Crist's divorce from GOP ugly | May 5, story
Republicans show their true nature
Quite frankly, I think this situation only reflects how ugly the GOP is. Their bully tactics in passing bills without legitimate debate and using sneaky tactics have shown them to be the arrogant party they really are.
Meanwhile, Marco Rubio won't release his credit card account or his income tax returns, all while promising to make a change from the Obama administration. The only problem is, no one will detail how they will accomplish this. And now we have Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and his $47,000 tab. Their "bullet" advertising will get some people's vote, those who do not bother to read between the lines. All this so we can send Rubio to Washington so he can not play nice like the rest of the GOP.
Remember, all of these people thought Charlie Crist was wonderful when he was doing what they dictated. It took a lot of gumption for him to veto those two bills, and I hope he finds it again in order to veto the abortion, redistricting and several other bills they attempted to sneak/jam through the process. I was not going to vote for Crist but have changed my mind. I am a registered Democrat who at heart is an independent.
Diane M. Drake, Tampa
Stay your course
Note to the Republican Party of Florida:
Please don't change a thing. Everything you're doing is perfect. We hope you'll keep passing bills that favor big business and developers. We appreciate your efforts to abolish campaign finance oversight, and deregulate insurance and public utilities. Don't ever stop tinkering with education and keep up the unrelenting pressure to push vouchers.
While you're at it, make sure that pesky class size amendment finally gets repealed. Words cannot express our appreciation of your "poison pill" legislation to make sure gerrymandering continues to keep districts fair (wink, wink). And that abortion bill? A stroke of genius! Stonewall anyone who wants a peek into the expenditures of legislators and don't forget to heap on the hate for that turncoat rat, Charlie Crist. One last thing: never modify your party mantra, "Drill, baby drill." Wear it! Own it! Sing it!
We Democrats extend a heartfelt, "Thank you!" Don't go changin' to try to please us. We love you just the way your are!
Linda Beckman, Temple Terrace
Stick to your party and No core values May 2, letters
Our leaders should put people first
The letter writers don't seem to understand what the mission of the Florida state legislators should be. Any oath signed by a member of any party should be an oath to support the people of this state in the best way available to them. That is their job!
"Their party" does not just apply to Democrats or Republicans. Yes, there are independents, Greens, etc. An independent senator or representative can get more accomplished in Congress than one who is ideologically beholden to their buddies.
What this country needs more than anything else is campaign finance reform and a third political party!
D. J. Holding, Dover
Conflicts of interest
We all expect any judges who sit on the bench to recuse themselves from sitting on cases they have some ties to.
Why can't we use the same reasoning for those who represent us in Congress? All the special interest money in the form of campaign contributions would dry up if those on the receiving end could not directly or indirectly vote on legislation related to these interests. Just follow the money and you would have to be blind not to see where most of our lawmakers' interests are.
The perfect example was the Senate Finance Committee input on health care. They ruled out single payer and a government option in a jiffy. If that is not corruption, I have some bridges to sell the public in Brooklyn.
Jack Levine, Palm Harbor
Bipartisan support for failed developer May 2, story
These four members of Congress have lost all of their credibility. It's unconscionable that they did not do their homework before being so cavalier in handing over our tax dollars! Why hasn't this man been prosecuted?
These members of Congress, who are supposed to be our trusted servants and supposedly have the smarts to do what is right for their constituents, will never get my vote. I'm going to be forwarding this article by Janet Zink to everyone I know.
Sybil McBride, Port Richey
Bipartisan support for failed developer May 2
Paying for carelessness
I can't believe U.S. Reps. Bill Young, Gus Bilirakis and Kathy Castor, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson just gave our money to someone like David Foster without having him checked out from A to Z.
As one of the "notch babies," because I was born in 1926 and therefore receive less Social Security than those born after 1926, I blame these earmarkers for spending our Social Security money and leaving a big bunch of IOUs. I will not vote for any earmarkers and I advise other "notch babies" to do the same!
Polly C. Boyle, St. Petersburg
Promises the pill could never keep | May 3
This commentary about the birth control pill was interesting, but it understated the dramatic effect of the pill on society. Until the pill, the risk of pregnancy created a powerful dissuasion to premarital sex.
With the pill, that dissuasion lessened, and as a consequence, a chain of unforeseen events took place:
1. Premarital sex became less risky in terms of unwanted pregnancy.
2. That resulted in premarital sex becoming less of a taboo. Premarital female virginity became less of an expectation.
3. And as out-of-wedlock sex became more acceptable, then why not out-of-wedlock pregnancy? That taboo fell, and the Murphy Brown generation came into its own.
Thus, as ironic as it seems, the pill that was predicted to lower the out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate, actually increased it, along with the poverty and other impediments to women that are associated with single motherhood.
Robert Arvay, Tampa
Paying to keep doctor on call | May 4, story
A medical misstep
I am a former patient of a family physician who decided to abandon his patients and make a business decision to join a concierge concept. I, along with several hundred patients of his, were invited to a "meeting" at Innisbrook where the marketing rep from Miami explained the MDVIP concept and how beneficial it would be for us, the patients.
After the "meeting," several of us were of the same accord: "This concept might be okay if you were very sick and needed constant care or very wealthy or a hypochondriac." For the average person who was in that crowd, they had no plans to pay the $1,500 annual fee (besides their insurance) and were none too happy about the doctor's business decision.
After all, basic math concludes that a doctor who has 300 patients in his MDVIP practice, will take in $450,000 — in addition to the Medicare or private insurance those 300 patients have.
For a family practitioner or general practice doctor to dismiss 2,500 patients from his 3,000-patient practice, for their refusal to pay a $1,500 annual fee and leave them to find another physician, is to me plain wrong.
Dick Holt, Clearwater
Mom leads battle against pain clinics May 2, story
Pain relief is needed
"Moms" need to stop blaming everyone else for their children's problems. Just because some people choose to abuse drugs doesn't mean we should all pay the price. Frankly, I have been on pain medication for years and never abused my medication or became an addict. My back pain is agonizing and if it wasn't for pain medication I wouldn't even be able to get to the grocery store.
Some people just have addictive personalities, and if it isn't pills it would be alcohol. It is hard enough for those of us with chronic pain without people like Lynn Locascio blaming doctors. I wish those of you who judge could walk in my shoes just one day with my pain.
Pamela Ericson, St. Petersburg