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Florida Democrats deserve a primary penalty

Democratic delegates

Florida deserves a primary penalty

As a retired teacher, I am very concerned about the message we are sending to our young people. We tell them that there are consequences for their actions, but they watch as we do something completely different.

The state of Florida did not follow the rules and now wants to act as if it has been mistreated. We wonder why young people do not listen when we say things. It is because they watch not what we say, but what we do.

Florida should not be treated as if nothing happened and no rules were broken. In an election or in life generally, if you break the rules there are consequences. Whatever solution the Democratic National Committee comes up with, there should be some penalty.

LaTreetha E. Sharpley, Spring Hill

Misdirected blame

Am I the only voter who wonders why we are upset with the Democratic National Committee and not those individuals in the state of Florida who decided to change the state's primary voting date? The voters didn't make the change, the delegates didn't make the change, our elected officials did.

Why aren't they the ones we are seeking answers from? Aren't they the ones who caused this mess, not the national party? Shouldn't they answer to the voters?

It feels as though we are pointing fingers at the wrong individuals responsible for this mess.

Lynn Friedman, Pinellas Park

Half votes may break Florida delegate impasse | May 28, story

We should seat the

Florida delegation

Half a vote? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say that Florida voters should be counted as three-fifths of a whole person? The Democratic National Committee should be very careful about their decision to tell Florida that they're not going to count our votes. They may not have to count them in November if they continue to not count them now.

This mess was allowed to develop because all parties assumed that a nominee would be decided on Feb. 5 and then that nominee would become the party leader and seat the Florida and Michigan delegations. By going early, Florida would have the chance to influence the results of Super Tuesday. In 2004, John Kerry secured the nomination a month before Florida voted, so being told that our vote was only going to be symbolic was nothing new. How symbolic it has become is the bigger surprise.

The DNC should seat the Florida delegation. To say that people stayed home because the primary didn't count is disproved by our record turnout. To say that the candidates didn't campaign ignores the fact that Barack Obama saturated Florida with TV ads for the two weeks before the primary, and the media gave heavy coverage of the Kennedy endorsements of Obama the day before the primary. Hillary Clinton actually honored her "no campaign" pledge and still won easily.

The DNC needs to think of what is best for the country, the party and the future and seat Florida's delegation.

Paul Starr, Treasure Island

U.S. should help secure Mexico | May 28, editorial

An idiotic idea

That we could help Mexico fight drugs is ludicrous when our own drug program is a total failure. Mexico has a totally corrupt and nonfunctional government. They seem unable to govern at any level.

The fact that much of Mexico has relocated to the United States by simply strolling across our border is proof that neither government intends to close the border to smugglers. A snapshot of our drug efforts occurred when U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton gave immunity to a known drug-smuggler and imprisoned two Border Patrol officers for shooting at him!

That $1.4-billion sent to Mexico would go straight into the pockets of the drug lords to fight our Border Patrol. Whoever came up with this idea should be transferred to the lawn crew at the White House.

Lynn O'Keefe, Largo

U.S. should help secure Mexico | May 28, editorial

Who will pay?

Where is the $1.4-billion dollars to come from? We have borrowed money from China, Mexico, and who knows how many other countries.

The government has curtailed our education system, libraries, the fire and police forces, and the government is borrowing from the Social Security fund. Now you want us to send Mexico all that money?

Will we get it by printing money and causing this country to go into a depression?

Eleanor Nassau, Sun City Center

U.S. should help secure Mexico | May 28

We create the demand

Pardon me, but isn't all this violence in Mexico caused by the insatiable demand for illegal drugs by immature, irresponsible, self-indulgent Americans? Our domestic "war on drugs" is confined to people who can't afford a high-priced lawyer. Poor junkies and low level dealers go to jail. Rich junkies go on Oprah and write a book about their "heroic battle with drugs."

I will be impressed with the "war on drugs" when I see a SWAT team raid a mansion or penthouse and drag out a bunch of rich, prominent citizens with their little silver spoons stuck up their noses.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

Best friend gets 4 years for DUI fatality

May 24, story

Sentence disparities

While I do not question the justice of the sentence given in the case of Jessica Rasdall, I do question the fairness and consistency of a criminal justice system that sends Rasdall to state prison for four years while giving Nick Bollea only eight months in the Pinellas County Jail. To my way of thinking Rasdall is far more deserving of the lenient deal given to Bollea — but of course she has the misfortune of not being the child of a celebrity.

Since the tragic accident in which she was responsible for the death of her best friend, Rasdall has become an invaluable community resource, educating young people on the dangers of drunken driving and crusading for laws against serving alcohol to minors. Meanwhile Bollea whines like a child about the uncomfortable conditions of his incarceration. Though I have worked as an advocate for juvenile rights, I have little sympathy for this pampered celebrity brat who now has to face the consequences of his actions and has the ill grace to complain.

The least Bollea can do in exchange for the mercy he has been shown is to display as much backbone as this college woman who is about to do some genuine hard time.

John Feeney, Tampa

Too much bullfighting

Why does the St. Petersburg Times feel it is necessary to remind us of one of the most barbaric displays of animal cruelty with two pictures of bullfighting in less than a week? We've seen a horse being gored and a bull with his back half-covered in blood. This is news?

Michael Bradley, Brooksville

Florida Democrats deserve a primary penalty 05/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2008 11:58am]
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