Rich says she, not Crist, is 'true Democrat' | June 3
Too early to write off candidates
I wish the media and the Democratic Party would stop yapping about how Nan Rich has no name recognition and therefore would be a long shot to be governor of our state. Did anyone know who Rick Scott was prior to his investing $70 million of his own money and tirelessly campaigning for governor? He was not only an unknown but he didn't even have the support of his own party. It just goes to show how far working tirelessly to spread your cause and a fistful of dollars can go.
So I respectfully ask the media, the Florida Democratic Party and any other naysayers to stop ruling Rich or any other viable candidates out before the voters get a chance to know them.
Rich, while she may not have name recognition, is a lifelong Democrat who seems to have the grit and the fire to declare her wish to be governor of our state. That is something Charlie Crist hasn't been able to bring himself to do as of yet.
She should be allowed to speak at the June 15 annual Florida Democratic Party gathering and the media should report on her stance on issues, not on her "popularity."
The people of Florida deserve to have the opportunity to form their own opinions on a variety of candidates.
Diana Rao, Tampa
Red-light appeals move to new level | June 5
A matter of money
Municipalities are now scrambling to put together a process for red-light appeals, which can take several forms. The form does not matter to me. All I would be concerned with would be being judged guilty before appearing before the appeal officer.
There is a lot of money at stake now that municipalities are using red-light cameras as a revenue stream. Will the appeals process be looked at as a way to make even more revenue ($250 vs. $158)?
I have no sympathy for the driver who tears through an intersection long after the light has turned red, but to fine someone because the car tires were just short of some designated line is just another way of saying that the revenue drives the reason for the cameras, not safety.
Stephen Micklo, Clearwater
Scott travels state in new jet, still on his own dime | June 4
Savings for the taxpayers
It is disturbing to read how this article makes it sound like Gov. Rick Scott is almost committing a crime by flying around the state in his own jet at his own expense and, in addition, does not even draw a salary.
How refreshing to have a political leader who is not perfect, but who grew up in the "projects," had a parent who cared, made himself successful and now has the ability to work for Florida citizens for free and without travel expenses.
It is obvious that such stories shock Times writers who must have to force themselves to mention positive things about our current governor without making it sound degrading.
Richard Carey, St. Petersburg
Keeping his promises
Finally, here is a complimentary article about Gov. Rick Scott telling how much money he saves us taxpayers. When he ran for office, he said he'd sell the planes and not waste our money, and he did what he promised. Scott has made a few mistakes but has a fine record of accomplishments.
Ronald G. Payne, Safety Harbor
Learning to trust again | June 2
I am writing to thank John Woodrow Cox and Melissa Lyttle for the essay and photograph "Learning to trust again."
You have taken my breath away. I am a friend and colleague of the subject of this article, Mrs. Marilyn Shamblin, and know her courage and compassion. In both the photograph and story, you have captured her essence truly and beautifully. Thank you.
Nanci Newton, Tampa
Gov. Scott vetoes immigrant driver license bill | June 4
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed HB 235, which would have allowed people brought to the United States illegally when they were children to qualify for temporary drivers' licenses. HB 235 whizzed through the Legislature with little debate and no controversy.
It would have let the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles accept as identification a person's approved application for "deferred action" by the Department of Homeland Security under the policy President Barack Obama announced in June 2012, allowing people brought to the United States illegally when they were children.
The Florida Democratic Party issued a statement saying Scott "imposed his rigid ideology" on possibly 100,000 innocent young people.
Brought into the United States as children of immigrants seeking a better life, they were probably not old enough to vote for Obama and their parents, if still undocumented, could not vote for him either. Why punish them for something they did not do?
Joe King, New Port Richey
Under fire, On Top of the World | June 2
Wonderful place to live
As an 18-year resident of On Top of the World, I do not agree with the negative tone of reader reactions to this article. OTOW is a wonderful place to live.
In the weekly crime report, our ZIP code is always among the lowest in crimes reported. Our buildings and grounds are always well maintained. Our prices are fair and we have never had a special assessment. I am proud to live here and have developed many lasting friendships with neighbors throughout the complex.
James Schelling, Clearwater
Health care bill of spite needs veto May 30, editorial
Undermining health care
I'm disgusted that the Legislature would draft a bill that specifically undermines the availability of affordable health care to Florida residents. It honestly feels like the Republican-led Legislature is at war with its own constituents. I hope someone acts to reverse this horrible legislation.
Anthony Roberts, Tampa