Yes on Amendment 4 | Editorial, Oct. 2
The right to vote
The disenfranchisement of voters, particularly African Americans and felons, is a disconcerting artifact of Florida’s history. In recent times, no modern governor can claim a more aggressive campaign to disenfranchise voters than Rick Scott. Immediately and deliberately after his election, Scott formulated a clemency process to exclude felons from voting for five years, then force them into a protracted process of application for a face-to-face hearing before the Clemency Board. Scott notes the Clemency Board follows no standards for decision-making and is a “court of mercy.” Mercy has been in short supply, with only a few thousand regaining their civil rights during Scott’s nearly eight years. The preceding Republican governor restored voting rights to 155,000 citizens in half the time. Scott’s disenfranchisement campaign has not been limited only to ex-felons. Make no mistake, Scott’s procedure of denying ex-felons the right to vote is just one element of a comprehensive campaign to unfairly tilt Florida’s election tables in his favor.
Finn Kavanagh, Tampa
Case closed, votes align | Oct. 5
Make the FBI report public
So much for openness and transparency in government. I would have thought that the findings by the FBI on the Judge Brett Kavanaugh matter would have been on everyone’s smart phone by now. Instead we have only a single copy of the document, which senators had to individually wait in line to view.
Of course, the public will not be able to see it. That would start to look too much like democracy, and we can’t have that!
I suppose living seven decades in the country with the most enviable form of government had to come crashing down at some point. And now it has.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach
‘I am an independent and impartial judge’ | Brett Kavanaugh column, Oct. 6
The heart is in the middle
The members of Congress, specifically the U.S. Senate when deliberating the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice, should have been reminded: It takes a right wing and a left wing for an eagle to fly, but its heart is near its middle.
Joe Chillura, Tampa