Divide Fla. delegates, move on | March 19, editorial
Splitting delegates is not fair at all
The St. Petersburg Times argues that the "fairest" way of dealing with the Democratic primary is to divide the delegates equally.
Excuse me? For whom would this approach be fair? It would certainly not be fair to Hillary Clinton voters, who exceeded Barack Obama voters by 17 percent. On the other hand, it would be "more than fair" for Obama, who would receive more delegates than he earned. Coincidentally, the St. Petersburg Times recommended Obama in the primary.
In addition to evidencing their bias with a self-serving and distorted version of "fairness," the Times apparently has forgotten the most critical flaw in its proposal: Splitting the delegates effectively negates the efforts of those who voted. Democratic voters, especially Clinton supporters, would be disenfranchised. The only beneficiaries of this approach, other than Obama, would be the delegates who get to travel to the convention. Splitting the delegates is really not very fair at all.
Bill Sacco, Tampa
In this fight, 48 beats 2 | March 15,
Mark Shields column
Why punish voters?
On Jan. 29, millions of Floridians went to the polls in good faith and voted for the candidate of their choice. Most of us didn't even think about what the state Legislature or the Democratic National Committee were saying or doing.
Why should we, the voters, be punished for their stupidity and power plays? In my opinion, no one candidate had an advantage or disadvantage over the others in that none of them campaigned in Florida. Why should our votes not be counted? Why should we accept a 50/50 split? Why should we be punished for the "sins of the father," so to speak? I strongly believe the Florida vote should be counted as is, and the delegates should be seated. To do any less is grossly unfair to the little guy, the voter.
If the "powers that be" want to enforce punishment in future elections, at least the voter would then fully comprehend what was going on and possibly be able to do something to counteract it before it happens. Punishing the voters now, for something we had no control over, is beyond unfair.
Pam Meador, St. Petersburg
Dems: Count votes or else, and Divide Fla. delegates, move on | March 19, story and editorial
Ultimatum is in order
Florida had a legal, state-run primary with a record voter turnout in January. In no way should this election be thrown out and our delegation assigned by some hack politician.
One way to do this is for the Legislature to require the delegates to be seated at the convention or else. The "or else" is, if our duly elected delegates are not seated, the candidate nominated at this convention will not appear on the Florida ballot in November.
This sounds vindictive on the surface, but if passed, Howard Dean and his Democratic National Committee crowd in Washington will be forced to seat our delegates. In no way will the Democrats concede the election to the Republicans without a Democrat's name on the ballot. Dean will be forced to act and seat our elected delegates.
What happened to the Al Gore mantra, "Every vote must be counted"? Dean single-handedly created this mess in the first place. Let him deal with this hot potato now.
Ed Sallas, Safety Harbor
Dems: Count votes or else | March 19, story
Cool down, stand together
I can't believe that Florida Democrats will not vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. I share your disappointment at losing our primary votes and I understand your pique, but let's not cut off our nose to spite our face! Whether for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, we're agreed that either one represents our values far more than the opponent would. That's what really matters.
So let's cool down. Whatever the outcome of this primary, let's stand together and be sure to get a good president. And let's correct the primary process to avoid any such fiascoes in the future.
Seymour S. Bluestone, Clearwater
Dems: Count votes or else | March 19, story
It's what the GOP wants
Disgruntled Florida Democrats contemplating voting for the Republican presidential candidate as retribution against the DNC should consider this: If you do, you are playing right into the hands of the Republican Party. Bear in mind that it was not the DNC that changed the primary voting dates. It was the Republican-controlled Legislature and administration, and they did it intentionally!
Emiliano Quindiagan, St. Petersburg
CSX deal with state fuels fight | March 16, story
Looking to the future
For too long, too many have overlooked our part of Florida, content with saying that our economy and our future could be secured by prisons and landfills. That's not only insulting but degrades the people who live here and the quality of life they so richly deserve.
Together with public leaders in Polk County and nearby areas, we must look to the future to learn what we need to do today to be better off tomorrow. Like so many others, I believe that begins with a sound economic base that produces jobs, and an educational system that empowers people with knowledge and choices.
I will also continue seeking economic opportunities that result in better jobs for the citizens of my district and region, including the much-discussed CSX Intermodal Logistics Center. To be clear, as much as the CSX project would benefit our area with an estimated 8,000 new jobs and other economic pluses, I will always work just as hard to ensure that the interests of Polk County remain front and center.
Further, I am sensitive to the need to reroute freight-train traffic away from downtown Lakeland. My point of view: If they can build a billion-dollar freight tunnel in Miami, we can find the funding for a reasonable and sensible solution to this and other concerns in Lakeland.
As always, I will continue to check and recheck any potential conflict of interest to ensure that I fulfill the responsibilities of my office with openness and integrity. That's a part of my heritage, as well as a central part of my commitment to public service.
J.D. Alexander, state senator, District 17, Winter Haven
Try legal prostitution
Why not legalize prostitution? Like alcohol, its use will always be with us, and legalization will help keep it under control and minimize the unhealthy aspects. This probably would be handled best at the urban and state level, with each city and state deciding what would be best for its own environment. But like alcohol, legalization would help restrict its use to certain age limits and keep it under inspection for health reasons.
Of course, I'm speaking as a man and realize women may have a completely different view of the matter. But wouldn't legalized prostitution be easier to cope with than the illegal variety?
W.H. Riddell, Tampa