Vote drives defended, despite fake names | Oct. 14, story
Voter fraud charges are a smokescreen While I appreciate the St. Petersburg Times' attempt to set the record straight on this Republican brouhaha about ACORN, your article left out the most important point: Mickey Mouse cannot vote, not in person, not by mail. Voter registration fraud is a benign crime, as it is almost impossible for a fraudulently registered voter to actually vote. The only people getting conned are those at ACORN who are paying out $8 per hour to some deadbeat who is trying to get paid without actually working.
What is a crime against democracy is preventing bona fide voters from casting a vote, or not counting their votes, things that Republicans have made into their specialty in the last two elections. For one of many examples, consider the thousands of voters "mistakenly" purged from the Florida voting rolls thanks to Katherine Harris, head of the George Bush Florida team as well as secretary of state, and ChoicePoint, the Republican-connected company she outsourced the voter list to.
All this feigned outrage by Republicans is a smokescreen to hide what is really happening: their own widespread practices to prevent mostly poor and minority voters from voting.
This is not left-wing paranoia. Try Googling "vote theft" plus names like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Greg Palast, and especially Stephen Spoonamore, a lifelong Republican cyber security expert who is warning about Republican electronic vote theft in November.
Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Springs
I noticed the Times printed a story on ACORN on the front page yet missed out on a lot of information. After reading the article, one would assume ACORN was a down-to-earth, legitimate group that was unfairly targeted by the GOP and not a group that has been under investigation concerning voter fraud in 14 states right now and in the last several years.
This group has been involved in voter fraud in Ohio in 2004, Colorado in 2005, Kansas and Missouri in 2006, and Washington in 2007, to name a few. That's not to mention its part in the current housing crisis.
Your bias in this entire election has been blatant and this article causes your paper to lose all credibility. This is an instance where your paper is actively distorting news in favor of Barack Obama and the Democrats while making the GOP seem to be the villains.
William Gerretz, St. Petersburg
We have become a nation too divided
The divisive presidential campaign now thrust upon us (after eight years of George Bush's us-or-them attitude) threatens to bring the American people teetering to the edge of a great abyss because of our anger, prejudice and vitriol. We must pull back in each of our personal lives before it is too late.
I submit these few recent examples:
Seven a.m. at a favorite breakfast haunt a comely grandmother said to me with force, "You know Obama is a racist! It is in his book!"
Friday afternoon at a local pub a Vietnam vet had to be restrained from hitting me because I said, "Mr. McCain is a true hero, but that fact alone does not qualify him for the presidency!"
Finally a friend (former?) of 35 years, upon learning I wrote a letter criticizing Sarah Plain's governorship, said, "I can't believe you're supporting that n-----!"
Folks, on both sides, listen to yourselves and stop before we can no longer make a claim to be "one nation under God, indivisible …"
Arthur N. Eggers, Tampa
Presidential debate coverage
The final presidential debate is concluded, and once again the St. Petersburg Times slants the headlines in favor of Sen. Barack Obama.
It does not bode well for the United States when important information regarding the future president of this great country is controlled and skewed in a certain direction by powerful Washington insiders and the liberal media.
When did the schools of journalism start teaching the art of molding the news in a direction favorable to a particular ideology, instead of simply reporting the news?
Why is it that news outlets feel compelled to tell us how to interpret news instead of just reporting the news?
Experience, honesty and devotion to the United States are of very little importance to the majority of uninformed voters.
R. Padgett, Clearwater
Political editor Adam Smith must be secretly working for Fox News. He has slanted his front page articles toward the Republican Party in all four debates.
John McCain did not do well in Wednesday night's final debate. He seemed confused, he did not focus his speech, his logic, or explain any of his talking points.
McCain gave a 20-year-old GOP laundry list about the terrible tax-and-spend liberal Democrats. He sounded like a radio talk show hack.
All the polls taken Wednesday night gave the debate to Obama. It was not even close.
Jim Sweenderman, Seminole
Palin deserved pummeling
I was a bit disappointed that Sen. Barack Obama did not respond a bit more aggressively to Sen. John McCain during Wednesday night's debate, especially when the discussion was about their nominees for vice president.
I disagree with those who think that the choice of a VP candidate is not important. On the contrary it is the first major decision made by the candidate after becoming the nominee of their party and it is certainly a reflection on their judgment.
It is particularly important in this election because McCain is 72 years old. I myself am 71 years old and I know the effects of aging. In addition McCain was a cancer victim, and no one can predict its effects.
Obama should have alluded to the recent report on the so-called "Troopergate" investigation in Alaska and the alleged abuse of Gov. Sarah Palin's office by her husband, Todd Palin. Alaska is a state with a population of less than a million. Can you imagine what he might do in Washington if the McCain-Palin ticket wins? We have seen during the last seven years what an arrogant and power-hungry VP can do in our country. We should not repeat that mistake.
Raghu Sarma, Odessa
Following the money
Sen. John McCain and Joe the Plumber should be quite concerned about a transfer of wealth.
Over the past eight years, we've witnessed the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind: from the American economy to Beijing and Dubai.
Go shopping: Transfer our wealth from your wallet to some big-box retailer to Beijing and Shanghai.
Go for a drive: Transfer our wealth from your wallet to the gas pump to some multinational corporation to Riyadh and Dubai.
Now, go vote.
Roger Roach, Pinellas Park
Americans' B.S. detectors go off the charts with Palin | Oct. 11, Garrison Keillor column
The real B.S.
I am a Vietnam veteran who took (and continues to take) extreme exception to a May 2008 column by Garrison Keillor describing how he was "inconvenienced" while trying to cross a street in Washington. He was delayed by "Rolling Thunder," a yearly tribute to those veterans who, unlike Keillor, actually risked their lives and, in some cases lost them, for our country. In this column he described these veterans as "fat men with ponytails on Harleys" and "grown men playing soldier, making a great hullaballoo without exposing themselves to danger, other than getting drunk and falling off a bike." Well, we were exposed to much more than this.
The only B.S. detector that goes off for me points to Garrison Keillor. I did not have the stomach to finish his column.
This letter is dedicated to those who served and, mostly, to those who did not return.
Robert Bofferding, St. Petersburg
Stellar seven arrested at Rays' game | Oct. 13, story
Congratulations to the St. Petersburg Police Department. After a whole day of revelry surrounding the Rays' second game in the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, the St. Petersburg police managed to find and arrest one, solitary African-American male for having an open container of alcohol on a public sidewalk in front of Tropicana Field.
If the St. Petersburg police had bothered enforcing this law on the public sidewalk in front of Ferg's Sports Bar, they could have easily arrested 400-500 white guys who were guilty of the same crime.
Joe Betz, Clearwater