Politifact

Does West Virginia rank in the Top Quarter of States for Education Spending?

May 22, 2019
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the April 5 thread, the party made the case that “West Virginia’s education system is not successfully serving our students. Comprehensive education reform will ensure students have what they need to succeed, parents have the freedom to decide the best education path for their children, and we invest in good teachers.”

Do More Than 20 Veterans Die by Suicide Every Day?

May 2, 2019
AP Photo

Do 20 veterans die every day by suicide? Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., cited that figure in a recent press release that accompanied a veterans mental health and suicide prevention bill he introduced.

Have exports from West Virginia risen faster than the U.S. as a whole?

Apr 25, 2019
AP Photo

Have West Virginia exports been on fire recently? A tweet by the West Virginia Republican Party suggests so.

In an April 2 tweet, the state party said, "West Virginia’s exports increased for the second year in a row in 2018, reaching $8.1 billion. Additionally, West Virginia’s export growth rate was 14.2%, nearly double the national average of 7.6%."

Is Joe Manchin the only senator to consistently vote against the nuclear option?

Apr 25, 2019
AP Photo

For decades, majority leaders in the U.S. Senate have threatened to use the "nuclear option" to change senators’ ability to filibuster, a maneuver that blocks bills from coming to a vote unless a supermajority of the chamber votes to proceed.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one member of the body who has fought to protect the status quo.

Fact-check: Did States with Campus-carry Laws See Enrollment Drop?

Apr 19, 2019
Jesse Wright / WVPB file photo

During their most recent legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers took up a bill that would require colleges in the state to allow students to carry guns on campus as long as they possess a concealed carry permit.

The bill ultimately passed the House, largely on party lines, before falling in the Senate.

Did States with Charter Schools Cluster Below W.Va. in ACT Scores?

Apr 8, 2019
An ACT Assessment test in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman / AP file photo

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Romano, a Democrat, recently took a swipe at charter schools.

A Feb. 2 tweet by the West Virginia Senate Democrats quoted Romano criticizing a low ranking for the state in a report published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group. Romano sought to turn the tables by offering a more favorable ranking for West Virginia -- the state’s test scores for the ACT, a major college entrance exam -- and by taking a shot at charter schools, which West Virginia doesn’t allow.

How Many Oil and Gas Jobs Are There in W.Va.? It’s Surprisingly Hard to Say

Apr 8, 2019
Natural gas pipe for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline sits in a yard Feb. 27, 2019, near Morgantown, W.Va.
Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Del. Joshua Higginbotham, a Republican, touted the number of jobs created by the gas and oil industry in West Virginia during a Jan. 23 interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“Tens of thousands of jobs (are) created in West Virginia by the natural gas and oil industries,” Higginbotham said.

Have that many jobs been created by the industry within West Virginia? The answer is more complicated than we initially expected -- so much so that we’re not providing a Truth-O-Meter rating for his statement. Instead, we’ll look at a few different ways of measuring this statistic, each of which have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Viral video alleging a Muslim 'sharia zone' in West Virginia is Pants on Fire

Apr 2, 2019

A still image from a viral video alleging that new housing was being built for hundreds of Muslim refugees from Syria.

West Virginia went viral recently on social media. But the video post that attracted national attention was chock full of questionable claims.

Is Jim Justice right about a record surplus in 2019?

Mar 8, 2019

Shortly before the start of the 2019 legislative session, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice touted the state’s improved budget position for the 2019 fiscal year.

In a tweet sent on Jan. 8, Justice wrote, "Another month of record-breaking revenue numbers! For December, we had a $44.8 million surplus. Year-to-date we are $185.9 million above estimates. This is the largest cumulative surplus for the first six months of any fiscal year in state history!"

Did opioid overdose deaths in West Virginia fall by 8.5%?

Feb 27, 2019
AP

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., offered a note of optimism about her state’s struggle with opioid addiction in a Jan. 22 tweet.

Capito tweeted, "Thanks to successful federal, state, and local efforts, preliminary statistics show opioid overdose deaths are down 8.5% in West Virginia. Awesome news!"

Is this statistic correct? Capito’s office did not respond to several inquiries, but we were able to find data that addresses the question.

Did Obamacare premiums rise 160 percent in West Virginia in four years?

Feb 8, 2019
AP Photo

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, recently took to Facebook to criticize the Affordable Care Act, the landmark law also known as Obamacare. Morrisey is seeking to overturn the law through a suit filed by a number of Republican attorneys general.

Shelley Moore Capito Mostly Right about Recent GDP Growth, Unemployment

Feb 5, 2019
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., checks out the stage before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster / AP file photo

In a recent op-ed, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., wrote that the economic environment in West Virginia -- and the United States as a whole -- is the healthiest it’s been in years.

In the op-ed, published Jan. 3 in the Daily Mail WV, Capito wrote that "the American economy had quite a year. In fact, our economy is growing at its fastest pace in nearly four years. Unemployment is at an all-time low."

Has Unemployment Not Fallen under Gov. Jim Justice?

Feb 5, 2019
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Unemployment has fallen across the country in recent years. But the West Virginia Democratic Party said in a recent tweet that it hasn’t fallen on Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s watch.

In a Jan. 9 tweet, the state party wrote, "FACT: Unemployment rate has not decreased since @WVGovernor took office. #wvpol #WVSOTS19"

Is Donald Trump's approval rating highest of all in West Virginia?

Jan 29, 2019
AP Photo

During a recent interview with Bloomberg television, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was asked about how his constituents feel about the government shutdown and the immigration policy dispute that caused it.

Fact-Checking Jim Justice's State of the State Address

Jan 9, 2019
Gov. Jim Justice, R. W.Va., delivers his annual State of the State speech on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

Gov. Jim Justice delivered his third State of the State address tonight, proposing the elimination of a state tax on Social Security benefits, a 5 percent pay raise for state employees including teachers, and millions of dollars more for substance abuse and other social services.

PolitiFact West Virginia’s State of the State 2019

Jan 8, 2019
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks at a Salute to Service charity dinner in conjunction with the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Chris Jackson / Associated Press

As Gov. Jim Justice prepares to deliver his State of the State address on Wednesday, PolitiFact West Virginia thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at the state of the state as seen through our recent fact-checks.

Fact-check: Did West Virginia Rank 50th in Household Income in 2017?

Jan 2, 2019
David Goldman / AP Photo

In a Nov. 8 op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Mike Romano, a Democratic West Virginia state senator, said West Virginia’s median household income was nearly $17,000 below the national average.

“In 2017, West Virginia’s $43,469 median household income was $16,867 below the national average, ranking 50th, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” Romano wrote.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's rally in Huntington, W.Va.

Nov 3, 2018
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Nov. 2, 2018, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / AP Photo

Donald Trump continued his cross-country politicking on Nov. 2, just days before the midterm elections, with a stop in Huntington, W.Va., where he supported Patrick Morrisey, the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

Trump used the podium to attack Democrats who he accused of being soft on illegal immigration, while also touting some of the positive economic achievements on his administration’s watch.

Here’s a rundown of a few of the statements Trump made at the rally.

Fact-checking Patrick Morrisey on positions held by Joe Manchin

Oct 5, 2018
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

In his battle to unseat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Republican state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is working hard to paint Manchin as a captive of his party even though West Virginia voters strongly back President Donald Trump.

Is West Virginia's Summersville Lake the clearest in the East?

Sep 24, 2018
Jarek Tuszynski, Creative Commons

Does West Virginia have the clearest freshwater lake east of the Mississippi River? Gov. Jim Justice said so in a tweet.

In the Aug. 17 tweet, Justice said, "According to SCUBA divers, Summersville Lake is clearest freshwater lake east of the Mississippi River. This led to earning its name as ‘The Little Bahamas of the East.’ Check it out for yourself today!" (SCUBA is capitalized because it is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.)

John Raby / AP

In his quest to win a U.S. Senate seat, Republican candidate Patrick Morrisey is touting a legal accomplishment that he said aided the state’s coal industry.

television ad by Morrisey says, among other things, that Morrisey "beat (President Barack) Obama at the Supreme Court, saving coal jobs." (An earlier ad made a similar claim as well.)

Is that correct? We took a closer look.

West Virginia GOP Largely Accurate About Food Stamp Decline

Aug 28, 2018
In this Monday, March 27, 2017 photo Sunny Larson, left, and Zak McCutcheon pick produce while gathering provisions to take home at the Augusta Food Bank in Augusta, Maine.
AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty

In a recent tweet, the West Virginia Republican Party praised President Donald Trump for his role in reducing the number of Americans who rely on food stamps.

"Thanks to President Trump and Republican leadership, the number of people collecting food stamps has declined by more than two million. Our economy is (in) recovery and more jobs are available! #WVGOP," the party tweeted Aug. 1.

Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Rally in Charleston, W.Va.

Aug 21, 2018
President Donald Trump at his Charleston, W.Va., campaign rally on Aug. 21, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just hours after courtroom setbacks for two once-close allies, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump held a rally in Charleston, W.Va., a state he won by 42 points in the 2016 election.

Trump’s remarks, lasting about an hour and 15 minutes, did not directly address Manafort, who was found guilty by a federal jury in Virginia, and Cohen, who pled guilty to charges in a New York courtroom.

Instead, his speech covered a range of topics he frequently brings up, including his administration’s economic accomplishments, immigration and the military.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley region has disproportionately high numbers of seniors and people living with disabilities and on low incomes -- those are all groups that frequently depend on public transit. Without transit, older people lose independence, and reaching a doctor or workplace becomes much harder. 

A new report finds that demand for transit in rural areas is climbing faster than in cities. But as Becca Schimmel reports, spending on rural transit is not keeping pace with demand.

Trump
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

President Donald Trump's continued cries of "fake news" come at a time when his approval rating hovers just below 40 percent nationwide. Still yet, his supporters remain vigilant and carry with them a strong distrust in the news media. But, it's not just Trump supporters losing faith in the news media -- Gallup polling shows trust in the media is down across party lines and other demographics. With that in mind, PolitiFact -- known best for its fact-checking ratings system The Truth-o-Meter -- is looking to dive right in to the places that supported Trump the most and foster a conversation.