A champion for the law and for Floridians | May 22
A great man, lawyer and editor
As an investigative reporter for both the Miami Herald and WPLG-TV in Miami, they often said my stories weren’t edited. They were litigated. And the litigator for most of those years was Sandy D’Alemberte. As a libel and privacy expert, he helped both the newspaper and the TV station avoid lawsuits. He and I were the same age. I was a reporter for a total of 30 years, mostly in Miami. And I found great editors were extremely rare. Sandy was not only a great lawyer, he was a great editor. In all my stories he reviewed, he never kept any of them from being published or broadcast. “I know what you were trying to say in this part of your story,” he would tell me. “But this will get us sued. And we’ll lose. But if you’ll just change this phrase, I can defend the story and we’ll win.”
His influence in government and politics was immense. Sandy led the successful campaign to put cameras in Florida courtrooms. For many years, every nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court was asked during his/her committee testimony whether they would like to see Supreme Court oral arguments broadcast. The senator who asked the question had been prompted by Sandy to get that opinion on the record.
Sandy knew everybody. When we traveled together, it took a long time to check into a hotel. Sandy would know everybody in the lobby and would take time to chat. Nobody in my memory was as well-known, respected and loved. Now mourned.
Clarence Jones, Bradenton
Why Venezuela is a genocide | Letter, May 22
Let Venezuelans sort it out
Sen. Rick Scott blames the starvation of the Venezuelan people on President Nicolas Maduro while conveniently omitting our sanctions as a major cause of the problem. Our banking sanctions have helped to collapse their currency and our sanctions on the delivery of food and medicine contribute to the starvation. President Donald Trump, Sen. Scott and other hardliners are using starvation to cause a revolt of the Venezuelan people in order that the western oil companies may return to continue plundering Venezuela’s abundant natural resources. Our “humanitarian aid” was a stunt. To stop the starvation, Trump only has to remove the sanctions and allow the Venezuelan people to determine the fate of their country.
Bill Madden, Tampa
Wanted: Straight talk from D.C. | Editorial, May 22
Don’t expect honest answers
This editorial lamenting the fact that we’re not getting “straight talk” on so many important issues is very true and very concerning. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. Almost half of the Cabinet heads are “acting” replacements. So, pretty much nobody knows exactly what they’re doing. Add to that mess that the leader in charge has the temperament of a petulant child and it becomes obvious why we’re not getting straight answers.
Jeff Cutting, Brandon
Calling out abortion bans | May 22
Politicians as gynecologists
When it comes to climate change, too many politicians disavow it, claiming that they are not scientists. Yet when it comes to abortion and women’s rights, they all become gynecologists.
Sheldon Rosenfeld, New Port Richey