Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: To avoid delays, cast vote by mail

No winner till Saturday | Nov. 9

To avoid delays, cast vote by mail

Much has been said in recent days about the long lines Florida voters had to endure in order to cast their vote in the 2012 election. Some see it as a plot to suppress the vote, while others see it as a technical problem that must be fixed. Both views are nonsense — a fix already exists, and has existed for years.

All Florida voters may cast their vote by mail-in ballot; one no longer needs a documented reason to obtain a so-called absentee ballot. Requesting one through your supervisor of elections is simple and can be done online, in person, by telephone, or in writing. I never fail to cast my vote, and I never leave the comfort of my own home to do so. No more lines. No more blistering Florida heat or drenching rain.

Best of all, the ballot arrives weeks in advance of Election Day, so one has plenty of time to study the wording of proposed amendments and referenda. If you wait in a long line in the future, you will have no one but yourself to blame.

Scott A. Boulding, Palm Harbor

No winner till Saturday | Nov. 9

Too few tabulators

I was a poll watcher in Fort Myers Beach, where I observed voting at the three precincts. The lines were long at each and it took an average of over three hours to vote.

The cause of the delay was very specific and easily observed. While the polling stations were well organized and efficiently run, the vote tabulator machine took an average 45-50 seconds to tabulate each vote, if no mistakes were made. And there was only one machine at each precinct.

Thus no matter how fast one got through the ID check and actual vote completion, all had to stand in line to wait for the tabulator, and the entire process was controlled by the machine. This should have been corrected by testing the tabulators and sending more than one machine to each precinct.

Leo Cecchini, Fort Myers Beach

Voters see past cash, chicanery | Nov. 9, Daniel Ruth column

Big money on both sides

It is interesting that Daniel Ruth enlightened us on all the big-money guys pouring millions into defeating our president. I think it is only right to counter that information with the half-billion dollars contributed by labor unions in critical swing states, anchored by Ohio. The AFL-CIO president said, "Without organized labor, none of those states would have been in the president's column."

If I were president, I am not sure who I would rather be indebted to: the union bosses or the rich guys.

Perry J. Dahl, Tampa

Bills will come due | Nov. 8, letter

Giving and taking

On a Fox News rant, Bill O'Reilly restated Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks. O'Reilly said that the Barack Obama voters wanted "free stuff" and the Republicans provide the funds for that "stuff" with their hard work and taxes.

Now this letter writer throws in that Obama voters will "get theirs (health care insurance) free." This is a less than subtle belief that the majority who cast their vote for the president are lazy, shiftless, unemployed leeches.

If the writer checks the blue bits and red bits on the voting map he will see that the confederacy of red states are the same ones who collect far more in government assistance than do the blue ones. They take more than they contribute. And they vote Republican overwhelmingly.

Thomas Maciocha, Tampa

Election 2012

Summing it up

The election can only be described as: Wow! The winners were: women, Obama, weed.

Jim Day, St. Petersburg

Shed the tea party

You have to govern with what is possible, not what is ideal. The GOP will either adapt to reality or it will die. It needs to shed the tea party. Let the tea party become a third party. They can perpetually capture 15 percent of the vote.

Harry E. Hackney, Spring Hill

Playbook for 2016

Now that the 2012 election is over, preparation for 2016 should start now for the Democrats. Make no mistake, the Republicans will rebound and make adjustments.

First, the economy must continue to improve if the Democratic Party is going to have any chance at retaining the White House.

Second, Barack Obama and the Democrats must aggressively push forward immigration reform; it is a win-win situation for them. If it passes, they will get the credit; it if fails, the Republicans will be blamed.

Third, the candidate: Hillary Clinton. She will be strong with women, African-Americans, Latinos, the young and blue-collar Americans. Additionally, her biggest asset is her husband. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill Clinton.

Last, but not least, if the Republican Party's ideology continues to intrude into America's bedrooms, it will continue to lose national elections.

Al Suarez, Odessa

Attach conditions to aid to Israel Oct. 28, Bill Maxwell column

Aid better spent at home

As Congress reviews the allocation of our tax dollars, foreign aid will be on the table. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act forbids military aid to countries that consistently violate human rights. Bill Maxwell's excellent column noted the concern of many religious leaders that exceptions are being made for military aid to Israel.

As leader of a United Methodist study tour, and on independent trips to the region, I have witnessed the human rights violations that gave rise to this concern.

It is inconceivable that struggling American families should be asked to send $8 million each day to a government that is routinely destroying homes, roads and water cisterns that other families depend on. The use of American money to expand and defend illegal settlements built beyond Israel's internationally recognized borders must be stopped. The $30 billion Congress has approved for aid to Israel over 10 years could be better spent here at home.

Susanne Hoder, Interfaith Peace Initiative, Punta Gorda


Mondayís letters: Donít drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesnít make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sundayís letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOPís regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturdayís letters: Donít inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Fridayís letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursdayís letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesdayís letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesdayís letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives arenít listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesnít appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Mondayís letters: A citizenís heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizenís actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturdayís letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburgís application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Fridayís letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17