1. Archive

Mailing distorts reform's effect

Editor: After reading Jeff Webb's Feb. 27 Citrus Times column "Capitol is not for faint hearts or weak stomachs," which recalled his ill-fated and sickening exposure to the workings of our state legislative body, I thought you might like to know about a mailing being sent to our senior citizens by a so-called non-profit organization masquerading under the name of the Seniors Coalition.

This mailing further corroborates Webb's perception that money talks and buys everything, including our legislators' votes.

The mailing, apparently sent to many millions of seniors who almost always vote and make a difference at the polls, makes one speculate about how many hundreds of millions of dollars were thrown into this particular scheme to influence the outcome of the current health reform debate in Congress.

Accompanying the six-page letter from the organization's director of government affairs were various materials, including printed postcards addressing our elected officials in Congress. The language in all these materials is such that it can only be called a blatantly deliberate misrepresentation leading to a distorted understanding of the Clinton health plan, and playing on the fears of the elderly.

If this mailing is going out to all seniors throughout the country, which seems to be the case because it comes from our nation's capital, one can only theorize about how and where names were obtained and whether it involved any misuse of government Medicare, IRS or other records.

One also would question how an organization that echoes the gloom-and-doom predictions of those who stand to profit by letting health and drug costs continue to soar and outpace inflation can possibly qualify as being a non-profit, getting reduced postal rates to distribute its self-serving message.

If this is a non-profit venture, taxpayers should know who the sponsors are and whose millions are financing it. I certainly don't know who the joker is who claims to be so overly concerned about my health and future.

This attempt to buy off the senior citizen vote follows a recent AARP mailing telling its members that the Clinton program, when looked at in its entirety, deserves our support, especially because it covers insurance for drugs and medications now bankrupting so many without such insurance. This AARP endorsement is a message that will never reach the light of day under the blizzard of a strident prediction of an impending doomsday, found in the Seniors Coalition's expensively printed piece of misinformation.

I will, however, oblige the coalition by sending a message to my elected ones, but do so by giving them a copy of this letter. But I won't expect a reply, at least one that is responsive.

Jim Noone,


Put brakes on state vehicle tax

Editor: During the first part of January, I moved to Dunnellon. I purchased a home and proceeded to register my vehicle, a 1994 Ford Ranger with Kentucky plates.

This vehicle is a lemon law replacement for a 1992 Ranger, which Ford turned over to me Nov. 1.

Vehicle taxes that I paid to Kentucky for this vehicle were $745.38 on $12,500. Upon registering here in Florida in the middle of January, I paid $742 more in taxes, not including plate registration and other costs, for a total of $966.

So, in a 2{-month period, I paid more than $1,700 in taxes and registration on a $12,500 vehicle.

Taxes are a must for governments to operate, but $966 to Florida on a vehicle with more than 7,000 miles is an outrage. I am a retired, disabled veteran on a fixed income and if I knew then what I know now, Florida wouldn't have gotten that money.

Frank J. Malinski,