NewsNationalDemocracy 2018


Fact-checking environmental claims in governors race

Posted at 6:52 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 14:13:43-04
FGCU students who are fact-checking candidates this election season say a Ron DeSantis claim is not entirely accurate. 
The students are taking a journalism class this fall and they’re working with professional journalists, upperclassmen, and students with the Lee County School District to vet what local candidates are saying. 
Fox 4 asked the students to look at a Ron DeSantis tweet that echoes a GOP talking point, claiming Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, has a “disastrous” track record with the environment. 
“When [the class was] researching stuff, they didn't see anything that qualified as disastrous, really,” class intern, Ross Mattia-Cooper says. “They thought, if anything, Desantis' environmental record was more disastrous than Gillum's was."
The tweet also says Gillum supported a coal power plant, which the class found, is partly true. 
The students point to a Tampa Bay Times articlethat says Gillum voted for a coal plant when he was a Tallahassee City Commissioner in 2005. The plant was never built, and Gillum eventually changed his mind on the project. 
The tweet, which compares the two candidates, also says DeSantis supports clean water, no offshore drilling, and restoring the Everglades. But according to his campaign website, Gillum also supports all of those things.