Taxpayers should see AIG contracts
Over the past several days, I and the public have been subjected to the news coverage of the payout of bonuses by AIG and other financial corporations to their employees and how our elected officials are demanding the money back and also how state and federal attorneys general are demanding the names of these employees.
The financial corporations say they have to pay the bonuses or face lawsuits because of the contracts. Not once have I heard or read any news reporter, state attorney general, federal attorney or elected official demand a word-for-word copy of these contracts be produced and published for the public to read. The contracts should be made public less the names and personal information on them. The failure of the public officials or the news media to make these demands leaves me feeling there is either a large amount of incompetence or a large coverup being perpetrated on the public — or both.
I can understand the need to honor a contract if the contract is for performance and this is achieved, but I ask: How can a contract be for retention of employment if an employee does not perform to the requirements or above the requirements in their contract? Why would any corporate legal department okay or sanction an employee contract that requires the corporation to pay a retention bonus once a year with total disregard of the employee's performance, with the employee having the right to retain the bonus and the right to leave the company with the company facing a lawsuit if they do not pay the bonus?
We, the public taxpayer, through our government, are now the largest stockholder and we hold controlling interest in these corporations. As such we have the right to know how the corporations are operated and what type of employment contracts are in effect. Anything less would border on a hypocritical totalitarian system of government by the self-anointed.
Adolph F. Panella Jr., Valrico
Nuclear energy termed 'clean' in Senate bill | March 24
Only customers pay for new plants
In this article you make the following statement: "Utilities such as Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light, which plan to invest a combined $30 billion in nuclear …"
You're wrong. In Florida, utilities don't invest in new plants. Their customers provide new plants for them so they can reap the financial benefits without having to invest a dime of their own money in the plants' construction.
All this thanks to our idiotic legislators who think their No. 1 priority is to protect their big business political contributors, and the citizens of Florida be damned.
A.T. Barnard, Beverly Hills, Fla.
Insurer is barred from policy sales | March 19
Governor drove the insurers away
As the Times reported, a startup Florida property insurance company was found to be "out of compliance in several areas" by our Florida insurance commissioner. The people who insure their property with that company may wish to seek another company to insure their home before a storm strikes Florida.
Oh wait, didn't Gov. Charlie Crist force all the insurance companies that are able to pay claims out of our state? Well, these people can go to one of the other startup companies that are so highly endorsed by our governor.
In the near future, Crist hopes to whisk his new bride off to Washington, and he can begin working with our other senator, both being insurance gurus, to solve the nation's insurance problems.
Robert K. Reader, Clearwater