Pinellas candidates touch on hot topics | March 1
Many words but little information
I hate political campaigns. Never have so few people paid so much to inform the voters of so little.
I am a recent Florida resident from the frozen north. I have a brand new voter's card that says I can vote in Tuesday's congressional election. To prepare myself, I have watched the TV ads, read the papers and talked with my friends. I still have no idea who these three people are. The ads and campaign materials devote mountains of ink to telling us what a rat the other person is. But who are you?
As candidates, did your political advisers tell you that going negative was the way to win? How foolish you were to listen. We voters want to know why we should cast our sacred ballots for you. Why are you the best qualified? What is your plan? And how will you try to carry it out? You seek our trust. Earn it.
Winning an office is not a trophy; it is your commitment to public service and sacrifice.
Paul F. Hudson, Clearwater
Pinellas candidates touch on hot topics March 1
Taking too much offense
It baffles me how David Jolly and his allies are criticizing Alex Sink for stating a fact: Many immigrants have low-wage, service-sector jobs and their employers want them to be legal. It seems to me that what is more offensive to immigrants is implying that their work is so shameful that simply referring to it counts as an insult.
Stephen Lapp, Tampa
Imagine a role reversal
If David Jolly, or any Republican candidate, said we need immigration reform so we have people to clean our hotel rooms and landscape our lawns, they would be attacked in your paper and the national media. That's all I'm saying.
Carol Mathis, St. Petersburg
Enforce the law | Feb. 28, letter
People, not categories
The terms "illegal and "undocumented" have important distinctions when immigration is discussed.
Using the word "illegal" is uselessly vague. Illegal immigrants are dehumanized when this term is used. Murderers, rapists and child abusers are all legal persons who committed illegal acts. To lump immigrants under that title does them a great injustice.
The use of "illegal" in the case of immigrants is contrary to the 14th Amendment, which states that the state or federal government may not "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection under the law."
An undocumented immigrant has violated immigration requirements but is still a legal person under the law. These people are foreign nationals who do not have the necessary paperwork required by immigration laws.
We take pride in calling ourselves a nation of immigrants. We need to remember that these undocumented immigrants are persons under the law, not categories.
Florence Laureira, Hudson
A search for fairness
A few questions came to mind when I read this letter on undocumented workers:
• Can you imagine being unable to feed your family? Would you not go where you would have a chance to provide for them? U.S. employers who are most concerned with their bottom line actively seek cheap labor. Are those employers in no way responsible for the immigration situation?
• Can you imagine being deported and having your children separated from you? These immigrants came here in order to provide for their families. Before there were tight border controls, it was common for workers to send earnings back home and return to their families when the seasonal jobs were over; now they are forced to be permanently displaced and raise their families here.
• Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn't have any of these people in our workforce? Who would pick the food to put on our tables? Under the best of circumstances, these workers put in long days in the hot sun doing backbreaking work for poverty wages. We don't see unemployed Americans rushing to apply for these jobs.
We are no different from these immigrants. We all have the same yearnings and wishes for the well-being of our families. We have chosen to benefit from their services, therefore we need to give back to them. For the 11 million undocumented workers currently in our country, a path to citizenship — which would be a long and arduous process for them — provides the only fair resolution to this situation.
Anne Burnham, Tarpon Springs
Guns save lives | Feb. 20, letter
The letter writer says that guns save lives. If that is true, shouldn't the United States, with the largest number of civilian-owned guns in the world, be the safest country on the planet? According to a survey in the Guardian newspaper, the United States is the 27th most dangerous country in terms of firearms deaths of 178 countries surveyed.
Elizabeth Corwin, Tampa
Food labels to focus on calories, sugar Feb. 28
Where's it from?
I agree that we need food labels to focus on calories and sugar, but I think more importantly we need to know where the food was grown and where it was processed. I want to know where it came from — was it grown in the United States and then shipped to China for processing? If the product was manufactured in China, low sugar does me no good if the plant is so filthy that the employees need to wear masks in order to work there.
Judy Mattis, Holiday
Calls for forceful U.S. | March 3
President Barack Obama's speech on Russia's actions in Ukraine was a typical threat with no plan of action. It sounded like his Syria threat.
The warning about possibly not attending an international summit in Russia this summer must have Vladimir Putin laughing hysterically, while most if not all of our previous European friends are shaking their heads in disgust.
It appears that we have no foreign policy, just domestic political actions.
Dayle R. Stevens, Largo