Unmasking a candidate | Aug. 19
Voters have heard this line before
In logic, anecdotal evidence is not considered evidence. Your story was replete with such anecdotal evidence, and Ann Romney's assurance of Mitt Romeny's kindness and compassion.
Sorry, no sale. I bought the George W. Bush "compassionate conservative" lie and got: a spiraling deficit; thousands of dead American soldiers in two faraway, unfunded wars; corrupt, no-bid deals that obscenely enriched Dick Cheney's Halliburton; the huge growth of federal government, with the bloated Homeland Security Department and its invasive, plodding TSA; Wall Street causing an almost worldwide financial collapse followed by no-strings-attached bailouts; and the loss of world opinion because of Guantanamo and torture.
J. Steele Olmstead, Tampa
Citizens to make change in policy | Aug. 18
Hitting roof on inspections
Barry Gilway, president of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., complained his inspectors were not able to adequately check homeowners' attics that were blocked by boxes or insulation. Now Citizens says it will give homeowners one year to move property that is restricting attic access.
It cost me $1,000 to have insulation blown into my attic many years ago to aid in keeping the house cool. Imagine what it would cost me to have all that removed and then replaced so some inspector can crawl around in the attic looking at work already approved by building inspectors years ago as meeting the building codes of the time. It seems to me to be totally improper for the state to require a property owner to modify construction specifics that were fully complied with at the time of construction.
It is an American tradition to store stuff in the attic. It is an undue intrusion into the privacy of individual homeowners for the state to conjure up and promote these shady reasons for invading the personal property of the citizens of this state.
Merrill Friend, Tampa
Stop changing the rules
Thank you for this article on the revamping of Citizens' home inspection program due to public pressure. However, your story does not mention a questionable policy that went into effect this year.
From what I understand, Citizens recently ordered 500,000 home reinspections for wind mitigation credits. This was done after Feb. 1, 2012, when the Citizens' inspection form was changed to redefine the meaning of "clips/straps." The definition was changed to require three nails per clip/strap, and many people lost their credit with these inspections as they only had the two nails per clip/strap required before Feb. 1, 2012.
From what I understand, it is either not possible or feasible to add the third nails to the clips/straps as these are installed at the time the house is built. This discount being taken away adds a considerably higher premium to your Citizens bill.
When will Citizens finally be hit hard with regulations to prevent it from changing the rules in the middle of the game to benefit itself? This to me is just legalized stealing, and is hurting our housing market.
Michael E. Cote, Hudson
Republican National Convention
Not such a prize
I'm a Republican, but for the life of me I cannot understand why taxpayers are paying even $1 for security and other costs in connection with the coming Republican National Convention. And closing down the federal courthouse? Moving county employees for two weeks? Why?
Shouldn't the party be paying us to reimburse us for the costs and troubles? Would the cities pay for the Libertarians to come to town? Or the national Communist Party?
I am probably not the only one who thinks that maybe "winning" the title of host city to the RNC wasn't such a great prize after all.
Larry Heinkel, St. Petersburg
Next time go elsewhere
Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have virtually been shut down by the upcoming RNC. Highways, court systems, small businesses, even hospitals have been affected. There are restrictions on the waterways, air space, local roads and business access. Some schools are affected, public transportation altered, and banks within the RNC-restricted areas are going to be closed.
Enough. Next time let them go somewhere else.
Judy Lavaron, St. Petersburg
Ryan's tax rate at 20% in 2011 | Aug. 18
Facts on taxes
Thank you for this article. According to it, both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are in the top 1 percent and both are paying at a higher tax rate than the average middle class taxpayer.
The average taxpayer making $50,000 to $75,000 per year pays at a rate of 12.8 percent, while Romney paid at a rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.4 percent in 2011. Ryan paid at a rate of 15.9 percent in 2010 and 20 percent in 2011.
It seems to me that every time President Barack Obama says that the middle class are paying a higher tax rate than Romney, someone in the audience should shout liar. The media should also point out the discrepancy.
Kenneth Leiser, Seminole
Romney: I paid at least 13 percent | Aug. 17
Tax rate rage
My blood was at the boiling point when I heard Mitt Romney say he paid a 13 percent tax rate. I just retired from the state of Florida and I received my payout for all the holidays I was not allowed to take since I was employed by the Department of Corrections in a prison. My $17,000 was taxed at 25 percent.
Most people are in the same place financially as I am, and we will never understand how the rich get the marshmallow and the middle class gets the stick.
Joyce A. Nelson, Sun City Center
Honor those who served
I recently returned from the Air Force Sergeants Association annual convention in Jacksonville. In remarks to the meeting, speakers noted that less than 1 percent of the U.S. population serves in the military. There is an awful lot asked of those few, to benefit so many. If you should see individuals dressed in military uniform, or whose apparel leads you to believe they are a veteran, please take the time to thank them for the dedication and sacrifices.
The third week in September has been declared National POW-MIA Recognition Week. There are thousands of families who have gone for years not knowing the fate of their loved ones.
Victor F. Bartholomew, Tarpon Springs