Even God couldn't vote in Indiana without ID | May 12, Cynthia Tucker column
Voters should have proper ID
There were approximately 1,700,000 votes cast in Indiana's recent primary. According to Cynthia Tucker, "several" retired nuns did not have the proper identification and as a consequence, were not allowed to vote.
Do the math. What's wrong with this picture? What is wrong with requiring individuals to have proper identification? The last I checked, proper ID was required to: travel, cash a check, use your credit or debit card, buy a car or home, collect lottery winnings, gain access to a secured property, gain access to a safety deposit box, "claim" grandkids from an airline — the list is endless.
Tucker and others on the far left want to assert that we should not require individuals in our country to have proper ID. I would require God to have ID if he knocked on my door. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
George Stebbings, Tampa
ID is not difficult
What a waste of editorial space in your newspaper! Any qualified prospective voter who desires a valid ID in this country can get one. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Whether one is 18 or 80, a phone call to Democratic or Republican headquarters or local government will provide one with whatever assistance they require to obtain a valid voter ID.
Cynthia Tucker simply relates the story of those elderly nuns in her column to segue into her favorite pastime: Bush bashing!
John Hungerford, Palm Harbor
A personal responsibility
Cynthia Tucker is confused! She is attempting to defend several retired nuns because "they didn't have proper ID." Well, what's the problem?
Why does she seem to not understand that a law is a law, period, and that the laws apply to everyone. Tucker, I fear, falls into that category of people who simply cannot make the distinction between legal and illegal (as in immigration, for example).
Every person planning to vote knows the date of voting, and each has the responsibility to come to the polls with proper and current documents. The state did not prohibit the little old nuns from voting, they did it to themselves.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Delegate talks inch forward | May 12, story
Its time to count
If Barack Obama is truly "the candidate of inclusion" who wants to bring us all together "under the big tent," why is he so reluctant to ask that the 1.7-million votes Florida Democrats cast in the presidential primary in January be acknowledged?
It seems to me that these voters have been punished and held in this state of limbo and disenfranchisement long enough. Their party and its reputation is being hurt by all of this. After all, Florida is not a nonentity, not even a distant territory. It is one of the largest, most populous and politically important states in the Union, and its electorate should no longer be ignored!
It is my hope that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will join together in asking the Democratic National Committee to count and honor all votes cast by Florida Democrats on Jan. 29. That could be a victory for Democrats everywhere!
Nancy Hoppe, Largo
Democratic primary coverage
As the prolonged Democratic primary season plays out, the status quo in the broadcast media continues to play its same old boring games. Network hired guns are taken out of some closet somewhere to hash and rehash their same pet points ad nauseam, and waste time interviewing the same old campaign cronies who are experts of turning whatever into chicken salad.
They then fill airtime playing the same tired clips of the candidates, uncritically allowing the candidates' spin to frame their discussions. They uncritically take what is said at face value, with little or no fact checking, allowing the free press to become a propaganda tool.
A case in point? Over the past several days I have heard the network talking heads allow the Hillary Clinton camp to repeatedly use their airtime to announce "No Democratic candidate since 1916 has won the general election without winning West Virginia." While this assertion is true, it actually has little meaning. Looking at the electoral victories of all Democratic presidents since Woodrow Wilson, i.e. FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton, this assertion is proven true. However, in each Democratic electoral victory if you take West Virginia out of the equation, the Democrats won hands-down anyway. Thus a meaningless fact is allowed to become airtime filling fluff.
I think the Fourth Estate can and should do better to serve democracy. I think the voters are better served to do their homework.
Thomas LaPorta, Palm Harbor
A VP proposal
If Sen. Barack Obama does become the nominee of the Democratic Party, and he really wants to win Florida, he can do no worse than name former governor and former senator Bob Graham as his running mate.
If Graham had been on the ticket in 2000, there would not have been any doubts about the Florida vote and all that followed. Florida would have overwhelmingly gone Democratic, and the country (indeed the world) would have been the better for it.
Bob Graham has shown himself to be intellectually and personally a cut above the rest. He would bring some honor back into the political sphere.
Mortimer Brown, Lutz
Getting cozy with business interests | May 14, editorial
More of the same
It would be interesting to find out if part of the qualifications for the top positions in the Florida Legislature — Senate president, House speaker — require a candidate to be hypocritical or have the ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth.
Unfortunately for the citizens of Florida, recent past presidents and speakers have demonstrated a high proficiency in these two areas.
It is not surprising then to read about the actions of the man who is in line to become the Senate president regarding Amendment 5. Reports about his insistence that state and local governments live within their means as his knee-jerk reaction against any type of meaningful tax reform bodes ill for the state of Florida and its citizens. Plunged into a dark age of taxation by the actions of these hypocritical legislators and their leaders, it is "encouraging" to read that Sen. Mike Haridopolos plans more of the same.
Do you think he could live within his means without that "job" from the University of Florida?
Emilio Sanchez, Palm Harbor
Up to the voters | May 13, story
Separate these issues
Item No. 9 of this list of proposed amendments to the state Constitution describes an amendment that would do two separate and unrelated things:
First: order that 65 percent of school funding go toward classroom instruction.
Second: change a provision of the state Constitution to allow private school vouchers.
I'm for the first but against the second.
Because this amendment contains two separate issues, it should be ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court since the voters' wishes cannot be determined on each separate issue.
I hope someone has or will file a lawsuit which, if it prevails, will allow me and all voters in Florida to cast two separate votes on two separate issues.
Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg
I am completely saddened and amazed at the poor quality of education standards in Florida. With all the talks of cutbacks in education being mentioned, how much lower will the standards fall?
As an example, while at a local fair, I bought something for $3.45. I handed the "cashier" $5. She did not know how to make change for me — she was a teenager educated in Florida.
The other day, I called to get directions to a store. The person who answered the phone sounded very young. I asked, "Are you on the east or west side of U.S. 19?" She did not understand what that meant.
I'm sure our youth are able to navigate easily on the Internet, but when it comes to navigating in "real life," they better hope that all cars come equipped with navigation systems, and "real money" is replaced with plastic.
Jessica Krajcovic, Tarpon Springs