Sunday, February 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco letters: Reject GOP attack on independent judiciary

GOP attack on judiciary is wrong

The Republican Party has made a conscious decision to assail the independence of Florida's judiciary on two fronts this November. A frontal assault comes in the form of a proposed amendment to our state constitution, and a flank assault in the form of trying to force judges to comply with the will of the party.

In a move to reduce the third branch of government from an equal partner with the executive and legislative branches, the GOP attached Amendment Five to the upcoming ballot. Amendment Five would strip the courts of a great deal of their rule-making authority, and give the Legislature control on many issues. This is a clearly abusive attempt to wrest control from what is supposed to be an equal partner in our government. Our founding fathers saw the wisdom of an independent judiciary to rein in a politicized Legislature from passing laws that violate the very tenet of our Constitution.

The GOP has also seen fit to try a flank attack by removing highly qualified, but independent judges from the Florida Supreme Court. Years ago, Florida decided the best way to keep its highest judiciary out of the political fray, was to require "merit retention" elections. If an appellate judge acted in a grossly improper fashion contrary to the community sensibilities, he or she could be removed from office by this means. However, it was never intended to act as a means to remove a judge simply for doing his or her job by deciding a case on the facts and law presented, or on the constitutionality of a legislative bill.

The GOP, still fuming over losing some issues that were very controversial, decided that if it can't control the highest court in the state, then the best action is to replace it with judges who will do its bidding. This is a bad idea. The courts remain a neutral arbiter between the highly charged political atmosphere of the Legislature and the people who may disagree with new proposed laws.

Craig A. Laporte, Port Richey

Voter purge effort just despicable

Can someone please answer a simple question? How much taxpayer money has been spent trying to purge 198 people out of 11.4 million voters? As a concerned citizen, I have a right to know.

This whole thing is nothing more than voter suppression and it's despicable.

Frank Hudak, Hudson


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18