Get used to seeing Scott until election | Aug. 29, story
We need campaign finance reform
Reading about Rick Scott's millions allowing him to inundate us with ads from now until November causes me to write. I really have had it with all of them. Over and over, ad nauseam, we have to suffer with the name-calling, the allegations and the innuendos. And it isn't only Scott — far from it.
Which is why we need real campaign finance reform — if for no other reason than to spare us from the nonsense. Limit campaign financing to somewhere reasonable. This may have the effect of forcing candidates to actually reveal to us what they will do if elected instead of what their opponent did.
If what their opponent did was truly worthy of air time, I'm sure we already know about it. But I really don't care that one of them may have visited a strip club. Tell us what you're going to do, not what your opponent did. Save the peccadillo news flashes for the news and spare us all your righteous indignation.
Allan A. Love, New Port Richey
Civility won't win
In regard to the upcoming onslaught of political ads, unfortunately, the Democrats never learn. By addressing the issues Florida faces with sound, albeit somewhat vague policies, they try to convince us they have the answer to put us back on the track to economic recovery and head us in the direction we need to go.
But this type of campaign will never get them elected. As much as we would like to believe that people carefully listen and weigh both sides of the debates before voting, they don't. People vote with their emotions. The bottom line is that a rational appeal to the voter's sensibilities will leave the Democratic candidates again sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next election.
As much as I hate to say it, in order to win they will need to use the Republican rule book. That is to say, go dirty and go first. Pretending that this time the election process will be different and more civil is a fool's game. In order to change policies to effect change you need to be in Tallahassee.
In our political process where one side is willing to win at all costs, the only way to get there is to beat them at their own game. Penance can be made by demonstrating honesty and integrity after you get to the Capitol. Are you ready to win? Let's get to work!
Rick France, Ph.D., Tampa
We need businessmen to be in charge of our state | Aug. 29, letter
Government isn't a business
The letter writer states that we need to run the government like a business. Unfortunately the two are diametrically opposed. Business is run strictly for profit. That is its only function.
Government, on the other hand, is created to protect and serve its people. In the most extreme example, what happens if we need to go to war but don't have the funds? "Sorry, we have to cut services." No more mail, no more water, no police, no Social Security checks, Medicare payments. Of course, we could privatize many of these functions, making them pay for themselves, but like the Blackwater scandal, the potential for massive fraud is there.
And what happens if there is a serious shortfall, or the work just seems too tough? Do our leaders then do a "Palin," take a golden parachute and quit?
Steve Harden, Holiday
Blame early voting | Aug. 26, letter
The role of polls
The letter writer, referring to the primary election results, said that "Many of those people voted before the various polls showed the tide turning …"
I disagree, as the role of polls is to show how people are leaning, not to tell them how to vote. I vote by absentee ballot and intend to continue. I do my work before I vote. No poll is ever going to tell me how to vote.
Eileen Austin, Ed.D., Palm Harbor
Time for a stand on growth | Aug. 30, editorial
The real hypocrisy of the Republicans who voted for S.B. 360 to overturn growth management laws is that it placed a tax on the public.
Republicans consistently run on the theme of lower taxes. But by shifting the infrastructure costs from the developers to the local communities, these same Republicans have in effect voted to place a new tax on the public.
Martin Peters, Tarpon Springs
Don't sell spill victims short | Aug. 27, editorial
Pay those who really lost
When you say that under federal law, BP is responsible to pay for both the cleanup and for lost incomes, this should not include double-paying for replaced incomes.
The Oil Pollution Act describes claims for loss of profits and earning capacities as "Damages equal to the loss of profits or impairment of earning capacity due to the injury, destruction, or loss of property or natural resources."
BP should absolutely set the fishermen back to the income level which they can document before the spill, as best it can. But if fishermen mitigated their losses and worked on the incident, they may have exceeded their normal income as a result. So have they had any net impairment? No, the spill caused their profits too. They aren't having their "wages docked." This cleanup project may be the biggest money that some gulf fishermen have ever made.
Those who sat around and didn't work get to milk the system and wait for a settlement; that isn't fair to the hard workers to be sure. BP will pay damages to restore the fishing grounds (natural resources) later. That should not be paid to the fishermen.
The whole thing is a tragedy, but pay the people who actually lost money, not those who gained from it.
Paul Finney, Treasure Island
The lessons of Katrina | Aug. 29, editorial
Your editorial cited three lessons from Katrina: Governance matters; infrastructure is important and coastal living must be managed.
You left one out: personal responsibility.
If I lived in New Orleans, much of which is below sea level, and I had several days' notice that a massive hurricane was headed my way, I would have taken personal responsibility for my family and myself and been long gone. That so many thousands stayed is incomprehensible.
It wears thin to hear those who remained in New Orleans of their own volition complain about the government response. By not taking personal responsibility, they were the cause of the problem.
Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach
Training Afghan forces
A losing game
The Afghans needed no training to whip the British army, nor did they require training to whip the Russians. Still without training, they are whipping us. Apparently, they don't need no stinkin' training.
They are doing it the same way our lightly trained Continental Army whipped the British army a few years ago. George Washington needed no decisive victories. All he had to do was stay alive and keep his army together, energetically doing nasty things, until the Brits used up their will to carry on.
Let's not keep up this losing game for more years. Let's quit now and spend our lives and money on important things.
Bud Tritschler, Clearwater