Re: Where's the party? Not here | Daniel Ruth column, May 9
Who the real Democrats are
Clearly, the chairman of the local Democratic Party erred in handling the candidacy of the Rev. Manuel Sykes for congressional District 13, something he will readily admit. However, I remind the Times that, in spite of its moral indignation about how Sykes was treated by the Democratic Party, it was quick to publish very old negative information on him as soon as his name surfaced as a viable candidate.
In his recent column dealing with this subject, Daniel Ruth brings up an important question. Where (or who) is the Democratic Party? Is it the county chairman who left the now well-known message for Sykes? Is it the state chairman and the state executive director who chose Ed Jany, an independent with no experience, to run against David Jolly in the House race for District 13? Or is it the rank-and-file members of the party who do the day-to-day work?
These rank-and-file Democrats support local Democratic candidates with money and hard work. They give up their free time to make the phone calls, knock on doors, wave signs, write checks and generally do their best to get the people in whom they believe elected in spite of Republican-designed gerrymandered districts and a huge monetary advantage in favor of Republicans.
These are the people who believe in the core principles of the Democratic Party and who will work hard to elect a Democrat as governor because they think Rick Scott is too busy taking care of special interests to represent the interests of the people or of the state.
These are the people who favored accepting the federal money to build the Tampa-to-Orlando rail line in spite of the governor's irrational hate for the president of the United States, which caused him to reject the money and all the jobs that would have resulted from building the rail line.
These are the people who resent the Republican Legislature's callous indifference to the needs of the uninsured, the unemployed, union members, state employees, the very old, the very young, the disabled and the poor. These people cut taxes on businesses that fight the expansion of the minimum wage. These legislators make a big deal of returning $25 in fees to Floridians for registering their cars but hide the fact that companies like Hertz and Avis, which register thousands of cars a year, are the prime recipients of the decrease in fees.
Yes, our Pinellas County chairman made a bad decision in leaving a phone message, and our state chairman made a poor decision in putting the weight of the state party behind an inexperienced candidate. However, they are not the Florida Democratic Party. The real party is the Democrats who keep on working for the candidates they believe in, in spite of the obstacles in their way.
Mary Louise Ambrose, Belleair Bluffs
Chairman should apologize, exit
As a registered Democrat, I found it disturbing to read about the rude behavior of Pinellas County Democratic Party chairman Mark Hanisee.
If the Democratic Party didn't want the Rev. Manuel Sykes to run against David Jolly for the House seat in Pinellas County's 13th congressional district on Nov. 4, party members should have used more tact. Hanisee could have taken the high road and had a telephone conversation with Sykes or he could have met with him to discuss the upcoming election.
Instead, Hanisee took the low road and left Sykes a belligerent voicemail, verbally slapping Sykes in the face. Not only does Hanisee owe Sykes an apology for the cockiness he displayed, but Pinellas County needs a new Democratic chairman. Hanisee has sunk in moral turpitude.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
Even deputies fly along 113th Street
This is an open letter to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
I have lived on 113th Street for well over 15 years. Even though my address is Seminole, I live in the county. Every day cars fly along 113th Street, including deputies not responding to calls. I know, because I have gotten behind them and followed them, with these officers going well above the speed limit.
The posted speed is 40. I have never seen a sheriff's car using radar to stop speeders. We need these officers to patrol this area of 113th Street. We do not need officers to "do as I say, not as I do." I want these officers to just sit on the side of the road one day and clock the speed of drivers. I doubt this will happen.
Martha Sisco, Seminole
New section suits his needs
Thank you for the St. Pete Times section of the newspaper. It makes my morning reading easier, as I don't have to search for articles, news notes or items about the beaches and St. Petersburg.
Alfred Dunikoski, St. Petersburg