Thursday, June 21, 2018
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


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18