An antidote to partisan politics
My husband and I moved to Florida last fall, and we have been unimpressed with Florida politics in general and with the Florida Republican Party leaders in particular — with one exception: Charlie Crist is a breath of fresh air.
For one thing, he seems honest. If he weren't, you can be sure we would have heard about it by now. For another, he is willing to make the hard decisions that benefit the voters. He vetoed a bill that would have created slush funds for Republican lawmakers. He vetoed the flawed bill concerning educators and tenure. He attempted to get two voter-friendly (rather than utility-friendly), members on the Public Service Commission, but he was shot down by the Florida Legislature. He isn't afraid to change his mind, as in the case of offshore drilling, if it is obviously not the right thing to do at the time.
Crist seems to be a centrist who has tried to work across party lines to get the job done for the people. He has been criticized for being too friendly with Barack Obama. Heaven forbid.
There is far too much partisan politics running rampant right now. I hope that Charlie wins his election.
Diana Knoles, Zephyrhills
No core values
Gov. Charlie Crist is actually right to run as an independent because that is what he is: independent of the people of Florida, independent of the Republican Party, independent in everything. With no core values of integrity, running as an independent seems correct.
I wonder why anyone would vote for Crist now. What will he do if elected as senator? Which party will he support?
Let everyone vote for their party, Democrat or Republican, no independents.
Teachers, Charlie Crist will sell you down the river if it's in his best interest some time in the future. It seems pretty obvious that his veto of SB 6 was not for teachers but to get votes as an independent.
The one thing that the governor has proven to us is that he cannot be trusted.
Frederick Savalli, Clearwater
Finding a place in the center
I am going to support Charlie Crist in his Senate run. I'm so tired of politics as usual and the extremes we see in Washington. The right is leaning toward a theocracy and the left lacks courage and wants to be so inclusive it lacks direction and clarity.
It's time the working class of this country supported moderates and independents (like Crist has chosen to be). Because he listened to the voice of the people, Crist was abandoned by his party.
We cannot continue to blindly follow a specific party and continue to vote for party members who are corporate-owned. It no longer works. We have to find the center again. If you want representation in Washington, vote in moderates and independents and tell them you expect them to serve the people, not the special interests and the money.
A. Maritza Golan, Tampa
Crist's real agenda
Gov. Charlie Crist makes one good call (finally!) and wins the love of the teachers. Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.
Whether it is as a Republican, Democrat or independent, Quick Change Charlie has shown he has only one ax to grind: his! Be careful what you wish for, people, you might get it!
G. Williams, St. Petersburg
He's going it alone | April 29, story
A big gamble
Charlie Crist is really rolling the dice. If he wins he will be free to do as he pleases in the U.S. Senate and will be courted by both parties. If he loses he will have nowhere to go.
He could carry it off if he cuts out the negative attacks and takes the high road. The public needs to hear what he is for. And we need specifics — strong stands and programs, not the usual fuzzy slogans.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Break the gridlock
What America needs is a hundred more like Charlie Crist, who has broken away from the party machine and moved to the political center.
I will watch and listen before I vote for him, but we must break this political gridlock. We need representatives who can rise above party labels.
This country needs a new political party, and I hope Crist inspires others to strike off on their own.
Harry E. Hackney, Spring Hill
Loyalty oath is aimed at Crist | April 23, story
Stick to your party
The Republican Party of Florida is 100 percent right in determining that the loyalty oath signed by Republican Party officials requires that the signers revoke support for a candidate who is not running as affiliated with the Republican Party.
The members of any organization should have their loyalty to that organization, and if a person such as Charlie Crist chooses to run as "not affiliated with a party" because he could not win his party's nomination, members should be required to withdraw support if they want to stay a member. To allow otherwise would undermine the integrity of the organization.
Sen. Mike Fasano is wrong when he says that the state party should not tell "us who we can and cannot support." That's not what the Republican Party is doing. What it is doing is saying that if a person signed the Republican Party of Florida Loyalty Oath, they should be supporting the Republican candidates who are running as affiliated with the Republican Party.
Bill Bunting, Pasco Republican state committeeman, Hudson
He's going it alone | April 29, story
Think for yourselves
Pinellas Republican state committeewoman Nancy Riley was quoted as saying of her withdrawal of support from Charlie Crist: "Even though I'm a strong supporter of him, I'm a stronger Republican. I asked him to please stay and run as a Republican, that he's one of the finest Republicans that I know … (but) I am a Republican first."
Are you kidding me? This the epitome of party first, and it makes me sick. I am a very strong Democrat supporter. However, I always keep my mind open and vote for the person I believe is the better representative of the people (and, yes, I will vote for Charlie Crist for Senate).
Her blind stand with her party is what is wrong with politics and this country recently. Think for yourselves, everyone, and go with your gut, your brain and your common sense — not a specific party.
Noreen Flocks, St. Petersburg
Too many voters shut out | April 25, editorial
Preserve party primaries
As a St. Petersburg Times subscriber of more that 27 years, I no longer have enough hair on my head to qualify for the Young Republicans Club. You get my remaining dander way up when your editorial proposes Florida changing to an "open" primary system of choosing candidates. This would destroy the very reason we have primaries at all.
As a registered Republican, I look forward to voting for the candidates I favor on my party ticket, and I don't want my Democrat wife chipping in on my party's slate.
Primaries should stay the way they are: Republican and Democrat. Florida has it right. Why do you say Florida should "fix" something that isn't broken?
Barry Sleesman, Spring Hill