Signs that things are looking up
There is a common theme in these recent headlines:
• Ohio indicts leader of Tampa-based Navy Veterans charity;
• Judge tosses Jim Norman off November ballot in Senate race;
• Tampa police arrest pain clinic owners, clients;
• Bogus prescriptions lead to prison for Tampa Bay pain clinic owners.
In each instance, decisive action is being taken against greed, fraud and corruption. This is a hopeful sign that society has concluded "enough is enough" and the pendulum is swinging back to the ethics of honesty and civil and personal responsibility.
While it is easy to become cynical about both our civic institutions and the intentions of the media, these headlines are a clear example where the actions of both have served our community well. Kudos to both the Times for their investigative journalism and to our law enforcement and judicial branch for restoring proper ethics.
We still have a long way to go, but these headlines tell me we just might be headed in the right direction.
Brady Sneath, Tampa
'I have no idea' | Oct. 19
Helpful civic reporting
This article by Marc Caputo is the kind of reporting that helps readers cut through the distortions and outright falsehoods that appear in political advertising bombarding the electorate these days.
I'd like to see more articles like this on candidates from both parties.
Richard Vanni, Seminole
Too much like an ad
I feel you have crossed the line from reporting into political campaigning. The layout of Tuesday's front page looks too much like so many of the political ads we are seeing today. I don't have any problems with the article, just the graphic that went with it.
Creative illustrations benefit the reader, however this one will negatively affect the reputation of the Times. I hope you exercise better judgement in the future.
Joel Freedman, St. Petersburg
Reforms urgently needed
I've heard numbers from $3 billion to $4 billion for the amount being spent by politicians/parties/PACs in this midterm election.
That works out at about $40 for every person who will vote, based on previous years' turnout.
The source of all this money is now largely obscured, but clearly the cash is meant to buy influence. There are solutions, but the very people who benefit from the current state are the ones who must change the system — fat chance.
1. Limit the campaign period before Election Day, say to six weeks.
2. Limit campaign spending. No one should spend more than, say, $3 million — somewhere around $70,000 a day.
3. No anonymous contributions.
4. Term limits, say three terms.
I haven't heard anyone running from any party, independent or tea party voluntarily say they would limit their own terms — in which case they are just like the incumbents looking for a lifetime ride.
Derek Roberts, Clearwater
Miners need more
The whole world watched and cheered as the 33 miners were rescued after so many days trapped deep below. Bravo! However, it is distressing but not surprising that these miners will now go back to their daily lives, trapped in another way, by poverty.
A huge amount of money and expert help was extended to save these men. How good it would be if now the mine companies would spend money like that to improve mine safety and provide decent income for miners.
And not just in Chile. There has been another mine catastrophe in China, and not so long ago there was one in our country.
Are miners somehow disposable persons that bring us the needed minerals but are not valuable enough to give a good life? They need not a one-time rescue but a lifetime one.
Lucy Fuchs, Brandon
An object lesson
Against all odds, the trapped Chilean miners survived by praying, electing leaders, rationing food supplies and establishing group rules. They set a daily schedule of work, recreation, rest and exercise to get into shape for the hoped-for rescue though a narrow tunnel. Their Chilean values are much like our American values: love of God, family, country, and of those in need; leadership, courage, sacrifice, gratitude.
What would happen if we sent 33 congressional legislators down that same mine shaft — 16 red, 16 blue and one independent — and told them they had to fix the problems of our country before they would be allowed to return via the rescue capsule?
Kathleen Lyons, Zephyrhills
Station serves the public
Kudos to WUSF management for its decision to deliver an even higher level of service to the Tampa Bay area by switching to an all-news, talk show and jazz format.
The high-quality, noncommercial, entertaining, informative, educational programming that WUSF provides is such a welcome change from the biased reporting that passes for news on the commercial stations.
I firmly believe that democracy is not a spectator sport. In order to make educated decisions on the future of our state and our country, I need the fair, unbiased, factual reporting that I receive from WUSF.
So thank you WUSF for making this brave move and keep up the good work. It's an honor to be a supporting member of your station.
Diana Rao, Tampa
Rick Scott's wealth
Stop class warfare
Rick Scott, whom a recent letter writer accused of making his fortune from nothing, actually was a poor boy who served his country in the Navy. He saved his money and bought a doughnut shop that gave people jobs.
Opponents say Scott's money comes from investments, but they ignore the years he worked long hours and worked smart to accumulate that money.
Instead of wondering what Scott hopes to earn from the millions he is spending, why not think about what he can do for our state's sad economy by using his proven ability to not just hire employees, but actually create jobs?
There is no place in our society for class warfare.
Kay Griffiths, Redington Beach
Narrow minds keep us from building big Oct. 10, column
Paul Krugman's column was excellent in its explanation of the current political mentality in which the Republicans oppose spending regardless of need. Our country's infrastructure has been in disrepair for years. Over half of the bridges need replacing, to take just one example, but the Republicans lack either the vision or the integrity to admit that sometimes the facts dictate that money needs to be spent. Instead they parrot the stance of "low taxes" and "spend as little as possible," just to get votes.
The Republicans' constant assault on government spending and taxes might make sense if we lived in a Third World country, where they have mostly dirt roads and little infrastructure, but as this is the U.S.A., a modern, vibrant society. Do any of us really want to live like we are in a Third World country? That seems to be the direction the Republicans want to take us.
Kilahal Arturo, Riverview