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Electoral College is no way to pick a president

Nelson proposes legislation to abolish Electoral College | June 14, story

End system that steals our votes Holy mackerel! One of the biggest legislative proposals, one of the best ideas, of my lifetime, "abolishing the Electoral College," and the Times buries it on page 5B of the Tampa Bay section?

This is something I have argued for, dreamed of, and prayed for, for more than 30 years. The Electoral College is a blight on the American system of government.

How many of us have ever voted for president? None of us. We vote for a name that is really a slate of electors we have never heard of and likely will never see. Under no law do they have any accountability to actually vote for anyone, regardless of their pledge.

But the real key is that in most states under this system a candidate can "win" any state's election by one vote and that candidate is entitled to 100 percent of that state's electoral votes. In other words, the millions of us who voted for the other candidate are discarded, just like so much garbage, by one "winner's" vote.

I want my vote to count, Senator Nelson, even if the "other guy" wins my state. This is not an election of 50 disjointed entities and the District of Columbia. It is of 50 united states and we should speak with one voice as to the person we want to lead all of us.

Richard Murphy, Clearwater Nelson proposes legislation to abolish Electoral College | June 14, story

Senator's move is partisan

Our Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is introducing a bill to change the U.S. Constitution and undo more than 200 years of history to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a popular vote.

Yes, in the midst of this contentious electoral season and just five months before what may be the most important election in our history, we are supposed to support this useless piece of legislation clearly designed to help his party win the presidency.

The folly of introducing that bill at this time is only exceeded by Nelson's foolhardy failure to address the energy needs of this country, his repeated opposition of American energy production, and the dangerous position he has put this nation in.

Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg

Nelson proposes legislation to abolish Electoral College | June 14, story

Let our voices be heard

This wonderful proposal by Sen. Bill Nelson is long overdue. The Electoral College is an antiquated system that does not represent the true voice of the people. That was clearly evident in the 2000 election when Al Gore won the popular vote.

In this crucial year when we the people will be voting for a new president, it is high time our voices are truly heard. I urge everyone to contact their congressmen and senators to get this passed in time for the November 2008 election.

Marianne Wilson, Clearwater

The Electoral College

Mess needs fixing

Our country tries to spread democracy everywhere, yet our absurd and antiquated Electoral College denies us our own. Four times, men who did not receive the popular vote were elected president, most sadly in 2000 when Al Gore lost the presidency to a man who had received fewer votes from the people.

Courageously, Sen. Nelson is trying to fix that mess and do away with the Electoral College before it all happens again. It is incumbent upon every thinking citizen to support his efforts and make us truly equal. To me, the game just isn't played right when the candidate with the most votes loses!

I would love to see the same principle applied to party primaries. The man or woman with the largest popular vote, no matter which state it came from, would be the party's candidate. Is that really too hard to comprehend or implement? I do not think so.

Adele Ida Walter, Tampa

Jeb back on the stump … just for schools June 15, story

Bush's efforts not needed

I find it ironic that, even in this election year, Jeb Bush is back to support two state constitutional amendments that would overturn court decisions against private-school vouchers.

With a state budget $6-billion less than a year ago and a most recent additional 4 percent held back due to slumping revenues, plus $891-million in educational cuts, could his timing be worse?

Instead of using taxpayer money to send children to private and religious schools, here are some ideas that would be in line with Bush's favorite philosophies of personal responsibility, limited government and privatization:

Parents who want a private or religious education should roll up their sleeves and take a second job. Don't depend on government. Better yet, have donors to Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education give low-cost loans to those seeking assistance. Even better yet, have the most well-heeled of foundation members pay for the private school education.

I doubt Bush would ever go for these ideas, given his obsession to channel taxpayer funds into private schools — a clear violation of our Constitution's separation of church and state.

Jeb Bush ought to go away and not come back. Our Constitution and our public educational system will be much better for it. And on the way out, he should take Amendments 7 and 9 with him.

John E. Walsh, Holiday

Black women fight AIDS | June 15, story

A matter of morality

It seems as if the "experts" are once again wringing their hands and trying to figure out why black women have such staggeringly high rates of HIV and AIDS. They bemoan the lack of access to health care, health counseling and education, poverty, and the need to "empower" black women.

May I be so bold as to suggest that maybe black women are contracting AIDS in such alarming numbers for the same reason that the out-of-wedlock birth rate among blacks is approaching 70 percent — lack of morality. In my opinion, the "sistas" don't need to "organize." They just need to keep their pants on!

Sharon Godfrey, Pinellas Park

The stuff of irony no more | June 10, story

Grateful for the chance

When I decided to stop using drugs in 1995, Barbara Rhode was one of the first counselors who helped start me on that journey. Today after more than 12 years drug-free, I owe a lot to her and others like her. I also had an employer who gave me a chance as well.

Ms. Rhode is a gifted counselor, and fortunate to have someone in her life who has foresight and patience. I, on the other hand, had the gift of desperation and a chance to change. Sometimes a note of thanks is long in coming, as the distance of perspective allows for a broader view.

Thank you, and that's not just for the article written but also for a chance given and an opportunity that was not wasted.

James "Chip" McMahan, St. Petersburg

Electoral College is no way to pick a president 06/17/08 [Last modified: Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:00pm]
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