Scott asks Crist's team to stay longer | Dec. 18
Finding good people isn't so easy
I think we've seen this before. It was a Robert Redford movie from the early '70s called The Candidate. He stars as a political novice, an outsider running for office against all odds. He wins. In the final scene, he's sitting in a hotel after the victory party. He looks at his campaign manager and says, "What do we do now?"
There are differences between Rick Scott's and the Redford character's run for office. Scott spent over $70 million of his own money to buy the office with negative campaign ads.
Now Scott's team has asked most of Charlie Crist's group to stay on and run the state for three months, maybe longer, while it tries to get its own team in place. It turns out that finding good people to run a state isn't as easy as you'd think.
Scott has been busy raising money for the inaugural ball. It takes a lot of time and money to put together a party that lavish. Maybe that's what he meant to say: "Let's get to work (on the party)!"
The person running Scott's transition was quoted in the Times as saying, "Maybe there are things that we don't know. We'll learn them as we need to learn them." Let's all hope they don't "need to learn them" after the state is pummelled by hurricanes like in 2004. "Scottie, you're doing a heckuva job!"
Jeff Cutting, Brandon
Delay might be good thing
"Let's get to work" … in three months, or whenever. Rick Scott will be sworn in as Florida's governor on Jan. 4. Committee meetings for the 2011 Florida legislative session will begin six days later, and the regular session will begin less than two months after that.
Still the governor-elect has yet hire any agency heads. Last week he asked the members of the Crist administration to continue in their current positions for three months — although he asked for resignations from agency heads and their top staffers soon after the November election.
Perhaps Scott should fire his transition team and replace them with his inaugural committee. That group, at least, appears to have the situation under better control. It's even arranged for Charles Colson, who went to prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate investigation, to speak at the inaugural breakfast.
Then again, if it does take four or five months to get the Scott administration up and running, it may be all to the better. That will be one less legislative session for Rick Scott to push his agenda on the people of Florida.
Judy Davis McCormick, Tampa
While the rich and the middle class, even the unemployed, may celebrate the passage of the new tax bill, senior citizens, most particularly those who are retired, have little to celebrate.
A cost-of-living increase was once again denied those who collect their Social Security payments. Congress refused a $250 payout to retirees as an offset.
For many who are fortunate to receive a pension, they have seen a freeze in any sort of increases. Retirees dependent on investment income have seen a substantial decline.
Seniors and retirees have been hard hit and have been vastly overlooked by recent legislation.
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
Senate blocks immigration measure Dec. 19
Voters will remember
I am outraged that Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., supported an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants. How dare he put the wants and the demands of 2.1 million illegal aliens (some of whom are ne'er-do-wells) over the needs and rights of more than 300 million American citizens and countless legal immigrants.
The Dream Act does not have serious and meaningful provisions to verify the character and general behavior of amnesty recipients. I will remember Nelson's vote when it comes time for the 2012 elections.
Walda Ruiz, New Port Richey
A ploy to win votes
As one of the many legal immigrants to the United States (from India), I find it appalling and disgusting that anyone would agree to passing an amnesty bill for illegal aliens by calling it something else. We all know this bill's main aim was that it would be an easy way to gather votes.
Vaidy Subbaraman, Tampa
Confiscating wealth no answer Dec. 17, letter
Poor pay taxes, too
This letter argued that the "fundamental problem" in our tax system is that "only half of today's workers pay anything."
I am a worker in the group the writer claims pays nothing. Yet I pay Social Security tax and Medicare tax on every penny I earn. I own a home, so I pay property taxes. I drive, so I pay federal, state and local gas tax. I pay state and local tax on clothing for my wife and son, Christmas gifts for the grandchildren, a meal at McDonald's, and the purchase of this newspaper. For anything taxable, I contribute as anyone else.
Those of us working do contribute with taxes. To say otherwise is either ignorance or misinformation.
James Hand, Homosassa
Santa brakes: for beer | Dec. 16
I could not believe what I saw when I opened last week's Weekend section. If the photo of Santa drinking beer is an example of things to come in your paper, I may not read it anymore.
This was a bad example for children — or anyone, for that matter.
LaVerne Register, Inverness
Our St. Matthew's Society of St. Vincent de Paul team is witness to so many kindnesses from our parishioners and our community.
This Christmas season, one act in particular touched me. I would like to thank the anonymous family that saved its spare change all year long, placing it in a Christmas jar to be presented to one of the needy clients our team helps. Since the family also gifted me with the novel Christmas Jars, which was its source of inspiration, I know the message behind this generous gift was to "pay it forward." How appropriate to share this message this month, reminding us all that God provided the ultimate "pay it forward" gift by giving us his son.
May we all be inspired to find a way to touch a random person in need, be it financial or spiritual. Don't let God's gift stop with you.
Janice DeMeza, Seminole