Jeb Inc. | July 6, story
Jeb Bush remains a man of integrity When I did an internship for Sen. Connie Mack, I knew how rare it was for a state to have two senators — one from each party no less — who were men known for their integrity. We are always mired in news of political scandal, so it is an inspiration to know there are a few men who serve because they want to serve others, not because they are seeking a corrupt way to benefit themselves.
So I am disappointed with your front-page article on Jeb Bush, another man who is known for his integrity, and who worked hard for our state. Your article offers no evidence against him at all, yet it repeatedly uses innuendo to give the impression that he has worked corruptly as a businessman and governor.
I did not always agree with Jeb Bush's policies, and perhaps I would not always agree with his business decisions, but that is no reason to sully his image without evidence of wrongdoing. This article lowers my opinion of your paper, which also is sad, since it too has had a reputation of integrity in a time of biased and scandal-focused press coverage.
William Groben, Sarasota
Let's move on
I was feeling great Sunday morning until I opened your paper to see a huge picture of Jeb Bush on it. Can't you keep him to the inside pages, please? We've moved on; so should he.
Kip Mitchell, St. Petersburg Public shut out again, editorial, and Deceiving the public deserves a grand jury, Howard Troxler column | July 8
Government secrecy is harmful to us all
There were two separate articles in your paper Tuesday regarding deals made by our local governments in secrecy. It is no wonder our country is in the mess it is in when the people who are supposed to be smart enough and honest enough to be in charge totally disregard the people they were elected to serve and focus only on what's in it for themselves. Have they no conscience? Are they too stupid to realize that what hurts the electorate of Pinellas County and St. Petersburg also hurts themselves?
Howard Troxler is right. Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe and Gov. Charlie Crist need to step in right now and get these people out of office fast. The damage they can do between now and the elections can put the city and the county into jeopardy for years to come.
Come on, City Council and county commissioners, for once in your life do something good for the people who elected you (and yourselves) instead of giving away all our hard-earned money.
Sylvia Fies, St. Petersburg
Jabil incentive deal
What a deal
Let's see if I've got this right. The city of St. Petersburg agrees to provide $12.7-million as its share of bribes, er, incentives to keep Jabil Circuit Inc. from moving out of town. Jabil promises to hire 858 workers and build a $49-million campus. In return, St. Petersburg gets back $300,000 annually in new taxes.
Let's do the math. $12.7-million divided by $300,000 per year equals 42 years before the city gets its money back. Is there something wrong with this picture? But then, I'm just a dumb citizen who doesn't understand how big business works.
Philip R. Thompson, Tierra Verde
We should abolish the death penalty and It's about vengeance | July 6, letters
Safety for society
The letter writers both claim that the state should not continue the practice of capital punishment. Each argues that the execution of another person, no matter what their crime was, is not a civilized or effective punishment. One writer suggests that life in prison is a better alternative.
I think they need to read the story of corrections officer Donna Fitzgerald. In June, Fitzgerald was on duty at the Tomoka Correctional Facility here in Florida when she was attacked and stabbed to death by an inmate who was already serving life in prison.
So do we sentence him to more of the same? Why should he get the chance to kill anyone else? It's not about getting revenge on a killer; it's about protecting those around that killer from him or her.
A civil society makes sure that whatever threatens its members is stopped and, if necessary, is removed from it for the safety of everyone.
In this case, this inmate, who is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty, won't be able to kill any other corrections officers.
Stephen Fenske, Seffner
Work still to be done on rights restoration July 9, editorial
By your own admission, most ex-offenders are more likely to register as Democrats. That statement alone is telling: the party of choice for ex-felons. I guess I should be proud that I am a Republican and that there are fewer of us as ex-offenders.
My guess is that the majority of them never voted when they were free to do so. I wonder how many of them even subscribe to a newspaper. Likely very few. Otherwise with all the ink the Times has allocated to the subject, it wouldn't be necessary for the state to spend money notifying them of their restored rights.
If almost 10 percent of them have registered to vote, how did they know they could and why haven't the 90 percent not registered? I submit that they don't care, and that is one of the reasons why they are "ex-felons." Just because their rights have been restored, it doesn't mean they are going to step up and become upstanding members of society. Somehow I don't take comfort in knowing that almost 90,000 ex-felons might be voting.
Government doesn't owe them anything more than restoring their rights. In view of the budget crisis, why should the state spend money on this?
Maybe the Times has an agenda, and when you recommend Barack Obama in the general election it will become more clear to your readers why you want ex-felons to vote.
Frank B. Hill, Homosassa
No. 54 takes a bite out of No. 53 | July 10, story
Are we expected to feel sorry for this person who had her finger bitten off in a fight? Is this truly a story that should be on the front of the Tampa Bay section? With a color picture? I think not.
The real story here is that she works in day care and, according to the story, is an ex-con. Can anyone say "background checks"?
If I were a parent of a child at this day care, I'd have them out of there yesterday!
Barbara B. Sause, Lutz
Worthy struggle | July 7, letter
It's the cause that counts
The letter writer belittles another writer for stating that before the Iraqi war, there were 4,100 of troops alive and 20,000 who had all their limbs. He then compares how many lives and maimed troops were lost in other wars.
It is not a matter of "How many?" It is a matter of "What did they die for?"
To give your life for freedom against domination is one thing. To give you life for oil and egotism is quite another thing altogether.
Donald F. Kelly, St. Petersburg