Bipartisanship can be good for all
Gov. Charlie Crist and President Barack Obama have many things in common. They both were elected with considerable support from the opposing party. They both seemed to have an interest in the welfare of all people they represent.
President Obama began his presidency by trying to approach Republicans to get bipartisan agreements. Those in his own party did not like this approach, and he was turned down completely by Republicans. The president then attempted to get health care passed with just his own party's support. Of course, Republicans complained about this, and even within his own party the very liberal Democrats refused to accept any plan without the public option, and the more conservative Democrats refused to accept any plan with the public option.
Gov. Crist just about ended his influence with Republicans when he approached governing in a bipartisan way and greeted and even hugged the president when he came to Fort Myers in February 2009 and agreed to support his stimulus plan. This was stated in plain language by Republican consultant Albert Martinez in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 9. He said, "Charlie Crist is a nice guy who is barely Republican, doesn't have any core beliefs or vision for governing."
That photo of our governor and our president standing side by side in Fort Myers could be used on a poster for a new day when Republicans and Democrats would work together for the good of all. Instead, even in this day of shortages everywhere, we are spending millions of dollars to slander those who are not of our party and saying all manner of things to try to get elected. It is obscene.
My fellow Americans, let's support these two men, Democrat and Republican, and others like them who want to work to solve our problems, and refuse to vote for anyone who engages in this petty conniving and bickering.
Mary McCormick, St. Petersburg
Pinellas GOP has no love for Crist Jan. 12, story
Let's back those who put citizens first
It's pretty sad when one GOP supporter stated in the article that the "nail in the coffin was when he was so kind to Mr. Obama." Since when are civility and kindness character flaws?
It's not about party and who threw who under the bus — it's about Floridians. You may or may not agree with the decision to accept the stimulus funds, but I tend to vote for someone who puts the interest of citizens first, before their party.
Gov. Charlie Crist shouldn't back down. Maybe he can run as an independent.
Nancy Geake, Inverness
Party gets priority
When we elect a person to an office, why do they represent the party instead of the people who elected them?
All we hear is party this and party that. What about what the people want?
William Bialik, New Port Richey
There's much to repair
Americans gave the Bush administration eight years to bring our country down. The facts speak for themselves. Now less than a year after taking office, Barack Obama is being blamed for everything. What short memories we have. Not that he has made no mistakes, but the pitfalls have been many.
Promises made in a campaign give way to reality. Politics is a nasty business and now we have begun to see the dark underside that is usually hidden away from citizens.
In today's world of instant everything, it is going to take a lot of time and effort to turn bad government around, and while he may not totally succeed, I have high hopes for the next several years. Good Luck, Mr. President
D.G. Murray, New Port Richey
Letters on Hometown Democracy | Jan. 6
The voters' power
The letter writers rightly argue that the majority of Florida's elected officials have utterly failed to responsibly manage growth and should have some of that power taken away from them.
This argument, however, obscures the root of the problem, which is this: For a number of years, voters in Florida have, with relatively rare exceptions, continued to elect and re-elect the same prodevelopment crowd to local and state office. How can we expect any reform from a group that we will not hold accountable at the ballot box?
Later this year, a number of offices on the state and local level will be up for election. My fellow Florida voters, I implore you: Don't just vote for the name that is most familiar! Research the candidates, find out where they stand on the issues, and (in the case of incumbents) find out how they voted in the past. And make sure to get out and vote! A well-informed and active electorate is the key to a healthy representative government.
Sean Krummerich, Largo
Palin said "God's plan" made her McCain's pick | Jan. 11, story
The plan's results
If Sarah Palin believes God chose her to be John McCain's running mate in the past election, then she must also believe God chose Joe Biden and Barack Obama to run our country. If that's the case, why does she go against God's will?
These politicians can twist anything to fit their purpose. And using God for personal gain is not the Christian's way to live.
Donald F. Kelly, St. Petersburg
A timeless thought
I don't suppose there has ever been a time when this quote from Mark Twain has been more appropriate than it is today:
"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
Chet Rogowski, Valrico
Helping to guide youth
With a 12.3 percent jobless rate in Tampa Bay, employment prospects are particularly bleak for youth who drop out of school or make other poor choices. Goodwill Industries is offering troubled teens a pathway to a better future.
The program, known as Goodwill GoodGuides, helps 12- to 17-year-olds in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties who face risk factors such as school failure, juvenile delinquency, disabilities, or other challenges. Young people will be paired with trusted mentors who offer resources and guidance to help the teens finish school and build career plans. If we can steer youth away from trouble and toward a career path now, they will be less likely to face even greater hardships down the road.
I am happy to say that Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is one of 56 Goodwill agencies across the country participating in this national effort. Goodwill is an especially good match for this program because of its long history of helping people find jobs and its emphasis on building strong families.
January is National Youth Mentoring Month, and organizations nationwide are working to raise awareness about the positive impact mentors can have on young people.
Goodwill-Suncoast asks each person in this community to consider the important role they or someone they know can have in the life of a Tampa Bay youth. Volunteering just a few hours each month could help a teen find his or her path to success.
Individuals who would like to learn more about the GoodGuides program should call (727) 423-1379 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deborah A. Passerini, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, St. Petersburg