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Campaign is about reform, Senate candidate says

Editor: In response to your editorial published Oct. 12, the Tom Hogan for Senate, District 4 campaign offers the following. The Tom Hogan for Senate campaign is about ethics reform long overdue in the Florida Legislature.

Tom Hogan was a successful state prosecutor for eight years. This fact can be verified by the hundreds of victims he helped and the five murderers Hogan sent to death row.

None of the crime victims had to take Tom on vacation or give him a gift to get him to do his job.

On the other hand, Karen Thurman's campaign is about business as usual in Tallahassee and that is what is wrong with our Legislature. It represents politics at its worst. Your editor has failed to see the obvious. When our incumbent senator owes a debt to special interest, she pays off with legislative favors.

Thurman took campaign contributions from oil companies, such as Shell, Exxon, Tenneco and Amoco. She sponsored an oil cleanup law that makes the taxpayer responsible for the cleanup bills. Even the Times, in a front section editorial the same day your local editorial appeared, took the opposite stand, stating that "the regulation . . . is simply a sellout to the oil industry.

"It risks further contamination to Florida's drinking water on the oil-industry concern for short-term profits."

She took campaign contributions, gifts and trips from the horse-track and dog-track interests and introduced legislation such as off-track betting, intertrack betting and a bill to allow the attendance of children at pari-mutuel tracks, all of which put plenty of money into the pockets of those who have given to her so generously.

When questioned about the trips to the Kentucky Derby at the expense of lobbyists, Thurman said in a Tampa Tribune article (Oct. 10, 1990) that it was okay because she accepted those gifts for their educational benefits. She said she went to "see the playgrounds that they (at the track) set up for the kids" and to "see how many people they had at the track on Sunday." Surely, not even the editor of this paper is buying that ridiculous explanation!

The evidence is overwhelming, Thurman responds to gifts, vacations and big money campaign contributions with special-interest legislation _ legislation that costs the average taxpayer money. Now that's the real negative part of this campaign. Tom Hogan's radio advertisements illustrate the point. So, who's doing the misleading?

Without gifts, vacations or big contributions, Tom Hogan supports the average taxpayer as well as the thoroughbred horse industry, clean environment laws and the protection of manatees, for the best interest of all of District 4 and the state of Florida, but Tom Hogan owes no one!

Tom Hogan,

Candidate for Florida Senate District 4


Editor's note: Sen. Thurman sponsored a bill in 1987 that imposed a tax of 10 cents a barrel of oil to facilitate the cleanup of leaking underground fuel storage tanks. The editorial in the A section on Oct. 12 that Hogan refers to was critical of a Department of Environmental Regulation rule that was rejected by the governor and the Cabinet. That regulation would have allowed the continued use of single-wall underground tanks until at least 1999. The Times editorial criticized the delay in forcing the use of the latest and best technology and suggested that the DER's proposal was a "sellout to the oil industry." The DER's rule was unrelated to the original underground storage tank legislation sponsored by Sen. Thurman.

Countywide cleanup

was successful effort

Editor: This last year has been a banner year for our country _ a beginning of a new community pride! Our Chamber is pleased that the impetus and vision for the successful countywide shore cleanup was originated by Rick Quinn of Specialty Gems and a valuable Crystal River Chamber of Commerce board member.

We are thankful to Rick and the other key people who have spent countless hours in the last two years taking the steps to made Adopt-a-Shore an effective cooperative project that has touched the lives of many.

A special thanks to Newell Collins of Twin Rivers Marina for heading our Chamber team.

Thanks also to Gerald Clark, Citrus County Public Works director; Ken Whitcomb, Crystal River Consultants; Red Wing Disposal/Waste Management; Ken Haggert, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., in Brooksville; Gene McGee, Clerk of Courts office; Chamber and all 1,500 men, women and children who took time from their weekends to help make Citrus a beautiful place to live, work and play! Bravo!

Sheree Monroe

Executive Director

Crystal River Chamber of Commerce

We need more judges

like Citrus' Gary Graham

Editor: Whenever I see a news item concerning Citrus County Judge Gary Graham I make a special effort to read it because I know I am in agreement with his decisions and mentally I give him a big pat on the back, and continue to wish and hope there will be more judges who will take the stand that Judge Graham takes. Frankly, we need more Judge Grahams.

The cases that come up in the courts today are sadly in need of this type of discipline. Too many of the drug-related and also the alcohol cases are given what often looks like a right judgment, and then before we know it, the convict is back out on the street, or sitting in comfort being fed and housed by us, the taxpayers. But when they land in Judge Graham's court they are dealt the type of punishment they have asked for.

I laud Judge Gary Graham for his stand on the use of language; even slang is not accepted. I commend you for that, Judge Graham. Too often we turn on our televisions and have to turn them off for the violence, or the language, even the adults set the bad example in many cases. I immediately turned my television off when an attractive woman opened her talk with the word "damn." And, thank you Judge Graham for demanding that graphic nudity not be allowed.

My hope is that more judges will take this stand in their court rooms.

Cecilia Ooostveen

New Port Richey