The 11 amendments on the ballot | Sept. 30
Measures betray GOP principles
The 11 constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Republican-controlled Legislature violate the basic principles of the Republican Party. The Republican Party used to believe that less government was better, that decisions should be made at the local level and that constitutions should be respected.
As a group, these amendments create more unchanging government rules, seize decisionmaking from local governments by transferring it to Tallahassee, and change a Constitution that Republicans usually claim should be followed as its writers intended. Real Republicans, those who believe in basic Republican principles, should vote no on the Tallahassee amendments.
Martin Peters, Tarpon Springs
Ditch the Electoral College
The Electoral College must go for one simple reason: With it, all votes are not equal; in fact, some don't count at all.
Under the current system, only about 10 states have a real say in who gets elected president; the remaining 40 are relegated to just being quiet and watching the show. The solidly Republican or Democratic states send their votes to the same party's candidate every presidential election, barring extreme circumstances. If you live in one of those states and are with the majority, then it's not so bad. But it's horrible if you're always with the minority. For Democrats in Kentucky and Republicans in New York, their vote for president is utterly worthless; those states will go Republican and Democratic, respectively, no matter what.
This system is blatantly wrong and undemocratic. We should not have "battleground states" but rather a battleground nation, where the candidates must appeal to all Americans, not just a select few.
We should abolish this archaic system in order to make every vote count and let every voice be heard.
Stephen Lapp, Tampa
Theme music for the ages | Sept. 27
The last time I saw Andy Williams was on the telecast of the Grammy Awards in 2008 when the 80-year-old singer presented the Record of the Year award to 24-year-old Amy Winehouse.
Considering all of the memorable songs he sang with such beautiful lyrics over the years, it seemed strange to hear him announce the name of the winning record: Rehab. Will anyone be singing that tune 50 years from now?
Ray Smith, Tampa
An intriguing idea in the wrong spot Sept. 29
Central location is best
The Carillon Park plan is the best solution to the Rays relocation dilemma. The nightmare of access to Tropicana Field is the main issue. The illusion of convenience, with I-275 mere yards away from the stadium, initially attracts Clearwater and Tampa fans — until they have experienced the one-way streets and two-lane traffic that you face after a game at the Trop.
It's a nightmare that would be exacerbated with a downtown Tampa location. And what about the overlap with hockey season in downtown Tampa? Talk about a logistical nightmare.
A central location, with multiple lanes of traffic going in three directions, will be the most successful spot in terms of attendance.
Bruce Caplan, Redington Beach
Not much improvement
If the Tampa Bay area had a good baseball fan base, people would be flocking to the Trop and the Rays wouldn't have the worst attendance in Major League Baseball.
To really succeed, the Rays have to double their attendance at least. Building a $540 million to $570 million stadium in the Carillon area won't do this. It simply isn't that much easier to drive to.
A good way to test the waters would be to put the stadium up for a public offering — sell shares. If enough people ante up and sufficient funds are raised, go ahead and build. If not, refund.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
ID thefts require a tougher response Sept. 30, editorial
Vulnerable to theft
As long as Medicare uses Social Security numbers as Medicare claim numbers, we will always be vulnerable to Social Security theft. Think of it: Each time a senior goes to the doctor, lab, therapy or for any treatment at all, his or her Social Security number is available for all in the office to see.
If Medicare would issue random numbers instead, this would solve a majority of the problem of Social Security theft, but it needs to be done now before more people become victims. This might not stop all of the thefts, but it should stop a large majority of them.
Myrna Forton, Spring Hill
We can't tax our way to recovery | Sept. 28, letter
Incomes and equity
I am tired of the silly argument about the top 10 percent paying 70 percent of all taxes collected. Of course they pay a higher dollar amount: They control 80 percent of the wealth. If a person who has $10 is taxed at 50 percent, that's $5. If a person who has a $1 million is taxed at 1 percent, he pays $10,000. That doesn't mean either one has been taxed fairly. One has paid half his wealth, the other a pittance.
There is no correlation between tax breaks for the wealthy and economic growth or job creation. None. The biggest element to private sector job growth is demand. The best path to demand is when the average person has more disposable income, because they have a tendency to spend it.
Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater
Is this the best that the Times has to offer? First, we have Sue Carlton writing about a driver's license renewal, and then John Romano and his instant "wrong" declaration on the new stadium location. Aren't there any other writers in the building who can talk to us? These two are pretty worn-out, predictable and boring.
Cut their column in half and put it up against someone with a different point of view on the same subject. That would certainly improve the content and stimulate the thought process.
Doug Birchard, St. Petersburg