Clinton campaign, DNC funded work that led to Russia dossier | Oct. 25
Why the public distrusts Clinton
The Times has finally been forced by events to print something related to what may be an actual act of collusion in last year’s election: possible criminal ties between the Russians, the Clinton Foundation, Hillary and Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
This story centers on how the Kremlin ultimately gained control of 20 percent of America’s uranium in the sale seven years ago of Uranium One, a Canadian mining company, to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. This was accomplished through a process that included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many others in the Obama administration.
In fact, people involved in the Uranium One sale were investigated by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department for possible racketeering and bribery charges. But then it was essentially shelved by the FBI, according to a report last week by the Hill and other national media but ignored by the Times.
At least the Times finally has published something. It picked up a Washington Post report that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid millions of dollars to Fusion GPS to produce much of the so-called Trump dossier.
This Fusion GPS report alleged possible coordination between the Russians and President Donald Trump’s campaign last year. These allegations remain unproven despite a media frenzy and millions of dollars spent on congressional investigations prompted by Democrats.
Fusion GPS is a Washington, D.C., firm that has been used in the past by the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin to influence congressional efforts to sanction Russia. The Washington Post reported that the Clinton campaign and DNC paid Fusion GPS to use foreign investigators to create the Trump dossier.
Russian attempts to influence the Uranium One deal included some $145 million "donated" to the Clinton Foundation, a $500,000 speech by former President Clinton and stock or other corporate benefits from Russian-controlled interests to former Clinton campaign director John Podesta and his brother and, in a related role, Paul Manafort, who briefly managed the Trump campaign.
In fact, Real Clear Politics reported Tuesday that "the Podesta brothers and Paul Manafort are the ‘central figures’ in (special prosecutor) Robert Mueller’s investigation, not President Trump."
The real irony here is that the media, including the Times, has been almost hysterical about things like the Russians spending $100,000 on Facebook ads instead of focusing on the dangers of Russian control of one-fifth of America’s uranium, which, by the way, can be used to create nuclear weapons that can kill countless millions of people.
No wonder polls going into last year’s election showed that at least two-thirds of the American people distrusted Hillary Clinton.
Maybe it’s finally time for the media to join the rest of us and also develop some healthy skepticism.
Mike Kersmarki, Tampa
WEDU picks up some PBS programs | Oct. 20
Nearly all shows picked up
The story heading "WEDU picks up some PBS programs" is misleading. As a board member of WEDU who has been involved in the transition process as WUSF ended its TV service, allow me to clarify. WEDU is picking up about 96 percent of WUSF-TV’s programs. WUSF had a small amount of locally produced programming that we don’t have access to, but virtually everything else is being absorbed by WEDU at a significant cost to the station.
This was done as a community service to preserve the quality of public broadcasting in our marketplace. WEDU has endeavored to assure that the viewing public would not lose any programming when WUSF went dark. The University of South Florida was extremely helpful throughout the transition. The successful result was not a simple or inexpensive task, and through the great community support of WEDU, we were able to put together the necessary funding (we still are seeking more) and logistics to make this happen.
WEDU is dedicated to its nonprofit mission to provide high-quality educational programs and services to the 5 million people who live in west-central Florida.
Alan C. Bomstein, Clearwater
Report: President to fund aides’ defense Oct. 22
Looks like hush money
I was incredulous after reading of President Donald Trump’s payment of $480,000 out of his personal funds toward legal fees incurred by White House and campaign staff who are being interviewed by the Robert Mueller investigators. How can this be anything other than hush money, when Trump is a subject of the investigation?
Trump has been allowed to trample ethical boundaries as he lines his private pocket with decisions he makes as president. Now he pushes the envelope as a potential target of possible charges by using personal wealth to "help" people who may have information relevant to his misdeeds.
Gary Bullock, Palm Harbor
Rubio and Bilirakis owe voters answers on drug law | Oct. 22, editorial
Career politicians to blame
This editorial is a leading exhibit on why the American people need to "drain the swamp" that is Washington, D.C. Your editorial staff did an excellent job framing the issue. The career politicians and revolving-door policy in Washington no longer serve the needs of the people. The American people took the first step in November and did not elect a career politician as president. I am glad to see the mainstream press climbing on board.
Steve McCarver, Dunedin
Businesses need relief | Oct. 24, letter
Benefits flow to the well-off
Multiple analyses of the current proposed tax reform provide nowhere near this letter’s $4,248 savings on a Florida median household income. Most legitimate analysts give a range of just $60 to $1,600 a year for median earners. The majority of tax breaks will go to large companies and the wealthy.
Lynn Harvey, Odessa