Women's Equality Day
We should value the right to vote
Today is Women’s Equality Day. It is the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. In Seneca Falls, N.Y., 152 years ago, pioneering women and men met to talk about the state of women’s rights in the United States. It was at this gathering that women’s suffrage was first seriously proposed. Of the 300 participants at the first Women’s Rights Convention, only one person, Charlotte Woodward, lived long enough to see the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
The suffragists employed a number of radical tactics as they worked for the amendment. They picketed the White House, chained themselves to courthouse doors, staged large suffrage marches and demonstrations, and even went to jail where they were force fed and kept without bail. It took 72 years for women to achieve the right to vote in this nation. We have been working to add the Equal Rights Amendment to our Constitution for 87 years. We have been asking our government for 31 years to sign on to an international agreement, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Why must women always wait for justice? Our continuing slogan must be “Women’s Vote: Use it, or lose it” because all of our rights hang in the balance. We celebrate 90 years of women’s suffrage but women have yet to achieve that critical mass we need in elected office to protect and advance equality for all. It is especially important this election season to remind our citizens that women were imprisoned and held without bail during their 72-year struggle for the right to vote. So no one should take this right for granted or not exercise it.
B.J. Star, Esq., Dunedin
Tuesday's Republican primary
Time for GOP to wake up Tuesday’s primary election should be a wake-up call to the Florida GOP. Remember, it’s the party faithful that come out for primaries. We are tired of career politicians. We’ve lost faith in the Republican establishment that gave us Charlie Crist, the consummate politician who promptly dropped the GOP mantle when faced with a real conservative opponent. They gave us Jim Greer and his cronies, who were more concerned about their own self-interests and enrichment than those of the party or state. Rick Scott certainly has his warts, but I’ll take a conservative businessman — warts and all — over a career politician and lawyer. This is especially true for a leadership-type position such as governor. Bill McCollum never had to meet a payroll, never had to compete in the free market. On the other hand, this was why Jeb Bush was such a great governor. He had a businessman’s viewpoint, not Charlie Crist’s “finger in the wind” style of governing. The Republican establishment was originally behind Crist, when Marco Rubio was clearly the better candidate to wear the mantle. Take note, GOP: We’re not going to just quietly take whatever candidate you try to force on us. That’s what primaries are for!
Nancy Foster, Clearwater
As a lifelong Republican I am extremely disappointed in my fellow party members who voted to have Rick Scott represent us in the gubernatorial elections. The man is either a criminal or an incompetent executive. He’s a criminal if he was aware of, and allowed, the nation’s biggest health care fraud as head of Columbia/HCA. If he was not aware of the fraudulent activity, then he is a very incompetent executive. Either way, this is not the man who should be in charge of our state. For the first time in my voting life I will not be voting for the Republican candidate. I hope and pray that the Republicans who did vote for Scott will come to their senses and not allow this man to ruin our state as governor.
Tim Robinson, St. Petersburg
Blame early voting
I believe it is clear that the main reason Rick Scott carried the Republican primary in the race for governor was the large percentage of voters who cast their votes either in early voting or by absentee ballot. Many of these people voted before the various polls showed the tide turning — more against Scott than for his opponents. This won’t be likely to happen in the general election. Thankfully, voters are already showing their distrust of him since all he bases his candidacy on is a questionable business background and supposedly being an “outsider.” It’s time to sink him for good.
Ken McLaughlin, Zephyrhills
Throwing money around
Rick Scott spent $50 million for a primary? What will he spend for the actual governor’s race, $60 million, $70 million? If that is an indication of fiscal responsibility, what do voters think he will do if elected? Way to go, voters. Nothing like putting a rooster in charge of the henhouse! Spencer Blank, Ocala Primary results Welcome housecleaning No, the voters were not as easily fooled as some might have thought, for both parties did some major, much needed housecleaning. The Republicans wisely let Bill McCollum go after watching him wage the ugliest campaign anyone could even imagine as he flip-flopped between supporting this or that. The man does not seem to know what he actually thinks and seemed to be searching for what we all think. As a Democrat, I am so proud of the voters in Hillsborough County who rid us of the infamous Kevin White and replaced him with the very moral Lester “Les” Miller. If there is anyone out there who thinks voting in a primary is a waste of time, they are so wrong. I do not regret a second of the very short amount of time it took me to do so. Things are really looking up!
Adele Ida Walter, Tampa
For the disenchanted
We did not vote. We felt alienated from a process that has degenerated into campaigns dedicated to spurious accusations, vicious negativity, and an insulting disregard for relevant issues — not to mention the bombardment of six to eight annoying phone solicitations and wasteful mail-outs per day! We did not feel positive about any of the major candidates and wonder if there are others who felt the same. If so, we have a suggestion: Why not include a box on the ballot labeled “No viable choice.” Would this not be an interesting way to gauge the disenchantment of the “want-to-vote” public who are disheartened by the caliber of candidates and their shallow campaign tactics?
Bill and Patrice Steinberg, St. Petersburg