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
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
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
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