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Behavior of Tallahassee lawmakers deserves out outrage

Absence of outrage | June 28, Perspective story

Lawmaker behavior deserves outrage

This article tells a story about a Republican Party and its legislative leadership that believes that what former Republican House Speaker Ray Sansom has done is okay.

Well, I for one believe that how the Republican legislators have been running Tallahassee is anything but okay.

A few days ago, the Democratic Party pointed out that Rep. Rich Glorioso, who is among those selected to investigate Rep. Sansom, has himself received money from Jay Odom. While that is not totally shocking, Glorioso said he's pretty sure that Sansom himself brought him the check from Odom's company. "I think it was Ray," Glorioso said. "He gave me a handful of checks. I'm sure that's where the check came from. Ray was going around to all of the candidates offering campaign contributions."

A handful of checks is apparently the price of a vote if you want to become the Republican speaker of the House.

It is time to hold the Republican Party and the Republican legislators accountable. As far as I know, not one penny of the $1 million-plus in donations from Jay Odom has been returned.

Not one Republican has come forward and said that they were even sorry that they voted to fund all of these misplaced projects. They have a myriad of excuses: The budget process is too complicated, term limits are a problem, we need the campaign contributions, lobbyists are our friends, etc.

I for one am outraged.

Ramsay McLauchlan, Madeira Beach

Absence of outrage | June 28, Perspective story

Our representatives are out of touch and uncaring

"Absence of outrage" on the part of our elected representatives regarding the Ray Sansom case is a classic example of what's wrong with our government. Elected representatives become so enamored of their own self-importance that they feel entitled to ignore the public good.

I know I am not the only constituent of Rep. Kevin Ambler who sent him a letter asking if he approved of the millions of tax dollars House Speaker Sansom had sent to his hometown college without a vote on that particular item.

The response from Rep. Ambler? No response. I'm sure he felt entitled to ignore his constituents, because he knows what's good for the taxpayers and we don't.

Intentional misrepresentation on the part of Sansom to disclose important information about the use of tax dollars flowing to his district is the essence of fraud.

Failure on the part of Ambler to ask for a public accounting is malfeasance. Instead he wants to kill the messenger.

The Times is right. They just "don't get it."

Gail Parsons, Odessa

Actual coverage is part of insurance June 28, Robyn Blumner column

Reform the system we have

I agree that our health care system is in need of changes, and I also agree that insurance companies often cancel insurance when a person is in desperate need with a health crisis.

I do not, however, believe that a government public option will be the end-all to the many problems of America's current health care.

With a public option and bureaucrats in charge of crafting a separate public health plan, administration of costs, treatment and coverage will need to be streamlined. The problem is streamlining and bigger government are fundamentally exclusive of each other.

Government should stop insurance and doctor fraud (this alone would curb millions of wasted dollars), give people tax credits to purchase their own health insurance, make health costs tax deductible, support and encourage state health departments, negotiate with big drug companies to subsidize prescriptions to bring down costs, and craft guidelines where insurance companies cannot cancel policies or exclude pre-existing conditions.

Government should work to create a more efficient health care system within the current framework, which will cause the needed reform.

Sonja Thompson, Safety Harbor

Actual coverage is part of insurance June 28, Robyn Blumner column

Go for government coverage

Republicans ask: "Do you want a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor?"

My answer is: "Hell, yes!" At the moment, HMO bureaucrats stand between me and my doctor. They limit my choice of doctors, clinics, labs and hospitals. These bureaucrats — not my doctors — decide what treatments I may have.

My government pays Medicare Advantage insurance companies about 16 percent more than traditional Medicare to allow them to be big spenders. They pay their CEOs obscene salaries and bonuses; they fill my mailbox with junk mail and take out full-page ads, trying to sell me on their virtues. Additionally, my government and charities pay for the health care of the many uninsured who crowd hospital emergency rooms because they cannot afford private health insurance.

A government-administered health system will not advertise or need to make a profit, or hire "experts" to deny me coverage. It can reallocate funds from HMOs and uninsured emergency-room care to insure all Americans. Therefore, give me government coverage, not corporate greed! It's a better deal and will free up hospital emergency rooms for real emergencies if I ever have one.

Howard Harris, Tampa

A formula for gridlock | June 28, editorial

Beware developers' deals

The last paragraph of your editorial pinpoints the real problems with growth management. First, developers do not, and will not, in good faith, conduct "quality negotiations" with those who would be most adversely affected by their plans.

Therefore, these citizens must have the political clout to block overreaching development: Gridlock is preferable to irresponsible growth.

Second, name me just one candidate who embraces growth management and responsible development and I'll vote for him or her.

Muriel Desloovere, St. Pete Beach

From a fluke meeting, a fine mentor June 28

An uplifting story

Thank you, Jeff Klinkenberg, for sharing the wonderful story of Jake and Bill. And congratulations to the St. Peterwsburg Times for printing it on the front page!

I was so touched by that article and the fact that it was on the front page that I told all of my family and friends. Thanks to that article, a couple of extra newspapers were purchased.

Please continue to share uplifting stories. It's so refreshing.

Kris Kirberger, Palm Harbor

Behavior of Tallahassee lawmakers deserves out outrage 07/04/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 5, 2009 1:35am]
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