Gov. Perry about Sam Houston.
KUT News

In today’s PolitiFact Texas segment, we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the partnership between KUT’s Emily Donahue and the Austin American-Statesman’s Gardner Selby!

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6:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Times Did Greg Abbott Sue the Federal Government?

This week, KUT's Emily Donahue and PolitiFact's Gardner Selby discover just how many times Greg Abbott has sued the Obama administration
KUT News

The Attorney General of Texas recently said he’s sued the Obama administration 25 times.

KUT's Emily Donahue checks that statement with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s Politifact Texas project.

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5:27 am
Wed May 8, 2013

PolitiFact: Rep Claims Global Warming Not a Problem

A state representative told The Austin American-Statesman last month that science has "not shown gases to be a problem."

Update: PolitiFact Texas received a barrage of emails accusing the fact-checkers of being misleading in their fact check of Rep. Wayne Smith.

Readers asserted that Rep. Smith’s claim was not untrue because there has yet to be a scientific consensus on the correlation of carbon emissions and climate change. Because the representative’s claim was not false, readers claim that labeling Smith with the “Pants on Fire” ranking and urge that PolitiFact Texas’s pants are aflame.

Original Post: A state representative recently claimed that science has yet to confirm that greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide, have a hazardous effect on the environment.

In an Austin American-Statesman article last month Rep. Wayne Smith of Baytown said that “science has not shown greenhouse gases to be a problem,” which caught the eye of Gardner Selby and the PolitiFact Texas fact checkers. Click the player above to hear our conversation about it. 

5:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

PolitiFact: Most State Employees Still Waiting for Raise

A state employee group says the state hasn't raised wages in years.
KUT News

As the legislative session comes to a close, no one knows yet if the next state budget will include across-the-board pay raises, but a workers groups claims state workers haven't seen a raise in years.

The Texas State Employees Union said on their website that most state workers haven't seen an uptick in wages since 2009.

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6:01 am
Wed April 24, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Texas School Days Are Lost from Tests?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently said Texas students miss 45 days in a given year from testing. How did this rate on the Truth-O-Meter?
KUT News

Some public school students are taking state mandated tests this week. Do Texas schools lose 45 days a year to that testing, as one politico claims?

KUT News' Emily Donahue discussed that question is the Austin American-Statesman’s political fact checker, Gardner Selby.

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5:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

PolitiFact: Americans Support Background Checks for Gun Buyers

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell recently claimed that the majority of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. Gardner Selby (l) tells us how that ranks on the Truth-O-Meter.
KUT News

While campaigning for background checks with gun purchases, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell referenced polls showing public support for the policy.

Mayor Leffingwell joined a press conference supporting background checks in March – and said 90 percent of Americans and 74 percent of National Rifle Association members support universal background checks.

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5:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Carbon Monoxide Still Used in Animals Shelters

This week PolitiFact's Gardner Selby and KUT's Emily Donahue checked into a claim made by State Senator Kirk Watson about euthanasia in Texas animal shelters.
KUT News

A Travis County state lawmaker says dogs and cats are still being euthanized by carbon monoxide poisoning.

KUT’s Emily Donahue checked that claim with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s Politifact Texas reporting project.

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5:45 am
Wed March 20, 2013

PolitiFact: Texas Has Highest Percentage of Uninsured

PolitiFact found that Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured, but not the highest number
KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is holding firm to his decision to rebuff any Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law. One lawmaker says expansion is necessary – because Texas has six million uninsured residents– and that makes the state No. 1 in the nation.

How true is that statement?

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8:20 am
Wed March 6, 2013

PolitiFact: Texas (Almost) Never Passed Redistricting

This week KUT's Emily Donahue and PolitiFact's Gardner Selby discuss Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer's claim that Texas has "never" passed a redistricting plan without a federal lawsuit.
KUT News

In this week’s PolitiFact Texas check-in, KUT’s Emily Donahue speaks with the Austin American-Statesman’s Gardner Selby about a comment by State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat from San Antonio and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

He was talking up the need for the United States Supreme Court to uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the civil rights legislation that originated in 1965. 

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Politifact Texas
5:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

PolitiFact: Austin Not the Biggest City Missing European Flights

Politifact's Gardner Selby and KUT's Emily Donahue discuss whether Austin is the largest city in the U.S. withou direct flights to Europe
KUT News

In this week’s Politifact: a fact check that started with a KUT News report.

Emily Donahue with KUT News spoke with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s PolitFact Texas team. It all started with a KUT News report on Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s push for non-stop flights from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Europe. We quoted Austin lawyer Pete Winstead, who said Austin is the biggest city in the country without a nonstop flight to a European capital.

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4:57 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Perry: Texas Education Spending Had 'Phenomenal' Growth

Gov. Rick Perry does not see the need to restore public education aid
KUT News

By the state’s own reckoning, Texas’ population increased four percent  increase from 2011 to 2013.  And Lawmakers cut education spending by more than $5 billion last session. But Gov. Rick Perry says education spending has outpaced statewide enrollment growth, and by a wide margin.

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5:15 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Does Texas Rank Last in Mental Health Spending?

Texans gather outside the Capitol for a rally in support of mental health funding.

Today President Obama is expected to release details of proposals from a gun violence task force convened in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

In the days following Sandy Hook, many experts and pundits spoke of the need for better mental health care and screening.

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2:43 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Spike That Email About Welfare and Work; Fact-Checkers Say It's Not True

If this arrives in your inbox, fact checkers advise just hitting delete.

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:58 pm

If you've gotten the "Death Spiral" email that's apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here's the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers:

It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.

The debunkers: both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

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