Column misrepresented a plank of GOP platform

Updated Oct 8, 2005

Re: "Elections trigger changes at the top," Curtis Krueger's Dec. 15 column.

The column regarding the Republican Party chairmanship election was factually inaccurate, both as to my motives for seeking the chairmanship and as to the platform of the Republican Party.

In the article, you stated that I ran against Lou Kwall and Paul Bedinghous because both "refused to sign a statement saying they endorsed the abortion rights platform of the party." The connotation you gave is the complete antithesis of my long-held and very public position and that of the party.

The Republican Party does not have an "abortion rights" platform. The Republican Party platform endorses a completely pro-life position, as reflected in the following platform statement: "We believe the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to live which cannot be infringed."


Clearly this is not an "abortion rights" platform and to characterize it as such is inaccurate and completely misstates the situation Monday night. The other two candidates refused to endorse a plank of the Republican Party platform, while seeking a position of leadership. Clearly, there is a question of principle at stake, and my candidacy centered on whether we as a party will be principled, and thereby orient ourselves to the issues from the perspective of our principles, or whether we will be a party that decides upon the issues day to day based upon popular mores and the nightly CNN polls.

The November election clearly showed that the American people are ready for and desire leadership that is based upon principle, and specifically the principle of the inalienable right to life. In the recent election, of the 140 candidates who ran on the pro-life platform, none was defeated. It is the defining issue of the Republican Party, and I personally have worked hard to establish myself as an ardent pro-life worker, not as an abortion rights advocate.

Teresa Cooper Ward

St. Petersburg

Tarpon police are no racists

Re: "Complaints of racism surface after scuffle," Dec. 7.

You wrote accounts from everyone who was arrested. True, they will call "racism" because they were arrested. Why wasn't the only black officer on the scene questioned? Why weren't the two hurt white officers questioned? Why wasn't the Sheriff's Office questioned?


Let's get the facts straight. As a black resident of Tarpon Springs, I know the Police Department is not racist. Chief of Police Mark LeCouris is using money (that his department could use for purchase of new cars or radios or maybe for a raise for officers) to rebuild an eyesore in the community (old Mount Moriah Church) for everyone in Tarpon Springs. And community policing is doing great. When the chief receives tickets to different activities, he takes more of our black youths than any other youths in the community.

Let's stop yelling "racism", and let's work with Chief LeCouris and the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

Dwayne L. Harris

Tarpon Springs

Don't let Sunshine Mall go

I am writing in regard to the disgraceful decline of Sunshine Mall. As this was the first enclosed mall in this area and the second one on the west coast, it should be doing a thriving business.

Sunshine Mall is in an excellent location to serve a variety of patrons. It is within walking distance of four large apartment complexes. There is a medical park across the street from the mall.

Perhaps the manager of Sunshine Mall should make a survey as to the type of business the people would like to see in the mall, do more advertising and do something to draw attention to the mall.

I would like to suggest that anyone interested in saving Sunshine Mall should write a letter or write to the manager of the mall.


Betty Schmidt


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