A chain email that we found to be ridiculously inaccurate touched off our single most read fact check of 2013. Even more readers clicked through our Ted Cruz file at PolitiFactTexas.com — a compilation of more than 20 fact checks of claims by the junior U.S. senator from Texas.
Yes, it was another fruitful year for PolitiFact Texas, the political fact-checking project of the American-Statesman now wrapping up our fourth year of handing out ratings from True to Pants on Fire.
Without further ado, here’s a look back at our 10 most popular fact checks of the year, based on online reader views. Read the full items online at PolitiFactTexas.com.
No. 10: Cruz claimed that the Democrats told the Catholic Church that they’ll use federal powers to shut down church charities and hospitals if the church doesn’t change its beliefs. That earned a Pants on Fire.
No. 9: Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said that 90 percent of Americans and 74 percent of National Rifle Association members support background checks of gun purchasers. We found polling data showing that was True.
No. 8: Gov. Rick Perry said Texas accounted for 33 percent of the nation’s net job gains over the decade. True, we concluded.
No. 7: Another Cruz statement — that jurisdictions with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime and murder rates. That was False.
No. 6: Our fact check from April 2012 was still getting top-10 clicks in 2013. It was our check of a chain email stating the U.S Department of Homeland Security was purchasing bullets perhaps in anticipation of civic unrest. That’s Mostly False.
No. 5: State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg’s declaration during spirited debate over abortion legislation that a Texas rape-testing kit is like the dilation and curettage procedure sometimes employed in abortions. We gave that a Pants on Fire.
No. 4: A Facebook post critical of Obamacare declared that Medicare Part D “was far more expensive than the Affordable Care Act and, unlike the ACA, was never budgeted.” That’s Mostly True.
No. 3: U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert declared that George Washington once said a free people should be armed to guard against government tyranny. That is False.
No. 2: Perry called abortion the nation’s second-most common surgical procedure. Pants on Fire!
No. 1: A chain email declared that 11 states have more people on welfare than working. No expert or data confirmed this claim. Pants on Fire!
That No. 1 fact check began with a reader urging us to look into the chain email, and we always like getting tips about factual claims that make you wonder: Is that true?
Now, what do you hear out there that just maybe we should verify? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.