Cash magnet | April 4
Best government money can buy
I read with disgust the article about Gov. Rick Scott raising millions of dollars from folks shilling for their businesses. This is simply a way of buying favors that benefit personal businesses over the common good. And these folks don't expect special favors from the governor? This is an indictment of the entire political system. To paraphrase Mark Twain, we have the best governor money can buy.
Barry Koestler, St. Petersburg
Don't let cash talk
When Rick Scott was blanketing the airwaves with his campaign ads for governor, a reporter stopped a woman on the street to ask her whom she was voting for and why. She answered, "Rick Scott because he is on television all the time."
Are we going to let his money buy his re-election?
Joy Appleton, Tampa
Alimony bill draws fire | April 4
Marriage is a contract
They are at it again. This time they want to eliminate permanent alimony. They sit on their perches in the Florida Legislature and want to change contracts that were relied upon in a divorce settlement. Marriage is also a contract. Both parties contributed to the marriage. Not all contributions were monetary. Sometimes to make the divorce agreement balance and be equitable, permanent alimony is necessary.
Now comes the Legislature wanting to change the agreements midstream. The public policy of permanent alimony came about due to the need of one of the parties. Should that party now be tossed out on the street? Should that party become dependent on the state? Take away permanent alimony and the state can wind up paying.
Anita Clifford, Lithia
These antiquated laws must be changed. It is unfair for someone to be subjected to a lifetime of payments in support of someone else. People need some support to get on their feet, perhaps, but support for a lifetime? No.
Allison Davis, Wimauma
Mixed message on Citizens' fees April 4
I just finished reading the article about how our Tallahassee legislators are looking at doubling my homeowners premium. Their argument is that Citizens' rates need to be higher than all other providers.
What about the elderly on fixed incomes who are unfortunate enough to still have a mortgage, which means they have to buy the insurance? How about the ones on food stamps just scraping by? Are these legislators so out of touch with reality that they haven't considered these Floridians?
Or maybe they will devise a plan to help them with discounted rates, similar to the homestead exemption. Of course those who would qualify wouldn't be living in coastal properties.
Daniel Orsello, Tampa
Nelson flips on gay unions | April 5
Stop labeling people bigots
Noting that Sen. Bill Nelson has acceded to John Romano's needling remarks, is one now to be labeled politically incorrect, a bigot, and unpatriotic because of a difference of opinion?
I see nothing disingenuous about a civil union or domestic-partner type of relationship, short of marriage, between two consenting adults with, of course, the appropriate legal protections. This would debunk the issue of rights being denied a particular group.
It's about time for the media to let up on its nonstop brainwashing campaign fostering guilt complexes on those of us who may have reservations with the concept, for whatever reasons. And we await a ruling on this matter by the Supreme Court as well.
Claire McCarthy Lutzmann, Dunedin
Obama to return part of pay April 4
What generosity looks like
The item about President Barack Obama giving some of his pay back to the U.S. Treasury rings so false. He is going to have to scrape by with just $380,000 this year.
Perhaps even more absurd was presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's charitable donations. Conservatives praised Romney's $3 million in charitable donations in 2010, a whopping 14 percent of his income from that year. What they didn't mention was that 78 percent of those donations went directly to the Mormon Church or to the Tyler Foundation, which is run by the Romneys, and much of it funneled right back to the church.
Meanwhile, Albert Lexie, a shoe shiner at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, is giving $200,000 from what he has earned since 1982. With an annual income of roughly $10,000 a year, that amounts to about 30 percent of his income for his lifetime.
So while our rich politicians skim pennies off their vast fortunes to support their own interests, this shoe shiner from Pennsylvania digs deep into his already shallow pockets and gives on a level that would have these Washington corporate puppets running for their tax shelters. If Albert Lexie runs for office, any office, he has my vote.
John Andrew Warrener, Odessa
Combat training: Don't lower bar April 4, letter
Measure up or move on
As a female and a veteran, though not of combat, I agree with this letter: Combat standards should not be lowered for women. When one enlists or is selected for officer training, male or female, the standards are plain and available for anyone to read.
We are all — or should be — expected to comply. The standards are there for a reason: for the safety and proper operation of the unit. Either you measure up or you don't. Period.
Karen Rhodes, Pinellas Park