Speakership deserves better
All Floridians should be outraged and insulted that our elected officials in Tallahassee chose Chris Dorworth to be speaker of the Florida House in 2014. One of the three most powerful positions governing our state is going to a man who has demonstrated poor business judgment, a disregard for the law and an inability to manage his own house.
An experienced real estate investor should have found out about arsenic on land he was buying during the due diligence period of his contract. Do we really want a "natural leader" who doesn't do his homework before entering into a big deal, like the ones he will face running our state?
Foreclosure is one thing, but under what conditions does a bank allow an individual to mortgage/borrow $300,000 more than the purchase price? Is this not an example of the real problem with our banking and real estate markets, which have caused the financial collapse across our country today?
Add the suspension of his driver's license relating to "insurance" issues and not paying highway tolls. Who does he think he is that he can just cruise through tolls without paying them? He apparently thinks he is above the laws that you and I live by. Do you really want to give him more power?
The speaker of the House is an incredibly powerful position, guiding legislation that is the road map of Florida's future. Unfortunately it is heavily influenced by powerful interest groups. The decisions he makes will affect Florida far beyond his and our lifetimes. This job deserves an individual with character above reproach, and standards and morals of the highest level.
What does Rep. Dorworth's selection say about our current batch of legislators in Tallahassee? Please tell me the Ray Sansom style of leadership was an exception, rather than the rule in Florida politics.
Joan Skaaland, Tarpon Springs
Assertive Senate takes turn to right March 2, story
Lawmakers' agenda is largely self-serving
Tuesday's front-page headline sounds a bit more startling than "Man bites dog."
The whole Florida Legislature is and has been for the 20 years I have lived here far to the wrong on any issue that can benefit people over lobbyists. Our sales tax laws are full of loopholes for businesses and even some individuals. Our growth laws favor developers, our property tax laws shield the rich, try to buy off the poor and ignore the middle. The legislators let lobbyists, almost all of whom are for businesses, walk around the halls of government as if they own it, which I guess is true.
The term "conservative" is claimed within the Republican majority, and the Times uses the label "right" to describe the party. Both are wrong. The Republicans are for businesses that send them donations. The party denies they are bribes, and then the party does exactly what the donors want them to, which, of course, is the point of a bribe.
The Republicans are not conservatives because conservatives believe in the rule of law. The label "right" should be reserved for true conservatives, those who value the Constitution. To call the current Republican majorities "right" is to ignore that they have no policy besides being in power and using that power to solicit money so they can stay in power. Oh, and to get some cushy jobs when their eight years are up.
Robert P. Curran, Beverly Hills
Assertive Senate takes turn to right March 2, story
No cause for alarm
I find it strange that the Times is so concerned about the Florida Senate taking a turn to the right. I don't remember a headline about similar concerns of either the Senate or House taking a turn to the left. Of course the left is always called moderate.
The article is equally alarmed that Republicans are trying to "woo members of the Tea Party — far- right conservatives that many view as too extreme." The Tea Party's mission statement says they stand for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. If this is too extreme, our country is in worse shape than I thought.
John Jewett, Largo
Rubio credit flap grows | Feb. 26
Katie Gordon, a Republican spokeswoman, is quoted as saying, "The cardholders are members of the Legislature. Why would we not trust them to use their due diligence to repay personal expenses?" This would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.
First of all, Ms. Gordon, we should put this statement on "trust" out for a vote by the citizens of Florida to see what kind of response we get.
Second, are we to believe that Marco Rubio has no personal credit card to charge his personal items? In the business world, it is not unusual for companies to issue credit cards to their employees to be used for business expenses. Charging personal items, even if reimbursed by the employee, would be grounds for dismissal. Why don't the same rules apply here — no charging of personal items?
Kevin Ross, Spring Hill
Rubio double-billed flights | Feb. 27, story
Show us Crist's expenses
A couple of thousand dollars in discrepancies — considering all Marco Rubio has done, and stands to do for the citizens of Florida — is so minuscule it's not even worth mentioning.
It seems to me that the Charlie Crist campaign is desperate and will do anything to smear his opponent. How much has it cost the citizens of Florida for Gov. Crist to travel around the state campaigning for Senate? The citizens of Florida pay the governor's salary to run Florida, not to run for the U.S. Senate.
I would like to see a detailed accounting of Gov. Crist's time and expenses while campaigning, and who paid for them. Let's start with his transportation and meals. There's an old saying that comes to mind: What's good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Richard Golden, San Antonio
Traffic camera ban is filed | Feb. 26, story
A disregard for public safety
According to Friday's paper, House Republican Robert Schenck proposed a bill banning red-light monitors. There seems to be little rationale for Schenck to disguise this lack of concern for public safety by calling red-light cameras a hidden tax.
The policy to install cameras is stated publicly and no one is forced to run a red light. A driver pays a fine after choosing to disregard his or her safety and the safety of others by running a red light or by not coming to a complete stop before making a right turn on red.
Using Schenck's logic, the Florida lottery is a hidden "tax." Is Schenck going to propose eliminating the lottery? Though in one respect there is a difference between these two voluntary actions. Buying a lottery ticket is much safer for all concerned.
Theresa Davis, Tampa