Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Making a mountain out of voter fraud anthill

Reforms protect voters | Sept. 11, commentary

Claim of savings isn't credible

No rational person takes an "unprecedented step" to stop something that is statistically minuscule. State Rep. Dennis Baxley provides no numbers to support his position because the mountain of voter fraud is really less than an anthill.

There is no credibility to his claim the law will "ensure supervisors of elections have ample time to prepare for elections … while maximizing tax dollars." The result was the supervisors of elections were directed to squander countless man hours on purges instead of actually preparing for the election. How many election cycles of "streamlined" (i.e., reduced) early-voting hours will it take to recoup the money spent on court time, outside attorneys' fees and purge man hours? How does the cost of suing the State Department to access a database not designed for that purpose turn into "maximizing tax dollars"?

There is already a mechanism to protect against voter fraud: It is the sworn or affirmed statement of the applicant that he or she meets the requirements to register to vote under penalty of a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. In our nation's court system, any individual's sworn testimony is accepted as true until discredited. How can Baxley claim to protect those he would attack?

Jerry Godding, Tarpon Springs

Reforms protect voters | Sept. 11, commentary

Moves aimed at Democrats

The bill Rep. Dennis Baxley says will stop voter fraud is a solution looking for a problem. In the last three presidential elections, there were 351,916,664 votes cast for the two major parties. There were 86 people convicted of voter fraud nationwide.

In Florida, during the 2008 elections, there were 28 shark attacks and 16 voter fraud cases. Of those 16 cases, I do not know how many were actually convicted.

The truth to the alleged voter fraud legislation being pushed by Republican legislatures in 32 states was announced when Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Turzai made it clear that the voter ID law in Pennsylvania assured that the state would go to Mitt Romney.

These laws are designed to purge American citizens who normally vote for Democrats from voting. To call it anything else, especially in the name of freedom, is a lie.

Eric Arens, Tampa

Remember his past | Sept. 11, letter

Sideshow, not trauma

A letter writer writes of "the national trauma that (former President Bill) Clinton put the country through" because of his dalliance with an intern in the Oval Office. National trauma? Seriously?

National trauma is watching thousands of young men and women get killed and maimed in two useless wars. National trauma is the bankruptcy those wars have cost this nation. National trauma is caused by the millions of unemployed. National trauma is watching countless good people being thrown out of their own homes. National trauma is not having health insurance when you have cancer.

At the worst, Clinton's indiscretion was great fodder for the talk shows and meetings around the water cooler.

David Bailes, Safety Harbor

U.S., Israel in spat over Iran policy | Sept. 12

Foreign influence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stark and ill-advised attack on the Obama administration for not setting a "red line" with Iran regarding its development of nuclear weapons. It is possible he is attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election by indirectly supporting Mitt Romney, who promises a very tough line with Iran. Foreign meddling into U.S. presidential elections should be recognized for what it is and repudiated.

That said, Americans should think very hard about authorizing or condoning Israel to attack Iran. We should be absolutely clear on what the capabilities of Iran are and what their intentions are prior to going to war. Without that understanding, the possibility of making a historic and long-lasting blunder are very high.

Michael S. Greenberg, Clearwater

Tact vs. bluster in foreign policy | Sept. 9, editorial

Clear message required

President Barack Obama's "tact" has convinced the Iranians that he is not really serious about preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. Perhaps a little more "bluster" backed by a believable threat of force would convince Iran that it needs to halt a process that will inevitably lead to another Mideast war. Obama would do well to visit Israel and make this message clear.

Lionel Levinson, St. Petersburg

Big yes on Levy nuke plant | Sept. 11

Runaway charges

I am one of those senior citizens who will pay for the Levy County nuclear plant but will likely be 6 feet under and have paid thousands of dollars before it is completed. That sounds like taxation without representation.

I thought Tallahassee was represented by the party that despised taxation? Evidently not. I was under the impression that they were working for the people of Florida. Shame on our representatives for letting this happen. Break up the monopolies and give us choices.

Ed Russell, Clearwater

Charlie and Barack: a not so odd couple Sept. 11, Daniel Ruth column

Right to change mind

Why the big fuss about Charlie Crist leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent?

He is a man who speaks and does what he feels is best for the people, not what a group of people tell him what to do because he was a member of a party.

We all have the right to change our minds about things. I have never missed a vote and was born and raised by a Republican Party family, as was my husband. Many times he has told me his father would roll over in his grave at the course taken by the Republican Party today.

Gertrude McWilliams, Valrico

9/11 anniversary

Fruits of hatred

The History Channel provided excellent coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. There were many amateur film clips, some never seen before, of the terrible suffering of innocent people.

Those young suicidal Muslim men had everything to live for. Nobody is born a terrorist. These men were created by the hatred that exists in Islam toward everyone who is different.

You only have to look at the news and see the violence throughout the world every day.

John Zito, Dover


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Updated: 27 minutes ago

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17