Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Washington guilty of breach of trust

Don't hide; come clean | June 22, editorial

A breach of trust by Washington

I disagree with your comment that Republicans in the House are making political theater in pressing on with contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder. Rep. Darrell Issa has received information on "Fast and Furious" from whistle-blowers who he says are tired of Holder's stonewalling.

This was not some deal where someone made money illegally and Holder does not want to be embarrassed. This operation resulted in the death of at least one Border Patrol agent. It is a shame that the president will not allow the release of these documents. This is a serious breach in the trust we give to our government.

Chris Landrum, Brandon

Trouble from the start

It is troubling and unbelievable that our government would give about 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels and not expect it to be a problem.

Jim Caputo, Spring Hill

Presidential visit to Tampa

Passing out favors

It's certainly been a successful couple of weeks for our panderer in chief, President Barack Obama. Stopping by Tampa on Friday to shore up support in a critical swing state and to raise some campaign cash, he drops off $11 million to Mayor Bob Buckhorn to build a waterfront sidewalk. On the way to Tampa he stops by Orlando to address a conference of Hispanic officeholders to let them know he is, by executive fiat, suspending the immigration laws for a certain population of illegal immigrants of his choosing, most of whom are probably of Hispanic heritage.

Not to leave his LGBT base out, his administration recently announced that the American military, in addition to getting rid of "don't ask, don't tell," will actually take a day to recognize the contributions of our LGBT soldiers. Coming up next, look for mortgage and student loan forgiveness and the proverbial chicken in every pot.

Back in a time when we actually had critical journalists keeping an eye on the presidency, all of this would be criticized as a disgraceful use of presidential power. Today, it's just reported on the front pages as news.

John Galloway, Tampa

Guarding ballot integrity June 22, commentary

Flimsy justification

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner writes that the "U.S. Justice Department recently demanded we stop removing noncitizens from the voter rolls entirely until after the general election in November."

While I do not have access to the actual statement, I find it very hard to believe that the Justice Department would prevent the state from removing a noncitizen from the voter rolls.

What the Justice Department did say is that you cannot send thousands of letters to voters, based on a very flimsy database, demanding that they prove their citizenship or lose their right to vote.

If the state knows that an individual has violated the law, then by all means do whatever is necessary to punish that person.

To make a ridiculous analogy, it would be like the police department sending a letter to a thousand people saying that you have 30 days to prove that you are not the person who robbed the convenience store last week and if you fail to provide that proof, you will be considered guilty.

Leonard C. Silva, St. Petersburg

Silly season

Ken Detzner speaks of integrity, but his column on the ineligible voter purge initiative was filled with qualifiers that clearly indicate the lack of a sound basis for this waste of taxpayer dollars. Topped off with the astonishing (to be read with tongue in cheek) total of 100 names found thus far out of the state's more than 10 million registered voters, his quest for "potential" and "possible" large numbers of fraudulent voters looks all the more silly.

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor

Tampa Bay Rays

Don't worry about owners

The ongoing saga of attendance at Rays' baseball games has seemed to me over the past five years a little beside the point. The team's value has increased from $145 million, when owner Stuart Sternberg "bought his initial stake" in 2004 (according to Paul Sullivan in the New York Times on June 2), to $323 million, as reported by Forbes in March. The size of that "initial stake" was not made public, but it would appear that Sternberg saw well over a 100 percent increase in his investment in eight years, if the reporting is accurate. In other words, the team has more than doubled in value during that time. Would you be happy with that rate of return?

Eventually fans will come to the Rays' stadium, wherever it is, but don't weep about the financial straits of Sternberg and the rest of the Rays' ownership. They're doing just fine.

Edward Cifelli, Dade City

Younger Americans are getting the shaft June 22, commentary

Elderly paid their dues

I strongly disagree with Matt Miller's argument that seniors are the ones putting a burden on younger Americans. As a senior, I paid into Social Security for 55 years and Medicare since its inception. I still pay into Medicare. For this, I get a modest monthly check and co-pays on my medical needs.

Meanwhile, millionaires like Mitt Romney pay minimal taxes; hugely profitable oil companies get tax breaks; the military spends billions on equipment it will never use; and farmers are paid not to grow crops.

I think Miller is picking on the wrong chicken.

David Egbert, St. Petersburg

Let voters have say on Pier options June 21, John Romano column

Put plan to a vote

Some years back we had a mayor in St. Petersburg who wanted to get rid of our historic Albert Whitted Airport and build condos on the waterfront. There was such a hue and cry over this plan that it went to a vote of the people. The proposal was resoundingly defeated, and today we are noted for our downtown airport.

Now, Round 2. We have a mayor pushing a Pier proposal that many residents don't want. This "cesspool" proposal needs to go before the voters.

Marie L. Moench, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t 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 doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s 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

Saturday’s letters: Don’t 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

Friday’s 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

Thursday’s 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

Wednesday’s 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

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s 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